If there’s a silver lining to having to deal with the doom and gloom of winter, it’s that winter is prime citrus season in North America! So that’s why you’re seeing bags of clementines, meyer lemons and grapefruit everywhere… we’re in full swing right now (citrus season tends to officially kick off in November), and grapefruit is one of my favourite fruits.
Thank Zeebu that Costco carries grapefruit, too, since my local grocer is unreliable about having the correct source, IMO.
Anyway, for a while, way back, when I was in mid-stream with a big experimentation kick, I’d buy weird items just to see what I could do with it. One of those many items happened to be a bag of coconut flour. It seemed like a match made in heaven. I mean, I love coconut possibly even more than I love grapefruit.
However, coconut flour did not love me.
One of the first things I did was stick a big pinch of coconut flour in my mouth to ascertain taste and texture, because I’m weird like this, and I like to taste ingredients directly before I mash them together. I really, highly, strongly recommend that you never, ever do this with coconut flour, because it was like faceplanting in a coconut-flavoured sandy beach.
And unfortunately that tended to be the results of almost all of my experimentation with coconut flour based on other people’s recipes. Very, very dry; very badly textured. Apparently there’s a lot of people out there putting out coconut flour recipes who don’t mind eating sawdust.
It took some reading up on coconut flour to figure out the best way to combat its problems. Coconut flour is actually the end result of making coconut milk. So in a nutshell, once every possible delicious and useful erg has been extracted by soaking and processing the coconut meat to make milk, what’s left over is dried up and pulverized to make flour.
So to get the most out of coconut flour as a baked good, you have to give everything you love about the coconut back. In spades. It needs fats and oils. It needs moisture. It needs heavy-duty binding action. In short, it needs a lot of thick, rich, gooey stuff.
Eggs, coconut cream, applesauce, and things like yogurts all fit that bill.
I found this recipe in the early part of last year, when I was looking for ideas that used coconut flour in the rough-sketch-in-my-head way that I was thinking coconut flour would best be used., and it looked good enough to eat. It met my rough sketch of requirements to make coconut flour palateable.
While the original recipe was gluten free, I made a few substitutions to make it dairy free, which also ends up making the recipe paleo (if you’re not ultra-conservative paleo and forbid vanilla extract and a little baking powder). The end result was delicious, moist, and sweet–the coconut and grapefruit flavours well balanced against one another.
It’s a fabulous, refreshing winter dessert cake, served with some fruit and possibly a little sorbet. I strongly recommend using fresh grapefruit, and adding the zest of one of them (although make sure you wash it very, very well first). But you could make this any time of year by using bottled grapefruit juice.
- 5 eggs
- 1c full fat coconut milk
- 2/3 cup white grapefruit juice
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut flour
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper OR grease and flour the pan with more coconut oil and coconut flour.
- Using a mixer, blend all of the wet ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed.
- Combine the dry goods (baking powder, salt, and coconut flour) in another bowl, and gradually fold the dry goods into the wet.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf passes the clean toothpick test.
- Let cake cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan and letting it cool completely on a rack.
- If your grapefruit juice is bitter to your taste, you may wish to add another tablespoon of honey.