Deliciously moist and sticky coconut cake, topped with fresh berries and whipped coconut cream. This quick and simple cake is packed full of beautiful, fresh flavours.
Hello everyone. Happy weekend! We made it! Hurrah! This week, for me, has felt like one of the longest weeks. Its dragged, and dragged, and dragged, kicking its heels, and clinging to the door frame on the way out. But now its gone, and the weekend is here, its time to turn our thoughts to life’s greatest pleasures; cake.
This coconut cake is my first bake for the BB Baking Club, an online baking club founded by Jaclyn of Bumpkin Betty. Jaclyn’s blog has to be one of my favourites, she’s got a wonderful writing style, and writes about everything from cake and brunch, to tulle skirts and travel. Brides to be (or fans of weddings/ pretty things) will be in particular heaven this week as Jaclyn is devoting a whole week to blogging about her stunning woodland wedding. I’m rather in love with her entirely bespoke wedding dress, isn’t it utterly stunning?
Each month the baking club will have a theme to inspire the bakes. The theme for the first month was ‘love’. I’ve somewhat missed the boat for hearts and flowers valentine’s bakes, but the flavours of this cake say love to me.
Coconut takes me continually back to sun drenched beaches, sticky frantic Asian cities, and the blue-watered, palm fringed islands.. Those corners of South East Asia me and Andy have escaped to on many-a happy adventure, where we’ve said a brief goodbye to the work and alarm clocks of Hong Kong, and spent time getting lost together.
Coconut is the smell of sunscreen on golden tanned skin. The aroma of bowls of steaming thai curries and aromatic noodle soups. It’s sitting on the sun baked red stone roof of a temple in Bagan, sipping the water from a fresh, green coconut, waiting for the sun to set in an explosion of colour. It’s the memory of a hammock on the porch of tumbledown wooden beach hut, no sound by the sea, and the occasional solid thunk of a falling green coconut hitting the sand. For me the taste and smell of coconut means adventure, happy times, being together in new places, exploring, dreaming.
This, for me, says love.
I’ve topped the coconut cake with berries. Partly because they work so well with coconut. Partly because what can say love more than their gleaming glossy jewelled tones? I’ve used a mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, but you could use any you like. I think red currants would be delicious, and look incredibly pretty, but I couldn’t get my hands on any. Whatever fruit you choose just pile it up high.
Whipped coconut cream and mixed berries is one of my favourite healthy sweet treats. It tastes so rich and decadent, its hard to believe its not terribly bad for you.
The coconut cake is simple to throw together, and the results are deliciously moist. It is, in essence, a simple one layer sponge cake. The desiccated coconut lends a slight chewiness to the sponge. I actually prefer it when its a day or two old. It becomes gloriously sticky in the tin, and the coconut flavour seems to deepen. You could, if you really wanted to, spilt the cake into two layers and fill it with more whipped coconut cream, but I don’t think you really need to.
Just a final little note on the coconut cream. The way in which the cream will whip entirely depends on the brand of coconut cream that you can get hold of. I’m not quite sure of the science behind it, but some just whip up better than others. The good news is, if it won’t whip, you can still pour it over your cake, and it will still be thick enough to create an even coating. When I usually use whipped coconut cream to top a cake, like with this coconut and passion fruit cake, it whips up to lovely thick, stiff peaks. The finished product is something like whipped cream. However when I went to whip my coconut cream for this cake, it just wouldn’t get thick. After about 10 minutes whipping, and at the point when my hand blender was getting dangerously warm to the touch, I realised it just wasn’t going to thicken. After a little research I discovered this is a common issue, and certain brands just won’t whip. However, whipping it up will give it enough body to grip the sides of the cake, it just won’t have the fluffy height.
– Store the cake in an air-tight tin in the fridge. I wouldn’t normally suggest storing sponge cakes in the fridge, but the coconut cream needs to be kept refrigerated, and the fruit benefits from it, too. Bring the cake up to room temperature before serving. The cake will last for about 3 days.
– Flakes of fresh coconut would make a delicious and pretty addition to the top of the cake.
– If you don’t need the cake to be dairy free, simply replace the dairy free spread with butter.
– If you’d prefer to use self raising flour, this cake will work just as well. Swap the plain flour for an equal quantity of self raising, and leave out the baking powder.
- 170g dairy free spread (or butter if you don't require your cake to be dairy free)
- 155g caster sugar
- 170g plain flour
- 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 30g desiccated coconut
- 160ml coconut milk
- 200ml coconut cream
- Grease and line a 23cm spring form tin.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 350F.
- Cream together the dairy free spread and the sugar until soft and fluffy.
- Add the flour, baking powder, eggs, desiccated coconut and coconut milk. Beat the mixture until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and risen, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Cool the cake completely.
- Meanwhile, whip the coconut cream with electric beaters until it has stiffened and holds its shaped.
- Spread over the cake, and top with a mixture of fresh berries.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in an air tight container. Bring to room temp before serving.