Sunday, 7 October 2012

Nostalgic Coconut cake with a modern twist.

What do you bake for your nan for her birthday when there are so many recipes, so many different flavour combinations and so much choice?. I had some desiccated coconut that has been lurking in my cupboards and once I picked this up, I thought I could make a bake on a half used up bag of desiccated coconut. The only coconut thing I make is a coconut loaf cake and over the summer I made a coconut, lime and strawberry cake, but wanted to do something a bit different, after all an abandoned packet of coconut needs some oomph. I remembered having lots of coconut cake when I was younger and thought i'd take a trip down memory lane.
I brought BBC Cakes and Bakes cookbook last month and pencilled in many recipes and the two coconut recipes which appealed to me were "nostalgic coconut cake" and "mango, banana and coconut cake". I decided on the former as I could dress up this cake. As for the decorations I was going to follow the suggestion of a simple cream based buttercream, I thought I would add some sprinkles. I was inspired by the 2011 winner of the Great British Bake Off, Jo Wheately blog on a sprinkle cake, where she added sprinkles to the buttercream and decorated around the cake. Yum.
Here is how my coconut cake turned out:
Coconut cake and slice
Coconut cake
Inside my coconut cake

This is a simple variation of a normal sponge cake and uses 50g desiccated coconut as an addition. I also altered the recipe as I wanted to make three layers instead of the normal two layers. I upped the recipe to an extra 1/3 to make sure I had enough mixture.
I first started by mixing all the ingredients for the sponge together.
Cake mixture
I usually take pictures of the cake mixture in their tins and out of the tins, but I forgot this time. Anyway, once the cakes were cooled I used my homemade jam to spread on a layer of the cake before topping with buttercream.
Homemade jam

Jam on sponge.

I prepared the loose buttercream by mixing all the ingredients and adding a selection of sprinkles.
Oh, I passed my masters degree so I celebrated with a glass of sparkling wine, a slice of cake and Nigella's new book :-) and spending time with my family.

Recipe for coconut cake, my amendments are in red.
175g butter (I used 240g)
175g caster sugar (I used 240g)
185 g self-raising flour (I used 240g) 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, beaten (I used 4 eggs)
50g desiccated coconut (I used 75g)
2 tbsp coconut cream or single cream. (I used 2 tbsp milk).

For the buttercream filling and topping.
280g icing sugar (I used 350g)
100g butter, softened (I used 125g) 
3 tbsp coconut cream, or single cream (I used 4tbsp)
5 tbsp raspberry jam (I used 7tbsp)
I used a selection of sprinkles for decorations. 

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/ fan 160 C. Butter two 20cm/ 8 inch sandwich tins (I used 3 tins) and line the bases with greaseproof paper. Mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a food processor for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Gently stir in the coconut and cream.
Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 24 minutes until evenly golden and firm. Loosen the edges and leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire to cool.
Make the buttercream: beat together the icing sugar, butter and coconut cream until smooth. Spread one sponge with the jam and buttercream, then repeat for the second sponge. Top with the third person and swirl with the remaining buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. Oh, and add the sprinkles.

This fulfils a number of this months blogging challenges. Firstly the lovely Dom at Belleau Kitchen hosts random recipes, a monthly challenge which encourages readers to randomly select an ingredient (such as the desiccated coconut) or book from their collection and bake. His blog can be found here:

I also bookmarked this recipe when I purchased the Cakes and Bakes book so this fulfils the challenge hosted by the lovely Jacqueline from Tinned Tomotoes The challenge is any bookmarked recipes which is suitable for vegetarians - take a look.

I am also entering this to Bake Fest, another vegetarian monthly challenge which is open to any bakes which is vegetarian. This month it is hosted by Fun and Food Cafe and originally started by



  1. Nostalgic? I reckon this cake can be nostalgic in its flavours but not really for its look. You have bake this cake very well and I think it looks very sweet-looking and modern to me :D

  2. I thinks its more to do with my own memories of eating coconut cake when I was younger and having lots and lots of coconut cake. i've added my own twist with the sprinkles and extra layers x

  3. wow!... what a spectacular cake!... three layers of coconutty, jammy heaven... I do so love a coconut cake and this really is fabulous... I'm not sure I would have been able to sit back and not devour the whole lot in one sitting!... thanks so much for entering this month... a great store cupboard find!

  4. Looks lovely - three layer cakes are always the best. The homemade jam looks so good, I wouldn't be able to keep my spoon out the jar!

    Well done on the Master too!

    Bella x

  5. Gorgeous cake and many congratulations on your masters - I finished mine 2 years ago and know how much work goes into them!!

  6. Thanks Belleau, oh so bella and Katharine. If I get my dream job I have my eye on another celebration cake :-) x

  7. Ugh. This. Looks. So. GOOOD! The RR round up this month is no friend of my diet.

  8. This looks fab - three layer cakes are always so impressive! The coconut and jam is a delicious combination, and I love that the icing has been given a coconut makeover too, and not just the cake. Smiled reading your 'conversion' amounts, when I noticed you'd not changed the baking powder - I never do either!

  9. This looks really nice! Congratulations on your Masters Degree. A nice way to celebrate. I'm your new follower. Hope to see you at mines : )


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