Coconut Sugar Lemon Cake

Coconut Sugar Lemon cake is perfect for birthdays, Easter and any other spring celebration. The bright, cream cheese frosting pairs so well with this warm lemon cake. My favorite part is just how beautiful it is when you layer the coulis between the two cake rounds. The blackberry coulis beautifully trickles out the sides of the naked cake to create an eye catching delicacy. This cake is the perfect sweet delight for you to share with family and friends!

Black berries, wild violets on top of cream colored frosted lemon coconut sugar cake with blackberry coulis dripping out the sides. Side view.

Why use Coconut Sugar?

I use coconut sugar because it is better than using regular white sugar. All forms of sugar in high amounts, consistently over time overall isn’t the greatest for you. But, if you are going to indulge once in awhile, coconut sugar is a better option over regular cane sugar. Cane sugar has extremely low nutritional value due to its extremely low levels of vitamins and minerals because it is so heavily processed. Coconut sugar has around twice as many vitamins as white cane sugar. Coconut sugar also has a lower glycemic index. Another benefit of coconut sugar is that is contains inulin, a naturally occurring soluble fiber that stimulates and encourages the growth of good bacteria in your gut (source). For these reasons, I have completely converted to using coconut sugar in all of my baking recipes.

Why use Unbleached Flour?

The reason I use unbleached flour is the same reason I use coconut sugar: for the health benefits. Bleached flour contains chemicals that cannot be removed even through the baking process. These chemicals are so bad that regular bleached flour is actually banned in other countries because the chemicals used are carcinogenic… Yea, you read that right. The flour you’ve used for years making countless baked good for you and your family – or the flour your mom used to make goodies for you growing up (That’s me). Yea, its bad and I feel ya. But, on the other hand, unbleached flour, being less processed has more vitamins and minerals without the nasty chemicals. Unbleached flour also gives the cake more structure, which contributes to a slightly more dense/cornbread like sponge. I enjoy this texture. Some might find it not as favorable compared to the light fluffy sponge texture typical of a cake. But I feel wayyyy better about eating flour that doesn’t have carcinogens in it!!

What is Blackberry Violet Coulis?

First, lets start with coulis! I love this word so much, especially when people try to pronounce it from reading it for the first time. “Cool-y” is how it is correctly said. It originates from the french word couler which translates as “to run”. Oh, and that is exactly what this berry syrup does!! In fact, I think its the star of the show!! This coulis is made from Wild violet syrup and blackberries. That’s it. Two simple ingredients make one beautifully adorned cake.

Black berries, wild violets on top of cream colored frosted lemon coconut sugar cake with blackberry coulis dripping out the sides. Side view zoomed on coulis drip.

More FAQ’s

Why is the cake so brown?

I use both unbleached all purpose flour and coconut sugar in this cake, both of which are defiantly brown. Usually, cakes call for cane sugar and bleached flour for their lighter color. I don’t choose to use either of those for reasons mentioned earlier.

Why is this cake slightly dense?

Rather than having a light fluffy cake, this cake tends to have a denser, more cornbread like texture. This is due to the unbleached flour. Though it isn’t at all like its whole wheat cousin, it does have slightly more wheat germ then the traditional white bleached flour – which has none. This means that their is a higher protein count within the batter – protein being the main factor in creating more structure (or bubbles) in a baked good. This is similar to sourdough bread baking. The higher protein amount in the flour, the greater the ability for there to be more structure or a looser crumb.

Is coconut sugar as sweet as cane sugar?

Sort answer, yes. Long answer, coconut sugar has a lower glycimic index. This means that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as much as much as regular white cane sugar. But, this doesn’t mean it isn’t sweeter in taste. I think it tastes just as sweet, but has a different flavor. It almost has a slight molasses flavor. I have actually come to enjoy this! At first it was different, but because I know the coconut sugar is a better option, I use it regardless.

Can I use regular sugar instead of coconut sugar?

Yes, you can. It just won’t have the same depth of flavor that coconut sugar has. If you choose to swap sugars, just know that they can be swapped 1:1.

Can I use bleached flour instead of unbleached flour?

Yes, its just not the best choice for your overall health.

Does the coulis have seeds in it?

No! It does not have seeds. I strain them out so the coulis has a nice smooth texture.

How to make Coconut Sugar Lemon Cake

Supplies Needed

  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • Pencil
  • Liquid measuring cups
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • A regular ole spoon
  • Flour sifter or a mesh sieve
  • Two 8 inch cake pans
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Stand mixer
  • Rubber spatula
  • Two drying racks
  • Fork
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Mesh sieve


Lemon cake

  • 3 Cups of Organic Unbleached All purpose Flour. Scooped, leveled, and sifted.
  • 2 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup of Organic Unsalted Butter (room temp)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Coconut Sugar
  • 3 Organic Eggs at (room temp)
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp of Lemon Extract
  • 1/2 Cup of Organic Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Organic Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp of Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice

Lemon cream cheese frosting

  • 1 Cup of Organic Salted Butter
  • 12 oz of Organic Cream Cheese
  • 4 Cups of Coconut Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp of vanilla Extract

Blackberry Violet Coulis

  • 1 Cup of Wild Violet Syrup (click for recipe here!!)
  • 3 1/2 Cups of Blackberries (white center removed)


Lemon cake Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 335 and cut two 8 in parchment paper circles to set into the pans to make sure that they don’t stick and cannot be removed. An easy way to do this is to set the pans on parchment paper and then take a pencil and trace around the pan. The remove pans to reveal the circles and cut about 1 cm inside the circle you just drew. This ensures the paper isn’t too big to fit into the pan. Grease both 8in cake rounds and the parchment paper at the bottom of the pans.
  2. Next, scoop flour into measuring cup with a spoon and level each cup before you sift. Once all flour is measured and sifted in a large mixing bowl add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients until combined.
  3. Then in a stand mixer mix butter and coconut sugar on medium high until slightly creamy. This will take about 2 minutes. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Next add eggs one by one on a low speed so that the eggs don’t fly everywhere.
  5. Once eggs are incorporated add vanilla and lemon extract and turn up mixer to medium high. Let it mix for about 1 minute.
  6. Turn the mixer on low and spoon by spoonful add in the dry ingredients. Yes, this seems like it will take forever but it’s not all that bad. Mom tip: Have one of your kiddos be a helping hand while you work on getting the next ingredients ready!
  7. Mix milk and heavy cream in measuring cup
  8. Once all of the dry ingredients have been mixed in, immediately add the lemon zest, milk/heavy cream mixture, and lemon juice. (Only mix for 1 more minute MAX). You don’t want to over-mix the batter.
  9. Pour batter into cake pans and set them in preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn pans to ensure even baking. (Work on frosting in the meantime) Then put them back in for another 10 minutes. Check for doneness using a fork. Prick the center of the cake and see if the fork comes out clean. If it comes out with any raw batter, put cakes back in the oven for another 2 minutes. If the fork comes out clean, then its done. Sometimes the fork will come out without raw batter but instead it has soft cake crumbs. That’s okay, it means it was baked just right.
  10. Once the cakes show they are fully baked, pop the cakes out if their molds and set them on a parchment paper covered rack and let sit until completely cooled. This can take anywhere from 30 mins – 11/2 hours. Just be patient, its SO worth it.
  11. Finally, once the cakes are cooled you can now slice the rounded top off the cake. After that, you can frost and decorate the cake. Have fun!!

Cream cheese frosting instructions

  1. In a large stand mixer beat butter on medium speed until butter is very creamy. This takes about 3 minutes.
  2. Add cream cheese and mix until it is completely combined, about 2 min. Sometimes I still have very few tiny cream cheese chunks left over even after many minutes of mixing. It really doesn’t affect the taste or texture in my opinion. So, I just move on.
  3. Mix in coconut confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time until completely combined. If the frosting is too thick you can add a tiny amount of lemon juice to loosen the frosting.

Blackberry Coulis Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat bring both blackberries and Wild Violet Syrup to a boil. Immediately turn heat down to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Continually stir the mixture in pan to make sure it never burns. Once the sauce has reached a consistency between maple syrup and honey, take off the heat and pour it over a mesh sieve that is over a bowl. Then take a spoon and mix the sauce around to strain the coulis from the blackberry seeds. Once the coulis has completely drained from sieve, let coulis chill until it reaches room temp.
  2. Once it is room temp you can use it in assembling cake.

Assembling the cake

  1. Before you assemble the cake, find something suitable for the cake to rest on. This could be a cake stand, a decorative wood slab, or even just a plain old plate. Anything will do.
  2. With whatever you choose to put the cake on, place a glob of frosting in the center where you want to place the cake. This ensures the cake isn’t going to slide around while you are assembling and frosting.
  3. Next, gently lay the first layer of cake directly over the center frosting glob you just placed.
  4. Now, generously scoop frosting onto the middle of the cake and using a spoon or icing spatula, spread frosting outwards towards the edges of the cake. Its okay if the frosting sort of hangs off the side, we will fix that later.
  5. Using the spatula, make a well in the center of the frosting for the coulis to sit. This doesn’t have to be perfect because it will leak out the sides a tad bit. This just helps make sure that not all of the coulis seeps out of the center before you even serve it.
  6. Spoon coulis into the well. You defiantly won’t use all if it here, but don’t be afraid to add enough to fill the well.
  7. Next, lightly frost the second cake on the side that is going to come in contact with the coulis. This helps to make sure that the coulis doesn’t get completely absorbed by the next cake layer above it.
  8. Lay the second layer as gentle as possible over the first.
  9. Gently frost the top most layer, being mindful of the middle layer filled with coulis. If you press too hard on the layer above, the coulis could seep out entirely (which you don’t really want).
  10. Using a spatula, clean up the sides by scraping that frosting hanging off the edge that I mentioned earlier.
  11. At this point there is probably a bit of coulis that has leaked out the sides. Use a paper towel to sop up the “blood” and use a spatula to spread the coulis slightly into the the frosting in the middle layer. This creates that beautiful marble effect.
  12. Lastly, arrange blackberries and violet flowers along the edge of the cake to create a stunning display.
  13. Ahhhh, now your work is done. I hope you enjoyed this recipe!!
Black berries, wild violets on top of cream colored frosted lemon coconut sugar cake with blackberry coulis dripping out the sides. Top view.
A cake that inspires change!

This coconut sugar lemon cake is so special to me. This cake was the first dessert I ever made with coconut sugar and organic unbleached flour. Now that may sound like a paltry achievement, but to strive towards minimally processed food means I have to rid of foods bursting with chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and GMO’s. This is a lofty list and it sometimes feels impossible to achieve. But I think its important to try!

There always seems to be something that makes the journey more difficult. Food prices rise, the price of energy rises, and there’s always an unexpected doctor visit for one of the kids just around the corner. Long story short, the cost of living is going up all the while our ignorance of our faulty food system slowly fades. It feels like a trap sometimes!! We grow in awareness and then are held accountable for all of that money we thought we were saving before. I sometimes get frustrated at this dilemma, but I also feel as if I owe my dues.

For so long I had no idea that I was poisoning myself, let alone my family, and on top of that poisoning the farmers growing and harvesting the food. To make matters worse, the other half of our food is produced in other countries where the workers are practically slaves who barely make a livable wage. Now, its not fair to say that this issue is completely on our shoulders. We have had leaders who we looked up to in providing us good, wholesome and fair food. But these leaders knew they were hiding the truth. This just goes to show that looking to another human being for truth, and faith is merely a waist of time. We need to do our research. We need find the best ways to feed ourselves AND the community around us. We need to strives towards meaningful and purposeful change in every aspect of our lives. Even our food.

Coconut sugar Lemon cake isn’t the absolute best dessert in the entire world. (But like, it maybe could be). It isn’t something revolutionary. It isn’t even something to celebrate itself. Its just cake. But this cake means something more than just being an achievement. Its a symbol of change. Change that is impactful. Change that inspires a younger generation. Change that is meaningful a purposeful. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do!

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