I have a confession to make – I’m not really a big fan of the traditional Christmas fare.
While I absolutely love summer and Christmas, for the most part, I could happily forgo the mince pies, cold ham and roast turkey. My preference, this time of year, is for fresh, light and summery flavours.
So this year, instead of the traditional Christmas pudding with custard, my contribution to my family’s Christmas dinner will be a summer-inspired coconut and mango cake. The dessert comprises four layers of fluffy coconut cake, lashings of whipped cream and plenty of fresh mango. For me, the flavour combination is perfect for a hot and dry Australian Christmas day.
The best thing about this dessert is that it can be tailored to meet your guest’s dietary requirements. The plain flour and baking powder can be substituted in the same quantities for gluten-free alternatives and the butter and cream can be replaced with coconut products or other dairy-free options.
If you’re like me and are feeling a bit rebellious then why not try something a little different for this year’s festive season. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Ingredients for coconut cake
- 450 grams of plain flour
- 5 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 200 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
- 500 grams of caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons of coconut extract
- 450 mls of coconut milk
Ingredients for presentation
- 300 mls of whipped cream
- Flesh of 3 or 4 ripe mangoes
- Sprigs of fresh mint
Make the coconut cake
- Preheat your oven to 180◦C.
- Grease four six-inch cake pans and line with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the caster sugar to the butter. Cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the vanilla bean paste and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until combined. Add the coconut extract.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the coconut milk.
- Evenly divide the cake batter between the prepared tins.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out of the centre of the cakes clean. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the Summer coconut and mango cake
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, level them to ensure that the tops of the cakes are flat.
- Place one coconut cake on a cake board or plate.
- Heap three to four tablespoons of cream on the first cake and add a few segments of mango. Repeat with the second, third and fourth layer of the cake.
- Add some sprigs of fresh mint to the top of the cake. Serve immediately.
About the Author
Amy Alyce is a Canberra based dessert blogger with a passion for brunch. By day she works as a lawyer, by night she writes recipes for her love project Blossom and Pearl. Follow Amy on Instagram at @blossomandpearl for dessert recipes and inspo!