Layered coconut and lime cake

Photographer: Adam

I am never that sure about coconut. Maybe it’s because my sister was allergic to it growing up and it was never a household staple, whatever the reason I tend to veer away from it. This recipe intrigued me though, whether it was the extraordinary height of it or the dazzling white of the icing, I just had to make it.

The thing about our Fisher and Paykel cook book is that you know the recipes are well tested, and the narratives faithful; let’s just say my predecessors were thorough. So I wasn’t surprised when as the book indicated, making the cakes was a breeze. I was however shocked as assembly turned into an avalanche of white icing enveloping the cake in white, definitely not the beautifully drizzled cake in the cook book photograph. Word to the wise, pour the icing slowly and avoid my mistake.

Make the lime curd the day before so it is set nicely or opt to buy it, it will be fabulous either way.


1 ½ cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup coconut milk
6 eggs
2 cups granulated white sugar
3 sticks (350g) unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder

3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
¼ cup lime juice
4 tsp heavy cream
¾ stick (80g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
grated zest of two limes

2 cups (300g) confectioners (icing) sugar
1/3 – ½ cup coconut milk
½ tsp coconut extract


1. Pre-arrange oven shelves in the oven; you’ll need two space them as evenly as you can in the oven which will depend on your oven. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C (320°F) on fan forced (true convection).
2. Grease three 8 x 2 inch (20cm) round cake pans and line the base with baking paper.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes on a moderate speed.
4. Mix the flour and baking powder together and add to the egg and sugar mix along with the melted butter.
5. Fold in the coconut and coconut milk and divide evenly between the pans.
6. Place into oven and bake for 35 – 45 min, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when touched.
7. Leave in tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a rack to cool.

1. Place all ingredients except the lime zest into a small saucepan and whisk over a medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken slightly – do not boil.
2. Strain into a bowl and stir in the lime zest. If desired you can add 1-2 drops of blue food colouring to make the curd a brilliant green (mine was more a snot green).
3. Refrigerate the lime curd overnight to set.

1. Sieve the confectioners sugar into a bowl.
2. Add the coconut extract and enough coconut milk to give it a pouring consistency.

To assemble
70g sliced almonds
½ cup heavy cream
Fresh, sliced, seasonal fruit (I used mangoes)
1. Pre-heat your oven on bake to 180°C (350°F)
2. Mix the almonds with one tablespoon of the coconut icing
3. Place into oven and toast until golden and crunchy (roughly 15 – 20 minutes).
4. Whip cream with two tablespoons of the lime curd (preferably the curd without food colouring), until soft peaks form.
5. Place first layer of the cake topside down and evenly spread with half of the lime curd, then half of the cream and half of the sliced fruit. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and then repeat with second layer (but place topside up). Place top layer on, pour coconut icing so that it drizzles down the side and then sprinkle with extra toasted almonds and let icing set. Serve and enjoy.