Lime and Coconut Snack Cake (gluten free)

I have been dreaming about this cake since last Saturday. The sky was stormy, the wind was cool, and I was moving briskly through the farmers market to avoid the cold. The bright crisp green of the limes was a siren call to me. I imagined the burst of acid-sweet citrus on my tongue, and it called me back to a summer day with lime slices in my lemonade and a warm breeze stirring the air. But it’s winter, and the breezes are chilly and really when I got home from my run yesterday I didn’t feel like lemonade: I felt like cake. I felt like moist lime and coconut cake studded with strands of shredded coconut and coated in a sweet and tart lime glaze. 

She put the lime in the coconut and baked 'em both up

She put the lime in the coconut and baked ’em both up

So I took a break from writing and took to the kitchen. With Molly at my feet and ‘Romancing the Stone‘ playing away in the background I was completely in my moment. About an hour later after the cake had cooled and been glazed I took the first bite of its dense but not soggy cake-flesh and sighed. Perfect.

Put the lime in the coconut, and call me for morning (tea)....

Put the lime in the coconut, and call me for morning (tea)….

Lime and Coconut Snack Cake (gluten free)

If you don’t need this to be gluten free you can use 100 grams of plain flour in place of the quinoa and brown rice flours. I do recommend hunting down the coconut flour (Aussie residents, I found mine at Flanneries) as it imparts a unique texture and flavour to the cake. Otherwise, just use a total of 150 grams of plain flour and don’t add the 1/2 cup of milk.


  • 75 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime rind (about two limes)
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup low fat ricotta 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 25 grams quinoa flour
  • 75 grams brown rice flour
  • 50 grams coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together quinoa flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and shredded coconut. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat together butter, caster sugar, and lime rind until pale and fluffy. This mixture will be a pale ethereal green, actually quite pretty.
  4. Add lightly beaten eggs one at a time and beat well between additions.
  5. In  a small bowl mix together coconut essence, lime juice, ricotta, and milk. 
  6. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mix in three parts alternating with the ricotta mixture. Begin and end with the flour.
  7. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top down. The coconut flour soaks up a lot of moisture so the batter may appear gluggy. Don’t worry I assure you that this glugginess become a dense, moist crumb upon baking.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes or so. The cake is done when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  9. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely before adding glaze.
  10. To make the glaze whisk together 3-4 tablespoons of lime juice and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of icing sugar until smooth. Pour this over the cooled cake.
  11. Slice and serve. Whilst eating imagine yourself in a warm foreign locale lazing under a palm tree. I know I did.

Woo woo, it will relieve your belly ache

Tell me dear reader, what reminds you of summer in the grey days of winter? Are you a lime and coconut lover like me, or perhaps not?