Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting
4.28 from 18 votes
Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting | The Full Helping

Sooner or later I should post a dessert recipe that isn’t cake, right?

I guess I just can’t help myself. Placed in a room full of every vegan dessert imaginable, cake would be my first choice every time. But give me time: once the internship eases up I’ll be baking more treats, and they can’t all be cake. For now, I hope you can forgive another one. If it sweetens the deal at all, it’s really tasty.

Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting | The Full Helping

Beneath the glaze and the toasted coconut flakes (which are a perfect garnish), this cake is a beautiful, ruddy orange color. This is thanks to the addition of turmeric to the batter. The batter is golden before baking (the same color as a turmeric latte) and reddish after. This is because curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, turns red when it comes into contact with bases (like baking soda or baking powder). It’s not the flavor of red velvet cake at all, but the color isn’t too far off.

The flavor is inspired by golden milk, which is to say that it’s got turmeric, a little pinch of black pepper, and cinnamon. It’s a similar formula and ratio of ingredients to many other cakes I’ve baked, but I was surprised at how much richness the spices give it.

Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting | The Full Helping

The turmeric and coconut palm sugar that help to flavor the cake are provided by the folks at Bare Organics. Bare specializes in superfoods—foods that are exceptionally nutrient dense, like chia, flax, beets, and turmeric—that can be used in everyday cooking, snacking, and baking. The brand’s turmeric is perfect for cooking, for medicinal beverages, or for smoothies, but it works beautifully in this recipe and would be great in other baked goods. The coconut palm sugar provides the caramel-like sweetness that only palm sugar does (I bake with cane sugar often, but it’s not quite the same), and it’s low glycemic to boot.

Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting | The Full Helping

I’m a big fan of Bare’s flax, chia and goji berries, all of which make regular appearances in my oatmeal and oatmeal bakes. But it’s worth mentioning that the brand has an entire baking line! It features cacao and cacao nibs, the coconut palm sugar, and powdered coconut milk, among other goodies, and I’m excited to explore more of it. I’ve already made a fun batch of acai beet muffin’s with the brand’s beet and acai powders.

I make vegan frosting in all kinds of ways: with cashews, with Earth Balance, and even with pumpkin. This time, I whipped up coconut cream with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. I loved how it turned out: it’s someplace in between a rich buttercream frosting and a lighter glaze. You can use any frosting you like for the cake, or if you’re not in the mood to make frosting, you can enjoy the slices plain, as more of a snack cake than a dessert cake.

So many wonderful varieties of cake. Here’s the recipe.

Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting | The Full Helping

4.28 from 18 votes

Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 10 slices


  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (substitute cane sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (such as grapeseed, refined avocado, or canola)

Coconut Frosting & Decoration

  • 2 cans coconut cream, chilled overnight in the fridge
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes, if desired


  • Preheat your oven to 375F and line an 8-inch round, nonstick cake pan with parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
  • In another mixing bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and lemon. Allow it to sit for a minute, then stir in the oil and vanilla. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Whisk the batter together until only very small clumps remain.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center has set and the edges are golden. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  • While the cake bakes, make the frosting. Pour any excess liquid out of the coconut cream cans. Transfer the solid, cooled cream to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (alternately, you can use a handheld beater for this). Add the vanilla, salt and sugar. Beat for a few minutes on high speed, or until the frosting is light (it'll be more liquidy than regular buttercream, but thicker than a confectioners' sugar glaze made with water).
  • When the cake is cool, cover it with frosting. Garnish with coconut flakes, slice, and serve.
Vegan Golden Milk Cake with Coconut Frosting | The Full Helping

If you plan to make the frosting with the cake, don’t forget that the coconut cream needs to chill overnight (an oversight that I made the first time I was planning to frost the cake). Trying to speed the process up in the freezer doesn’t work as well.

Much as I don’t need an excuse to bake cake, it’s always nice when I can sneak something special—in this case, an anti-inflammatory spice—into the mix. I love the color and flavor of this cozy dessert, and I can’t wait to make it again. If you try it, I hope you’ll enjoy it every bit as much.

Happy Monday, friends. This rotation is demanding, but I’m keeping my eyes on the prize. See you around here soon.


This post is sponsored by BareOrganics. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Categories: Recipes, Cakes
Method: Oven
Dietary Preferences: Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan

Leave a Comment

4.28 from 18 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Star ratings help other readers to find my recipes online. If you loved this recipe, would you please consider giving it a star rating with your comment?

Thank you for your feedback. I'm grateful for your presence in this space!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

  1. So is there baking soda in the recipe or just baking powder? The instructions list both, but the ingredients just list powder.

    • Thanks for catching this, Anna! Originally it was both, but I’ve found baking powder only is better for this recipe. I updated it and appreciate your flagging.

  2. 3 stars
    So this cake was really tasty – however not a fan of cinnamon so I used cardamom. It was a hit EXCEPT it was super dense – not at all fluffy. Ingredient list does not mention baking soda but directions state to add baking powder and soda… Was serving as a birthday cake so actually made two to layer it. The frosting was good – added fine chopped pistachio for a little more interest. Pay close attention to the coconut cream size – standard can is 12-14 oz but in comments it came out that only 4-5 oz is called for.

  3. Would you recommend drizzling chocolate over this cake? Would the flavors go well together? I want to make this cake for my Dad’s birthday but he loves chocolate with coconut.

    • Hi Sheri,

      I don’t think it would hurt! I like the simplicity of the cake but chocolate may be a nice addition. I think it’s up to you 🙂


  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing another awesome recipe as always! Been a long time reader and I found all your recipes wonderful. Tried a few of them as well but not as deliciously looking like yours. Keep up the great work!

  5. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe as cupcakes, and omg they are delicious! I didn’t want icing so I put the coconut shavings into the batter instead. I love the taste, the color, and the way these warm up your tummy when you eat them! So good!

  6. Hi 🙂 thank you for this cake
    About to try it for shabbat!
    By 2 coconut cream cans you meen the bid ones? 400 ml each?

  7. 5 stars
    Didn’t know that curcumin turns red when in contact with bases! Super-cool! And this looks amazing, Gena!

  8. This cake looks amazing and I would like to try it for entertaining this Memorial weekend. Wondering, would you recommend refrigerating it if making ahead and also any leftovers?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Gina! I hope you’ll enjoy it. I definitely recommend storing in the fridge if you intend to prepare it in advance. And I’d keep the leftovers in the fridge, too (for up to 4 days).

  9. I’ve never used turmeric in baked goods but this looks beautiful. I love the colour!! And the recipe sounds super easy with super easy to find ingredients! Def gonna try it this weekend!

    • Hi Jaqueline! I haven’t tried it with a GF flour blend, but typically this recipe (which is similar to other cakes I’ve made) can work well with a trusty GF flour blend. I definitely recommend a blend that includes starches, rather than a single GF flour (like oat or almond). Good luck 🙂

  10. Omg, this cake looks incredible! I’ve never tried golden milk but I love this whole idea and it’s reminding me that I need to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Genamthis looks scrunptious! I love the idea of a cake inspired by tumeric milk! xo