Coconut cake

Coconut cake


I’m sure you’ll agree that this is one spectacular-looking cake. For the filling and decoration, I would always use fresh coconut rather than dried, as the latter tends to dry out the buttercream, but you could toast the coconut shavings first, if you like.


Quantity Ingredient

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
50g coconut cream
50g coconut oil
175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
50g desiccated coconut

For the buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
125g softened butter
40g coconut cream
250g icing sugar, sifted
50-75g coconut shavings
3-4 sprigs lemon verbena


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 17cm deep-sided cake tins.
  2. Gently heat the coconut cream and oil together in a small saucepan until liquid, then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Put the butter and caster sugar into a kitchen mixer or large bowl and beat until lightened and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Add the vanilla extract then sift in the flour and baking power and fold together. Add the desiccated coconut, cooled coconut cream and oil and mix well, then divide between the prepared cake tins.
  4. Smooth the tops over and bake for about 20–25 minutes until golden brown and risen. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean – if it doesn’t, return the cakes to the oven for another 5 minutes and repeat.
  5. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the tins and cooling completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the softened butter, coconut cream and icing sugar together in a food mixer or a bowl with an electric whisk until really light, fluffy and almost white in colour.
  7. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a 13mm plain nozzle. Pipe swirls of coconut cream all over one sponge, then scatter some coconut shavings over the top, so that they stick out around the edge of the cake. Gently lay the second cake on top. Pipe small peaks of cream all over the top of the cake and finish with some more coconut shavings and small sprigs of lemon verbena.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
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