Coconut and Orange Cake with Passionfruit Icing

, from Issue #46. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Coconut and Orange Cake with Passionfruit Icing

This dense, moist cake is made with coconut sugar which has a lovely caramel flavour and, unlike white sugar, is not overly sweet.


225 grams butter, very soft but not melted
1½ cups coconut sugar
4 eggs
1½ cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup long thread coconut
250 ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt
finely grated zest and juice 1 orange

Passionfruit icing
1½ cups icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon very soft butter
2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp or passionfruit in syrup
1-2 tablespoons milk


Butter and flour a 6 cup capacity ring tin.

Preheat the oven to 160˚C.

Beat the butter and sugar for 10 minutes until very light and fluffy. Whisk the eggs in a jug and gradually beat into butter mixture. Combine the flour, mixed spiced, salt and coconut. Using a large metal spoon, fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture along with the buttermilk, orange zest and juice until well combined. Make sure there are no pockets of flour in the batter.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 30–40 minutes until golden and firm on top. A skewer inserted into the centre of the tin should come out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Cool for 20 minutes then remove the cake from the tin and place on a cooling rack.

Icing: Combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the icing is smooth and the sugar has dissolved, adding a little more milk if needed to make a pouring consistency. Immediately pour the icing over the cooled cake, letting it run down the sides. Keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Makes 1 cake

Pantry note: Passionfruit in syrup is available at supermarkets and food stores.