Coconut Cream Cake

For the coconut filling:
  • 155ml +30ml whole milk
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 35g shredded coconut
  1. Combine the 155ml milk with the sugar and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the milk is hot.
  2. Meanwhile whisk the cornflour into the 30ml milk in a small bowl. When the milk is ready, scrape the cornflour mix into the pan and whisk together. Heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom. When thick, start whisking the egg yolks together in a medium bowl and pour the thickened mixture in, keeping whisking. Transfer back to the pan and heat until the mixture starts to boil and is very thick.
  3. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in the shredded coconut. Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge for several hours (I did this overnight).
For the rum syrup:
  • 80ml water
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark rum


  1. Place the water and sigar in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the rum and leave to cool. I boiled the rum first for a moment to remove most of the alcohol for mum.
For the sponge:
  • 80g plain flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 35ml cold water
  • 120g caster sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Grease and line a 6″ tin, making sure the parchment reaches up to about 6″.
  3. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together three times. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whip attached, whisk the egg yolks and water together on high speed for 1 minute. Turn down and add the caster sugar, then whip on high until the mixture is pale and thick and leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted – about 5 mins. Put to one side.
  4. In another clean, dry bowl whisk the eggs whites until stiff peaks. Place the yolk mix bowl on a damp cloth to stop it moving.
  5. With your non-dominant hand, slowly start sifting the flour mixture into the bowl while your dominant hand folds in with a whisk. When the flour is totally incorporated, add 1/3 of the whites and fold in with a rubber spatula to lighten the mix. Finally add the rest of the whites and fold in until uniform. Pour into the lined tin and smooth the top gently. P
  6. lace into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the middle springs back when touched. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack.
For the whipped cream:
  • 155ml double cream
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. Whip the cream until soft peaks then sprinkle in the sugar. Whisk in the sugar but be careful to not overwhisk – it should be soft and pillowy.
To assemble:
  • handful grated or shaved coconut
  1. Slice the sponge into three layers and place one piece on the serving plate.
  2. Sprinke 1/3 of the rum syrup over the sponge.
  3. Spread half of the filling over the sponge. Repeat with the next layer. Add the final sponge and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 syrup over the top.
  4. Leave to chill in the fridge for 4 hours. When ready to serve, whip the cream and spread it over the cake.
  5. Sprinkle the coconut over the top. I then had to sort of throw coconut at the sides – if I’d tried to press it I would have had a handful of cream. Best eaten on the day.

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