Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil).
Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it's looking too dry.
Transfer mixture between two small greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins).
Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Once out the oven, immediately remove cakes from baking tins and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.
For the frosting:
You'll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won't happen and you won't be able to make this cream!
Open the tin upside down - the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies).
Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy.
Once the sponges have cooled completely, place one sponge on a large plate or cake stand, and cover with just less than half of the frosting.
Place other sponge on top and use remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
Cover the top and sides of the cake with the desiccated coconut.
Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
*The lemon juice is crucial as its acidity needs to react with the alkali bicarbonate of soda to make the sponge fluffy. If you don't want to use lemon juice, substitute with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar instead.**You can alternatively use almond flour.***You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt.****You can use toasted desiccated coconut if you prefer, although if going down this route I'd definitely recommend using a frying pan on a low heat rather than the oven to toast your coconut. That way, you can stir it very regularly and make sure it doesn't burn, which can be harder to do in the oven, which can burn it very quickly!You can also get coconut flavour by using coconut flour in the sponge. But be careful with the amounts! To do this, you can replace the ground almonds (almond meal) with 30g (¼ cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds.