Coconut and chocolate is a winning combination when it comes to baking – so if you love both, then try out this delicious birthday cake recipe from Royal Wedding cake maker Fiona Cairns
- For the cake:
- 350g unsalted butter, really soft, diced, plus more for the tins
- 2tbsp cocoa powder
- 350g self-raising flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 350g golden caster sugar
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 90g creamed coconut, grated, or grated fresh coconut
- For the coconut frosting:
- 300g cream cheese
- 150g icing sugar
- 45g creamed coconut, grated, or grated fresh coconut
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- For the buttercream:
- 150g 70% cocoa solids chocolate
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- You'll also need:
- 1 large nylon icing bag, with star nozzle
- 2 x 20cm cake boards
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Butter two 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Make an 8cm high collar of baking parchment for each tin too. Mix the cocoa powder with 1–2 tbsp boiling water, and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, add the butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until well blended, taking care not to over-mix. Remove half the batter to another bowl.
Gently stir the coconut into one bowl and scrape into one of the tins.
Add the cocoa paste to the other, stir and scrape into the other tin.
Bake both cakes for 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean.
Remove from the oven and leave the cakes for a minute or two, then run a knife around each to loosen it from the tin. Turn out on to a couple of wire racks. Remove the papers and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the coconut frosting, place the cream cheese in a bowl. Sift over the icing sugar and whisk until well blended.
Add the coconut and vanilla and mix well. To make the chocolate buttercream, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Set aside to cool.
Beat the butter until really pale and fluffy, then add the icing sugar and vanilla.
Beat for five minutes until light and creamy. Add the chocolate and beat again. Take a few spoonfuls and, with a palette knife, place into the icing bag. Only half-fill the bag, or it will make a mess.
Level the tops of the cakes, turn upside down and place on a work surface. Cut the cakes into 2cm strips; each should make 10 strips. Alternate them so each cake has 10 strips of the two flavours. Transfer to the cake boards. Wrap one cake and freeze for another day.
Using half the coconut frosting, sandwich together the strips of cake and spread the rest over the top and sides. Rest in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
To decorate the cake, place it on to an upturned 15cm cake tin.
Pipe chocolate roses of varying sizes, from the inside outwards. Practice first on a small plate and scrape the buttercream back into the bag to re-use. (Watch our step-by-step video for how to pipe rose icing.) Lift gently on to a serving plate.
This recipe is best made on the day, but you can freeze the other half to use another time!