Image by Holly Bell
Summer is coming so it's time for a lemon and coconut cake. If coconut isn't your thing then make a simple buttercream filling instead. I've kept the coconut away from the main cake as I know some folks aren't keen on it. I however am a coconut fiend.
For the cake:
• 175g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
• 175g caster sugar, plus extra 35g for making the drizzle
• 175g self-raising flour
• 1 level tsp baking powder
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature and beaten
• 3 tbsp milk
• 2 lemons
For the icing:
• 75g full fat cream cheese
• 40g very soft, salted butter
• 150g icing sugar
• 65g desiccated coconut
• 50g lemon curd (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 tsp boiling water
• 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (19 x 9 x 6.5cm) or 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C/170°C fan/gas mark 4 and check the shelf is in the centre of the oven.
2. To make the cake, beat the butter (or baking margarine if you don't have it - I use Stork just for the record as have had varied results with some other baking margarines), sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and the zest of both lemons until really light and creamy - this will take about four minutes in a stand mixer, five minutes with a handheld mixer or about 10 minutes by hand with a wooden spoon. Make sure the butter is VERY soft if beating by hand.
3. Pour the batter into your tin (or tins), levelling with the back of a spoon. Bake for 50-55 minutes for the loaf cake or 20 - 25 minutes for the sandwich cake. The cakes will be golden when ready and a skewer or toothpick in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Pierce holes all over the cake(s), then leave to cool on a wire rack whilst you make the drizzle.
4. Boil together the juice of the lemons with the extra 35g of castor sugar for two minutes in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the drizzle is piping hot. Carefully pour the drizzle over the still warm cake. Leave to cool in the tin.
5. Make the icing (make double for the sandwich cake - using half to sandwich together and half to pop on the top) by beating together all the ingredients for five minutes until creamy looking and very white. You can use an electric mixer for this or a wooden spoon. If you're using an electric mixer start slowly or the icing sugar will spray everywhere.
6. Spread the icing over the completely cooled cake then beat the lemon curd with the boiling water to loosen it and pipe or use a spoon to swirl lines, lengthways over the icing. Take a toothpick and drag it across the curd lines, at right angles to create a feathered effect.
7. Lastly scatter with toasted desiccated coconut if you wish. (To toast simply dry fry in a frying pan for about 30 seconds, on a low heat, until light brown in colour- watch the pan carefully as coconut burns easily).
NB: You can freeze this cake, fully iced. Make sure it is well wrapped. If a cool day you can defrost at room temperature. If warm, defrost in the fridge overnight.
Fancy a change? Try using an orange instead of two lemons, or three limes instead. White chocolate chips also work really well scattered into the lemony cake mixture. Or with the orange and lime varieties try dark chocolate chips.
Holly blogs at Recipes from a Normal Mum
Her first book is out now, also called Recipes from a Normal Mum