COCOA BUTTER Pound Cake {dairy-free!, Paleo, GAPS, flourless}

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The main reason to make Cocoa Butter Pound Cake is that it’s delicious! Like, it’s hard to stop eating it. It’s also dairy-free, yet tastes better than butter (hardly possible, I know). It’s awesome for those of us on Paleo, GAPS or even nut-free diets, but can also be made with a beautiful streusel topping. It’s flourless and grain-free. Lastly, and amazingly, this cake is good for you because of its two main ingredients: cocoa butter and coconut butter.

COCOA Butter

Cocoa butter is an underutilized fat. It is genuinely good for you, has awesome properties, and heck, it tastes like chocolate! Cooking with Cocoa ButterYet the cake comes out a golden blond color. My daughter kept saying, “It tastes like chocolate. It tastes like chocolate,” not knowing why. Yep! Cocoa butter tastes like chocolate and brings with it most of the nutrition the cacao bean has to offer: antioxidants, especially Vitamin E, and saturated and mono-unsaturated fats.

Cocoa butterΒ (find it here) is most often used in candy-making. But I am a cake-loving girl and am more intrigued by the role this very hard fat plays in creating the right crumb.

Coconut Butter/Manna

As you may know, coconut butter* can be used in place of flour in grain-free baked goods! This is not only a cool nut-free substitute, but, of course, coconut butter is also exquisitely nutrient dense. Again, we are talking about cake that is genuinely good for you.

(To make your own coconut butter, see instructions below the main recipe.)

This recipe combines the properties of an oily flour– coconut butter, with cocoa butter, the fat in the cake. Reason being, cocoa butter not thinned by another fat will set up too hard in one’s baked good, making the crumb too dry. But diluted, it makes the perfect crumb for pound cake.

You’ll also see coconut flour, which contributes to the perfect crumb, some honey, vanilla– simple perfection.

Eat it plain, with butter, with custard, with creme fraiche, with berries and whipped cream! It is hard to stop eating it.

Or see the Paleo recipe variation (not GAPS) that adds a streusel topping with optional macadamia nuts, which makes it fun for a brunch baked good!

I like the traditional shape of pound cake, baked in a loaf pan. But this does produce a darker loaf, especially since we are baking with honey as the sweetener. You can, alternately, divide the batter between two pans. This will, of course, allow them to bake more quickly, resulting in a lighter exterior. In this case, frosting the two cakes and layering them is a nice option. Stiffened whipped cream and strawberries is great. This cake makes a great shortcake base with lavender ice cream. And, we love eating it plain, dunking the dark edges in butter coffee or butter tea!

(I haven’t yet tried making this loaf with maple syrup or coconut sugar [for those not on GAPS], but that should also create a lighter exterior. Let us know if you do!)

COCOA BUTTER Pound Cake {with coconut butter, flourless, dairy-free, GAPS, Paleo} #dairyfreepoundcake #gapspoundcake #paleopoundcake #gapsdietcake #paleobirthdaycake #gapsbirthdaycake #gapsdietcoffeecake #paleocoffeecake


5 from 1 vote
COCOA BUTTER Pound Cake {with coconut butter as the grain-free "flour"}
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Store-bought or leftover coconut butter can be melted by placing the jar in a hot water bath, then stirring, until the entire bottle is liquidy. Making fresh coconut butter in your food processor will yield a recipe-ready finished product.
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Megan
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving the paper taller than each side of the pan (see photo). The ends of the pan do not need to be lined.
  2. Place the coconut flour into a medium-size bowl. Sift the baking soda into it, add the sea salt, and stir the three together. Set aside.
  3. Place all remaining ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor (or use a hand mixer).
  4. Blend until well mixed. Add the baking soda mixture and mix again, briefly but thoroughly, 8-10 seconds.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with a teeny moist crumb adhering.
  6. Cool on rack and serve. Use the parchment paper as handles: free the ends of the cake with a metal, offset spatula or knife; then pull up on the paper to easily remove your cake for slicing.
Recipe Notes

*To melt cocoa butter, use one of two methods:

  1. Place estimated amount of cocoa butter into pyrex (oven-proof) or metal bowl. Place bowl in preheating (300 degree) oven until fully melted. (This is my favorite method, easy!) Measure out 1/2 cup and melt a bit more if needed.
  2. Place estimated amount of cocoa butter into top insert of double boiler. Make sure water in lower half of double boiler does not touch bottom of insert. Heat water and simmer over medium-low heat until cocoa butter is fully melted. Measure out 1/2 cup and melt a bit more if needed.

Note- Make sure that no water gets into the cocoa butter at any point.

And here’s the Paleo Streusel Topping, with or without nuts! … a lovely variation if serving the cake for brunch. You can then also choose to bake your cake in a 9 inch square cake pan, coffeecake!


5 from 1 vote
Paleo Streusel Topping (nuts are optional)
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Megan
  1. Place flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil and sea salt into food processor. Blend, pulsing to begin with, for at least one minute, until the flour and sugar change color just slightly as they begin to absorb the fat. The mixture will be powdery, not yet clumping together.
  2. Add optional macadamia nuts and pulse until nuts are in smaller pieces.
  3. Top cake with about half the topping (or a pie with all of it), pressing down slightly so topping sticks to itself. (Reserve any leftover for other uses, such as topping muffin batter before baking!)
  4. Proceed with baking the main recipe.
Recipe Notes

Find coconut sugar here.

Find Otto's Cassava Flour, with free shipping, here.

Here's how to soak nuts to make them more digestible.


*To make your own homemade coconut butter for this recipe, all you need is a food processor and 5 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut. 5 cups shredded coconut yields just a teeny bit more than the 1-1/2 cups butter you’ll need for this recipe. Have you made coconut butter before? If not, simply place the shredded coconut into your work bowl with the metal blade insert. Turn the motor on and wait 8-15 minutes, depending on your food processor, and you will have “manna.” Very magical. My Cuisinart is super fast and super quiet; so it’s a quick and easy process that is also inexpensive.


Comments 25

  1. This looks delicious Megan! And I’d like some with your amazing lavender ice cream too πŸ˜‰ xo

  2. this sounds amazing! we love pound cake and would love to make this! FYI. you probably didn’t mean, ‘Grassfed eggs’ but ‘pastured free roaming eggs’, right? πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, Karen! Hmm, I guess I do call pastured eggs “grass-fed” since they’re eating the bugs and dandelions amidst the grass. Maybe I’m confusing! πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you!! πŸ™‚ It really is… hard to eat just one piece (unless it’s topped with ice cream and a side of coffee. πŸ˜‰ )

    1. Great Chloe, what fun! πŸ™‚ Honey’s only been back in my diet recently. Slow but progressive, this journey.

  3. Oh dear – was just about to make this but am confused on the ingredients list: coconut butter 1.5 cups, versus cocoa butter 1/2 cup. These are not the same ingredients? I have a jar of Nutiva Coconut Manna (which I think is the first ingredient called for), but I’m stumped on what cocoa butter is. Help?

    1. I hear ya! When I was writing the recipe I was tempted to use caps and bold face and italics every time I wrote those two ingredients so it would be easy to spot them and that they are different! I’m sorry for the confusion. Yes, what you have is good~ coconut manna is indeed COCONUT butter. BUT then the other exciting focus of this recipe is the COCOA butter, which tastes like chocolate and comes from the same bean as chocolate. There is a link for where it to buy it, from Mountain Rose Herbs. It is sublime and healthy and IT is what gives the special pound cake texture to this cake. You can also buy it from certain cool or natural food markets. Good luck. It’s worth making, if you want the new ingredient experience. Cheers!!

  4. I’m so excited to try this recipe, but how long do you bake it? Do you have a ball park estimate for when to begin checking for the cake to be done? Thanks so much for all of your hard work Megan. I just bought your book, and I’m so excited to try the recipes. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Melissa, you’re welcome; so glad you have the cookbook! πŸ™‚ Start checking the cake at 30 minutes, for done-ness. This one bakes up dark, which is why the baking temperature is so low. Cheers. I *love* this cake! πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the info on baking this cake. Mine took about 65 – 70 minutes. What is the best way to store this cake? I baked it today, and I am taking it to a potluck at church tomorrow. Should I keep it tightly or loosely wrapped? It seems very moist; I just don’t want it to get soggy. That would be so sad! πŸ™

    1. I love refrigerating this cake! It firms it up a bit, in a good way, like pound cake should be. So, just cover it and put in fridge. Thanks for sharing your cooking time! πŸ™‚

  6. Hi! Sorry, Megan, but I can’t find the cake recipe on this page. Can you help me? Thank you for all this delicious information πŸ™‚

    1. Post

      Yes, Maura! I’m so glad you said something!! I’m not sure why it disappeared, but I put it back! You’ll find it now! πŸ™‚ Thank you and enjoy!

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