Cake For T – Coconut and Orange (egg-white free)

Everyone loves cake.

Coconut-Orange Cake – egg-white free

Well, ok, maybe not everyone – some people have more of a savory than sweet tooth, but I honestly never met anyone who actually disliked cake.  My boyfriend Tobias (T for short) is no exception.  Except that – he’s allergic to egg whites.  Not fall-over-dead-if-he-sniffs-them allergic, but allergic enough that if he eats any significant amount, he feels it and it’s not nice.

This is the story of a (rather great) cake designed by me especially for him.  Or – for anyone else who can’t handle egg whites but can eat separated yolks.  Or just for anyone who has leftover egg yolks after making merengues, and loves cake (or hates pasta carbonara and the like).  The best part of this cake is that T can eat it.  The runner-up to that is that it tastes rich and gorgeous and has wonderfully light texture and that both, he and I want to eat it.  The third best thing about it it is how incredibly easy it is to make.

Now, let’s face it – eggs are great for baking.  They give lift and lightness and structure to pastry, and most cake recipes require them.  And yes, one egg per cake is still enough egg white to upset T, so those are out.  And so I have discovered soon after beginning to date him oh, a year and a half ago, that my boyfriend has grown to reasonably adult life without eating much (or any to speak of) cake, which for someone as 1. naturally skinny and 2. having a monstrous sweet tooth as him, is just plain wrong.

Of course, there are many “eggless” cake recipes which can be found on the internet, both for egg-allergy sufferers, and among the vegan community.  Unfortunately, all that I have tried until now have been miserably disappointing.  First, because most of those combine the egg-free with dairy-free and give hideously ugly ingredient lists including attractive items such as ‘vegetable shortening’, ‘[Random-Brand] egg substitute’, ‘tofu’, ‘soy protein isolate’, etc.  Excuse me but… yuck.  Just yuck.  Second, because frankly, none of them looked good – and those I tried (not naming any names here) weren’t “the best” anything, left alone cake.  So there I was, left to figure out how to feed T some cake.  The quest looked a bit hopeless, until I came across this recipe on Radiance Recipes (a vegetarian blog that sadly hasn’t been updated in the past year or so) and thought… ok, at least it’s not dairy-free, and maybe I can try and modify it just so it uses an egg yolk – and so this cake was born.

As I have said, I have modified the recipe somewhat, for one thing because I prefer volumetric measurements, and also because Sweden has no self-raising flour specified in the original recipe.  Also, I think that this cake could carry something like a cream cheese frosting really well, and I suspect it’ll also work great as cupcake batter.  I will have to try it eventually, with pretty piped frosting and all.

Update:  After trying this again, with even better (more moist!) results, I suggest using quark (kesella, 10% fat quark – ricotta cheese can also be used) instead of yogurt, and using a 250g box of it – and also 2 egg yolks instead of 1.  At this point, you can probably omit all or some of the water.  This gave a slightly more solid, but more moist and flavorful cake which we loved even better than the original given below.

In any case, here’s what you will need (makes enough to fill a 9-inch or ~22cm round cake form):

  • A handheld or stand mixer.  I have a handheld and it is more than sufficient.
  • 2 cups (250g) plain flour (if you want to use self-rising flour specified in the original recipe, omit the salt and baking powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (I use a measuring spoon for this, more precise than a random teaspoon out of a drawer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 tablespoons dessicated coconut
  • 50-60g butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 0.9 cup (200g) sugar.  I used demerara.
  • 220g full-fat (I use 10% Turkish) yogurt OR a 250g box of quark (10% fat kesella – ricotta cheese can be used)
  • A few tablespoons of cold water (to adjust batter depending on varying yogurt consistencies)
  • 1  egg yolk (from large egg)  (or 2 egg yolks and skip some of the water)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla sugar or a few drops real vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • Grease and flour your cake form.  You can line the bottom with baking parchment but I didn’t find it necessary – the cake separated very easily.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients other than sugar in a bowl with a whisk to incorporate coconut and leavening agents thoroughly.
  • In another bowl, using whipping blades of the mixer, blend butter with sugar, orange zest and vanilla sugar until it resembles coarse crumbs in size.
  • Add yogurt and vanilla essence (if using that rather than vanilla sugar).
  • Mix until roughly combined and blend in the egg yolk.
  • Add the dry ingredients carefully and mix into a thick batter.  If batter is too thick and doughy, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time (to compensate for how drained your yogurt was) until batter it thin enough to scrape into the form and even out with a spatula, but not runny.
  • Place the form into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden-brown and a toothpick comes out dry if inserted into the middle of the cake.
  • Remove from oven, cool in pan for a while and then turn out onto a rack to cool further until powdering with sugar.  If you plan to frost the cake, make sure it is cooled completely before you do.

We ate this fresh, with just a dusting of powdered sugar on top, but I think this is the sort of cake that would also go really really well with some whipped cream and fresh fruit, or as I’ve mentioned, a good cream-cheese based frosting.  I may have to make one with orange oil or zest to match the flavor of the cake which isn’t very strong, but the orange and coconut come through quite distinctly.  A little tang with that would be oh-so-good!


5 thoughts on “Cake For T – Coconut and Orange (egg-white free)

  1. How clever! I’ve tried another egg yolk cake recipe and hated the egg yolky smell of it and the denseness and oh so heavy texture … and talking about yuk, a friend took me for tofu cheesecake … major YUK!! Sorry, I do love my tofu but why pretend to be a cheesecake? Sigh. I may just try this recipe since I do have leftover yolks from some macarons I’d made earlier. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey and thank you!

      Yes, I have trouble with the heavy cake-ish things too, which is why I’ve been looking for a recipe that felt like a “real” cake and why I am so psyched about this one! No heavy yolkey taste (yuck!), and very fluffy texture, especially if you like coconut (you can taste it rather distinctly).

      As to tofu – I am not the biggest fan of it, but it’s just fine where it belongs, like in miso soup for example. Or in hot and sour soup. But yes, tofu “cheesecake” – major yuck indeed!

      I’ve now made cream cheese frosting to go with the remaining piece of the cake, but I doubt much will survive till daylight for me to take photos of it tomorrow…

  2. My mother makes these beautiful fruit cake every year for a friend. But recently was told the friend has developed an allergy for egg whites. So I was wondering what can replace the egg whites without altering too much of the recipe? We have tried replacing egg white from 1 egg with 3 tablespoons of water. But the cake looks heavier than usual. As it is, we have had to replace the butter with avocado oil because she has also developed an allergy for butter.

    1. Khadijah, hi and thank you for visiting!

      Sorry about slow reply – it’s the holidays! But, I am not sure I understand your question! You ask if you can replace the egg whites in the recipe – but the recipe is written without egg whites, only with the egg yolks in it. Cakes made without egg whites will typically be heavier than those made with egg whites.

      My sig. other has actually outgrown his egg white allergy, so this isn’t a concern for me any longer (I will be posting recipes for egg-containing desserts soon), but while he was allergic, I have used things like: 3 tablespoons of sourmilk (filmjölk)/egg white, and also psyllum husk dissolved in water per package directions, and Orgran brand egg replacer. All of those worked reasonably well, but nothing replaces real egg whites properly.

      Funnily, right after we figured out it is not a problem for T anymore, I have tasted a recipe called “Depression cake” or “Dump cake” (you can google for those), which contains no eggs or butter at all – and it was lovely! I really recommend you check it out, because that may well be the solution to your enquiry!

      Good luck and happy holidays!


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