Milk and coconut cake



  • 250g unsalted butter, softened, chopped
  • 300g (1 1/3 cups) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 325ml milk, at room temperature
  • 80g (1 cup) shredded coconut
  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 6 egg whites
  • 600g double cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • Fresh coconut, to decorate


  • 1/2 x 5g titanium-strength gelatine leaf
  • 2 tangelos or oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 220g (1 cup) white sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, finely chopped


Step 1


For curd, soak gelatine in cold water for 3 minutes until soft, squeeze out excess water, then set aside. Finely grate zest from tangelos, then juice tangelos (you will need 180ml juice) and lemon. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan until combined, add zest and juices and, using a wooden spatula, stir continuously over low-medium heat until bubbles disappear and mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula. Do not boil. Remove from heat, whisk in gelatine until dissolved, then butter. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Makes 3 cups.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 2 x 22cm cake tins and line bases with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes. Beat in milk, coconut and flour until just combined.

Step 3

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks, then fold in to coconut mixture. Divide batter between tins and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool.

Step 4

To assemble, cut cakes in half horizontally. Place the base of a cake on a cake plate, spread with a quarter of the curd and top with a third of the cream, then repeat layers, finishing with a cake top and remaining curd. Using a vegetable peeler, peel curls of coconut and scatter over the cake. Serve.

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