The intention when I started to make this cake was a simple vanilla sponge, with sweet chocolate buttercream that I could feed to my visiting family and their children.
My plans started to change when I realised I had half a tin of coconut milk in the fridge and less than a quarter of a pack of desiccated coconut in the cupboard – it seemed like fate that vanilla would be turned into coconut, and I thought with a chocolate buttercream it would be almost Bounty-esque.
A bit of Googling for a coconut milk cake recipe led me to this recipe from Dan Lepard, which scaled down to a two-layer 7″ cake required almost exactly the amount of excess coconut products I had to hand.
The only slight downside was that the recipe called for white rum, meaning it would no longer be the child-friendly cake I set out to make.
I say downside – lets be honest, my recent posts are probably a good indication of the fact that I am in no way averse to the inclusion of alcohol in my baking, and white rum and coconut are just perfect partners.
I skipped the step of soaking the sponges in lime juice and more rum as I wasn’t sure how well it would go with the chocolate icing, but the cake was still beautifully moist with a nice bite from the desiccated coconut, and a subtle but definitely noticeable hint of the rum added to the cake batter. If anyone tries telling you the alcohol evaporates during baking, they’re wrong!
I finished the cake with a simple chocolate buttercream with just a little coconut milk added instead of regular milk, and a few Cadbury’s Flake bars crumbled up on top – because what cake isn’t improved by adding more chocolate?
I really liked this cake, and so did all of my testers. Whether you like alcohol in cakes or not, I would highly recommend you give it a go!
Coconut rum cake with chocolate frosting (adapted from Dan Lepard)
- 100ml coconut milk
- 35g desiccated coconut
- 35ml white rum
- 150g butter
- 180g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 180g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
For the icing:
- 130g butter
- 50g cocoa powder
- 200g icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp coconut milk
- 2 Cadbury’s Flake bars
Start by heating the coconut milk until boiling, then take off the heat and add the desiccated coconut and rum. Leave to soak for half an hour, while you start the sponge. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, for me with an electric beater it takes 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then sift together the flour and baking powder.
Fold in 1/3 of the flour mix, followed by half of the coconut milk, another 1/3 of flour, the rest of the coconut milk and then finish with the last 1/3 of flour. Divide between two greased and lined 7″ sandwich tins, and bake at 160 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden.
To make the icing, beat the butter to soften then add the cocoa powder and half the icing sugar. Beat until well combined, then add 1 tbsp coconut milk and the rest of the icing sugar and beat again, until it’s really light and smooth textured. If it seems a bit thick, add a little more coconut milk to get it to the right consistency.
Spread 1/3 of the icing on top of one of the cake layers, then place the other cake on top. Spread the rest of the icing all over the top and sides, then crumble up the Flake bars and sprinkle all over the top before serving.