Coconut & Pistachio Christmas Cake

I think I could quite possibly be setting the record for the amount of casual layer cakes one can bake on a standard Thursday afternoon. With Christmas right around the corner (aka a food bloggers busiest time of the year) it’s all systems go in my kitchen and I’m churning out cakes like I’m setting up a bakery! However, this coconut & pistachio Christmas cake is one that I simply couldn’t just keep to myself and had to share with you all!

It’s sweet, slightly nutty and has a perfectly moist consistency. The sponge is light and fluffy, with delicious flecks of coconut and pistachio studded throughout. As if things couldn’t get much better, the vegan white chocolate butter cream is simply DIVINE. It’s smooth, ultra creamy and has that deliciously decadent undertone of white chocolate. Plus, coconut and white chocolate are a dream combination.

What’s so special about this coconut & pistachio Christmas cake?

  • Gluten free: this recipe is completely gluten free, whilst still remaining light and fluffy!
  • Vegan: this cake is also completely plant based, even the butter cream frosting! There’s no eggs or dairy in sight!
  • Easy to make: both the cake and frosting recipes are super simple to make and won’t require lots of fancy equipment or ingredients!
  • Perfect for Christmas: as you can see, this really in the perfect Christmas showstopper! Feel free to get creative with the decorations and let your artistic skills run wild!

What will I need to add to my shopping list?

  • GF self raising flour: this is key for getting that nice rise in your sponge cakes and also keeping the recipe gluten free.
  • Olive oil: this cake batter calls for olive oil in place of butter. Not only does this act as a great non-dairy substitute, but also creates a really light texture.
  • Desiccated coconut: You’ll be needing rather a lot of this, for both the cake and decorations!
  • Non-dairy milk: I use non diary milk mixed with apple cider vinegar in almost all of my vegan cake recipes. The combination of these two acts as a buttermilk replacement.
  • Vegan stick butter: this is an absolute MUST for making incredible vegan buttercream and unfortunately, can’t really be substituted for non-dairy spreads. The stick butter creates a much thicker, creamier frosting which is more similar to your standard buttercream.
  • Sugar: I’ve used golden caster sugar for this recipe, but you could try using coconut palm sugar, if you’d like to create a refined sugar free sponge. This will effect both the taste and colour of your cake however.

Does this recipe need to be gluten free?

If you’re not fussed about making this cake GF, then you can use regular self raising flour. The buttercream recipe would also work with regular stick butter if you’re happy to include dairy.

Decorations for coconut & pistachio Christmas cake

As you can see, I’ve used some cute little Christmas tree cookies for the centre piece on this cake. The recipe for these will be coming soon, but is yet to be completely perfected. Additionally, an absolute go-to for me at the moment is sugared cranberries! I just think they look so pretty and festive on everything! Simple steep your cranberries in some sugared water for a couple of minutes, then drain and roll into sugar. Set them aside to dry out and allow the sugar to harden and you’re good to go! They’re a great way to add an instant festive sparkle to your sweet treats!

Coconut & pistachio christmas cake


  • 250 g GF self raising flour
  • 80 ml olive oil
  • 250 ml oat milk mixed with 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp bicarb
  • pinch salt
  • 48 g shredded coconut
  • handful chopped pistachio nuts


  • 200 g vegan stick butter
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan white chocolate spread or melted white chocolate
  • desiccated coconut for decorating


  • Preheat your oven to 180c and line two loose bottom cake tins with baking paper. I find that 6 inch cake tins work well for this recipe.
  • Combine your milk and cider vinegar and set aside for 10 minutes to allow this to thicken and curdle.Meanwhile, combine all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and roughly mix together.
  • Pour in your milk mixture and olive oil and fold the wet and dry ingredients together to form a smooth batter. Stir in the coconut and chopped pistachios.Divide this evenly between your cake tins and pop into the oven to bake for 30-35  minutes  or until cooked through
  • Allow your cakes to cool completely on a wire wrack.
  • Beat your butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually add in the icing sugar and white chocolate spread.
  • Cover one of your cakes in a generous layer of frosting, sandwich the second on top then use the remaining frosting to coat your cake. Cover in coconut and decorate!

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