Turmeric Coconut Tea Cake

Makes one 9x5” Cake

Coconut oil, coconut flakes, and coconut milk collectively drive home the coconut flavor in this stuuuuuupid simple tea cake which takes no more than 10 min to assemble. Do be sure to use coconut oil that is labeled “unrefined” so it’s not stripped of its coconutty flavor. And don’t snooze on the cornmeal—it’s what gives this cake its incredible crumbly yet moist and tender texture.

Active Time: 10 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins

Screenshot 2024-02-16 at 9.13.50 AM


  • 1½ cups (198 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (77 g) cornmeal or semolina
  • 2 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1½  tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ¼ cups (267g) sugar
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or Harmless Harvest plain coconut smoothie
  • 1 cup coconut flakes or shreds (or a mix of both)
  • Unsalted butter and honey, for serving (optional)


  • 2 large eggs

1. Do some prep:

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Melt ¾ cup unrefined coconut oil (either in the microwave or stovetop).
  • Lightly brush a 9x5” loaf pan with some of the melted coconut oil. Line the pan with parchment leaving an overhang on each of the longer sides.

2. Make the batter:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1½ cups (198 g) all-purpose flour, ½ cup (77 g) cornmeal or semolina, 2 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt and 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder.
  • In a separate larger bowl, whisk together 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, and 2 large eggs. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute until pale yellow and more voluminous. Whisk in 1 cup of coconut milk, followed by the remaining melted coconut oil. Once the wet ingredients have come together and it’s smooth, add the dry ingredients and gently whisk again until a batter forms, and a few dry spots of flour remain.

3. Top and bake:

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter 1 cup coconut flakes or shreds (I like to do a mix of both for 2 different shapes/textures) over the top of the cake, pressing lightly to help the coconut adhere to the batter.
  • Bake, rotating the pan once halfway through until a toothpick, inserted, comes out clean, 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 35 minutes.
  • Let cool for at least 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack or cutting board to finish cooling. Slice and serve. I like this best when sliced, and briefly toasted in the oven or griddled in a pan with a little more coconut oil and then served with softened butter and honey for drizzling.

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