A light and fluffy homemade coconut cake made up of a coconut sponge cake and coconut cream frosting with plenty of fresh fruit - A perfect celebration cake for Mother's day, afternoon tea, birthdays and more.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Then, start by sifting the dry ingredients in a large bowl - flour, baking powder and salt
In another bowl, mix the butter, lemon zest, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. (I used homemade vanilla extract).
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones until thoroughly combined. Add the shredded coconut and coconut milk and mix well.*
Divide equally between two greased 8" tins and Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 180ºC (fan assisted). To check that they are cooked through, use a toothpick or something similar to poke a hole through the centre of the cake, it should come out clean.
Once the cakes are baked, set aside and leave them to cool completely. I like to do this by removing them from their tins and leaving on a wire rack, so they cool faster ( so they can be decorated and eaten- yummy)
In the meantime, prepare the filling and toppings for the cake. Finely dice the fruit and whip the coconut cream.
Level the surface of the sponge cakes by cutting the tops. You can either do it with a long knife or with a cake leveller.
Spread some coconut cream on one of the sponges. Add a layer of fruit. I used strawberries, blueberries and baby kiwis (these are quite 'wet' and can seep into the cake so choose your fruit accordingly) but feel free to use your favourite fruits and slice/chop finely.
On the second sponge, spread some jam. ** Place the second sponge over the first, strawberry side down (see video)
Decorate the cake by covering it with the remaining coconut cream. Use a spatula for an even smooth coverage (optional). If you want the coconut cream to be more like a frosting then feel free to add some powdered sugar.
The Coconut Cake can be served right away or, if refrigerated, then take it out 5-10 minutes before serving.
* I've kept all my coconut as natural flavourings. However, if you really want a coconut flavour punch, then add a few drops of coconut extract.** You can use any you have in your cupboard or make a quick fresh compote/jam with some fresh berries, sugar and lemon juice simmered and reduced on a hob. Note* The fruit and jam will affect the moisture within the cake and how it should be stored. Keep this in an airtight container within the refrigerator for optimal results and eat within a couple of days if using lots of fresh fruit inside.