Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Coconut Lime Hallowe'en Cake

This is by special request, and it’s fun to do something a little light-hearted after all the serious and snarky stuff I tend to write about.

Coconut Lime Cake
I made a coconut lime cake for Hallowe’en, and it was much admired on FaceBook and Twitter. I was asked for the recipe.

I’ve been baking for decades, so I don’t really use recipes, I just adapt the stuff I’ve remembered, and give it a go. Honestly, this cake was rather nice, so I might come back to this post to make it again some time.

Here we go:


for the cake:
6oz flour
2oz desiccated coconut
8oz caster sugar
4oz soft butter
4oz coconut oil (the solid stuff in the jar)
5 or 6 eggs

for the drizzle:
juice of 3 limes
3 tablespoons icing sugar

the jam:
2 generous tablespoons lime marmalade (I like the one Roses makes)

for the frosting:
8oz icing sugar
2oz soft butter
2oz coconut oil (as before)
2/3 tablespoons double cream
1oz desiccated coconut

I mixed the sponge using the creaming method, and baked it in two 8 inch round cake tins at about 165/175C for 25 mins (every oven’s different, and that’s about 375F)

I made the drizzle by mixing the lime juice and icing sugar in a pan and heating it until it was syrupy

the marmalade was straight out of the jar

the icing was a simple mix of the fats and icing sugar, adding cream to get the right consistency and then whisking in the coconut.

pour the drizzle over the surfaces of the cakes that will meet in the middle. I do this while both are still warm to get maximum penetration.

when the cakes are cool, spread one with the marmalade and the other with about a third of the frosting, and sandwich them together.

Spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake, and sprinkle with the grated zest of one of the limes.

This cake would have been much prettier, but my icing bag burst, so I resorted to the sort of fork-fluffing that some people reserve for mashed potatoes.

Some people have a bit of a fear of baking, and it’s true that ingredients should be measured to get a good result, but almost every basic cake is a combination of equal parts flour, butter and sugar and a bunch of eggs. Half as many eggs as there are ounces of flour is a minimum, so for 8oz of flour I might use half a dozen eggs, some bakers would stick to four.

Take out flour if you want to add another dry ingredient: the desiccated coconut in this case, but the same applies to ground almonds, cocoa powder… whatever.

For a less sweet cake, I might switch caster sugar for light brown muscovado, which is particularly good in chocolate cake. I tend to use butter, but coconut oil works well, as does splitting the butter with peanut butter, or anything else fatty. Margarine is the devil’s work, but use it if you prefer… What you do in your own kitchen isn’t my call. Smiles.

frosting works well at a one part butter to two parts icing sugar. Switch out a quarter to a third of the sugar for good cocoa powder and you have a pretty decent chocolate frosting.

These are all cakes that can be made every day without too much time or effort. I like good jams for fillings, but, by all means, use a jar of anything you happen to like.

There’s no reason baking should seem more difficult or complicated than it actually is. I watch GBBO, and I enjoy it, but I’d rarely go to the lengths that the contestants aim for when it comes to baking a cake for elevenses or tea with the family. Mostly, my cakes go down pretty well, and this one was no exception.

Try this recipe, or buy a slice of homemade cake in a good, independent coffee shop. a little something sweet doesn’t do anyone any harm once in a while, but junk food… all food… should be made in a kitchen not a factory.

1 comment:

  1. Is this where I come to find out more about Eisenhorn? By The Throne, these Imperial cyphers have truly become most ... perturbatory. ;)