Thursday, April 17, 2014

recipe: lemon, lime and coconut cake

This is the cake that caused a revolution. The cake that changed my life. Now, I am making no promises. In fact, I think it unlikely that it will have the same effect on many others. Not unless you have the same rare affliction that I suffer from.

You see, I have a habit of taking things (baking) to extremes. Exhibit 1. And, as I mentioned in Exhibit 2 the fact that I own three loaf tins is, in itself, tantamount to a confession. I can never just bake A cake. I have to bake double, triple, I admit, sometimes even quadruple portions. If not that, then I have to justify covering the kitchen in flour by making two or three different recipes in the process.

Or should I say, that is how I used to be. For, you see, I am a reformed character. I am not really sure how it happened. I had half a lemon and half a lime left from my Hello Fresh delivery. I saw this recipe and then took part in the Blogtacular twitter chat where I realised how long it was since I had last baked. And so, plans were made. This weekend - I am going to bake, I announced. The Husband smiled encouragingly, but I could see the fear behind his eyes. His realisation that the time would soon be coming when I cooked up a storm and he was drafted in to provide emergency assistance in clearing the resulting wreckage.

But then, Saturday morning arrived. I made the cake, put it in the oven to bake, and started to scour the books for a second recipe. The grapefruits languishing in the bowl caught my eye and I frantically tried to find something to make that happened to match the less than ideal combination of ingredients in my cupboards. I wondered, not for the first time, how some of the other bloggers I read managed to rustle up a quick cake as part of a seemingly activity packed weekend. Then I realised, I had already rustled up a quick cake. The icing was made, the baking dishes were washed (in a rare show of cleaning as I go, what can I say, it was a morning of revelations), and in fact, the rest of the day lay ahead ready for alternative activity (or inactivity).

And so I stopped. Just like that. Life-changing. The Husband was amazed to enter the kitchen to find a cake that wasn't hidden by all of the bowls that we own filled with remnants of cake batter and icing sugar. He even got to eat a piece without working up an appetite doing three hours of washing up and wiping down first.

The cake was really lovely. I have put the recipe below, but really the only change I made was adding the lemon in place of some lime. If I made it again I would do the drizzle using the slightly messier method I have suggested below because I found the centre slightly drier than the edges, where the syrup seemed to have pooled. I loved the colours on top, it seemed perfect for a sunny springtime weekend. Even more perfect when I had the rest of the weekend free to enjoy it!

Lemon, Lime and Coconut Cake 

(Recipe from The Foodie Couple)


270g butter
240g golden caster sugar
250g caster sugar
270g self raising flour
4 eggs
1/2 lime - juice and zest
1/2 lemon - juice and zest
40g desiccated coconut
150ml water30g toasted desiccated coconut
250g icing sugar


  • Preheat oven to 170°. Grease and line a standard cake tray, or two square cake tins.
  • Combine together golden caster sugar, butter, flour, eggs, lemon zest, lime zest (keeping back a teaspoon of each zest) and the (untoasted) desiccated coconut using an electric whisk.
  • Pour batter into prepared tin, level surface using a palette knife (or by the banging tin on the worktop method!).
  • Bake in centre of the oven for 40 - 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • When cake is baking, prepare citrus syrup by heating caster sugar, lemon juice, lime juice and 150ml water. 
  • Remove cake from the tin and place on a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath. Use a knife to pierce holes across the surface of the cake. Pour syrup across the cake (keeping back two teaspoons of syrup). The baking tray should collect any of the drips from the cake, tip the syrup back into the pan and then pour the syrup back over the cake. Repeat until the syrup is used up (or you get bored!).
  • Add the remaining two teaspoons of syrup to the icing sugar, and thin down with water until it is the right consistency for topping the cake.
  • Top the cake with the icing. Add the remaining citrus zest to the toasted coconut and sprinkle over the cake while the icing is still wet.
  • Once icing is set, cut into slices and enjoy!


    1. oh yum.
      laughing at your story, I do things like that, it's as if I have to justify having the oven on just for cake x

      1. glad it's not just me! once I start I can't stop!