This Vegan Strawberry Coconut Cake with homemade pink Raffaello pralines is soft, moist, fluffy, and the perfect dessert for summer! It’s a simple vanilla layer cake with fresh strawberries, whipped dairy-free cream frosting, and naturally pink-colored homemade vegan coconut balls on top! This recipe contains helpful baking tips on how to make the perfect vegan layer cake!
Strawberries, Raffaello, and coconut are one of those treats that taste best in the summertime! So, if we had summer all year round, I would probably eat these every day. And when they’re all combined in a super light and fluffy vanilla layer cake with whipped cream frosting, I could really devour the whole cake myself.
Rose pink vegan Raffaello
When I recently saw these pretty raspberry Raffaello during my food shopping trip, I got the idea to create a vegan version of it. I still had natural food coloring powders at home, which I used in my blue moon lime tart recipe. So, I just made my vegan coconut Raffaello balls according to my original recipe but added 1 teaspoon of the pink powder at the beginning.
The result turned so great that I absolutely wanted to present these homemade pink Raffaello coconut balls on top of a strawberry coconut cake! So here it is! Doesn’t it look pretty?
Even though my vegan Raffaello balls don’t taste like raspberries, I think they are still special. Just the look of the pink color makes them much more exciting and summery! Maybe I’ll try the coconut balls soon in blue, purple, yellow, or even green so my vegan Raffaello pralines will never get boring!
While I’ve used a tasteless natural food coloring powder, you could probably also use raspberry powder, strawberry powder, or any other flavored superfood powder you like!
No strawberries? Use any fruit!
The strawberry coconut cake is just as versatile as the Raffaello balls because it‘s simply made with layers of vanilla cake, an easy whipped cream frosting, and chopped fresh strawberries. Since vanilla cake and cream go well with any fruit, you can absolutely replace the strawberries with any other fruit. Apricots, pineapple, kiwi, mango, bananas, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries – anything will do!
How to make the perfect vegan Layer cake – 5 tips and tricks!
Tip 1: Do not use an electric hand mixer!
The vanilla cake layers are as soft and fluffy as a classic sponge cake, although they are made without eggs! If you want perfect vegan cake layers, it is important to follow this recipe exactly, and please do not skip any ingredients. Also, make sure to stir the batter gently until the ingredients have just combined. So please do not use an electric hand mixer if you want your strawberry and coconut cake to be nice and soft!
Tip 2: Use separate baking tins!
I also recommend baking each cake layer in a separate baking pan, as this ensures the cake bakes and rises evenly. If you fill the entire batter in just one springform pan, the cake will need a longer baking time due to the higher amount of batter. This often makes the cake too dry from the outside, while it is still undercooked on the inside.
Since this strawberry coconut layer cake calls for a small 7-inch (18 cm) springform pan, it would also be possible to bake 2/3 of the batter in just one pan. Then cut it in half so you will have 2 cake layers. Nevertheless, I find that the cake turns out best when you divide it into 3 x 7-inch springform pans or 2 x 8-inch springform pans.
Tip 3: Bake the cake layers immediately
Baking the cake layers one after the other is not a good solution either. The raising agents react immediately in contact with the acid in the vinegar or lemon juice and start to bubble. The effect wears off after a while, so please do not wait too long until the finished batter goes into the oven.
Tip 4: Do a cake test!
The baking time may vary, depending on your oven, the baking pan you use, or cake size. Therefore, please be sure to do a chopstick test before you remove the cake out of the oven. As soon as the chopstick comes out clean, your cake is done. Otherwise, bake for another 5-10 minutes, then test again.
Tip 5: Allow it to cool!
A freshly baked vegan cake is usually so fluffy and soft that it literally falls apart when sliced. Therefore, it should always cool completely after baking. Not only with this strawberry and coconut cake, but with all vegan cakes, I even recommend baking them one day ahead, so they have enough time to cool in the fridge overnight. In fact, chilled cakes are not only easier to cut, but they can also be assembled more easily because the whipped cream doesn’t melt.
How to make vegan strawberry coconut cake
First, stir together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Then set aside for 5 minutes until it curdles into vegan buttermilk. Next, add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Then sift the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and stir with a whisk or spatula until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly into your prepared springform pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Since the baking time may vary, be sure to not skip the chopstick test! Then allow to cool completely and ideally chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Strawberry coconut cake filling
When ready to assemble the cake, prepare the whipped cream frosting according to the instructions in this recipe. Alternatively, you could also make this vegan buttercream frosting which is more stable but also heavier. Also, dice or slice the strawberries.
Place one cake layer onto a cake plate and spread 1/4 of the cream on top. Then sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes over it, because they bind the juice of the strawberries and make the cream more stable. Next, spread half of the strawberries on top and gently press into the cream.
Now place the second cake layer on top and repeat the process. Finish with the third cake layer and spread the remaining cream over the whole strawberry coconut cake.
Finally, sprinkle the cake with shredded coconut. This works best if you place the cake on a baking sheet and then “throw” on the shredded coconut. The remaining shredded coconut can then easily be collected from the baking sheet to use again.
Now you can decorate your strawberry coconut cake with more fresh strawberries and pink vegan Raffaello!
This vegan strawberry Raffaello cake is:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Soft & fluffy
- Tastes like summer!
More Vegan Layer Cake Recipes to try:
- Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Snickers Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Cake
- Vegan Black Forest Cake
- Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Blueberry Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Cream Cake
- Vegan Vanilla Cake
If you try this vegan strawberry coconut cake with Raffaello, feel free to leave a comment and a rating! And if you take a photo and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love to see your remakes! Have fun baking!
Vegan Strawberry Coconut CakeAuthor:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
Filling & Frosting
- 1 recipe whipped cream frosting or buttercream (*see link in step 5)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries + more for decoration
- 5 tbsp shredded coconut or more as needed
- Vegan Raffaello *see tips above for pink coloring
- Note: For the best results, I recommend measuring the ingredients in grams. Simply click on the word "metric" right above the ingredient list. Also, make sure to check the step-by-step pictures above!
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease the sides of 3 x 7-inch cake pans (for a 3 layer cake) or 2 x 8-inch springform pans (for a 2 layer cake) and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, stir together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes to curdle into vegan buttermilk. Then add in the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then sift it into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Please do not overmix! A few lumps are ok (see photo above).
- Divide the batter between your prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10-20 minutes. Then remove onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. (It‘s best to wrap the cake layers in cling foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before layering).
- Assemble the cake as instructed and shown in the photos above. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and decorate with strawberries and vegan Raffaello as desired!
- This recipe yields 3 x 7-inch cake layers or 2 x 8-inch cake layers.
- I used 2 x 7-inch cake tins because my mom had the 3rd pan at home. One tin with 340 grams of batter (bake time 23 minutes) and the other tin with 680 grams of batter (bake time 37 minutes). Once cooled I cut the larger cake into two cake layers so I ended up with 3 layers in total.
- The unfrosted cake keeps covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Nutrition facts are calculated with the whipped cream frosting, but without the Raffaello balls on top.
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