Apple-Spiced Honey Cake with Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting



  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup honey

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, cream separated from milk, room temperature

  • Apple roses (try this technique), pomegranate arils, twigs from your yard and any other bells and whistles you care to drum up



  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a few 4" cake pans with nonstick spray and line bottom with a parchment paper round. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl to combine.

  • Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, honey, egg, and egg yolk in another large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discard pod. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat mixture until pale and thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually pour in orange juice and buttermilk. Beat until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; beat just until smooth and homogenous (it will be thin, like pancake batter).

  • Pour into prepared pans and bake until cake is golden brown and center springs back when gently pressed (a cake tester will not come out clean), 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan, 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto rack; let cool completely.

  • Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature. *Or freeze until you’re ready to forge ahead...


  • Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; discard pod. Beat on low speed until mixture is very light and thickened, about 2 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl. With motor running, add coconut cream by the tablespoonful and beat until very soft peaks form (save coconut milk for another use).

  • *I will say that Kate and I tried the icing at least twice and it was wicked runny, no peaks. No biggie, but just be aware!

  • Pile frosting on top of cake and spread to edges (it’s okay if it cascades over the sides). Decorate with whatever you’d like - get crazy!

  • EAT.