Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

A tropical delight, this passionfruit coconut layer cake is bursting with the sweet and tart flavors of coconut and passionfruit. 

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

Every year around this time of the year, I bring on my passion for passionfruit. If you have been around here for a while, you know it is one of my favorite tropical flavors. Only second to coconut. So whenever I think of my ideal tropical combination, I bring together passionfruit and coconut. And it is always a hit! This passionfruit coconut layer cake is just that. A tropical hit! 

black history month

This cake is also my contribution to the Black History Month Virtual Potluck hosted by the wonderful Meiko from Meiko and the Dish. A collaborative menu of recipes contributed by 40+black bloggers from around the globe in honor of Black History Month. See a sampling of some of the amazing participant recipes down below and follow along on social media with #BHMVP2021. 

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

I wanted to contribute something that is comfort food to me. Given the times we are in, we are all craving some form of comfort and normalcy. Comfort for me means tropical flavors. I crave tropical flavors when I am homesick and in times of uncertainty. This is why passionfruit is always present in my freezer, pantry, and fridge. It brings me comfort. Here are some of my favorite passionfruit recipes, if you are new here. 

Can you see a pattern?? I love the flavor combo of passionfruit and coconut!!

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

Let’s break down this passionfruit coconut layer cake, shall we?!! First, there is a coconut layer cake. Soft, fluffy sweet coconut-infused cake layers. I used my favorite coconut cake, seen here in the infamous Easter Speckled Egg cake, which is infused with coconut cream for a stronger coconut flavor. I prefer coconut cream instead of coconut milk. if however, you are not a coconut fan, this cake is not for you. Please check out my cake recipe archives for alternatives. 

Now, for you coconut fans, this cake gets better. It is filled with a passionfruit curd. I didn’t want to infuse the passionfruit flavor into the cake as it may get drowned by coconut. So a filling it was. A sweet and tart passionfruit curd that is silky smooth. It’s hard not to just eat it by the spoonful but hold off. It is even better sandwiched between two layers of coconut cake! 

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

I finished this passionfruit coconut layer cake with swiss meringue buttercream. A coconut SWB which is light and buttery. I think using swiss meringue buttercream cuts down on the sweetness of cakes and that was needed here. However, you can use American buttercream instead if you do not like swiss meringue buttercream. 

If you are a tropical fan or looking for a unique cake to try this winter and spring, then this cake is for you! 

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

Here’s a sampling of some of the wonderful participant recipes down below and follow along on social media with #BHMVP2021. 

Shrimp and Cauliflower Grits | A Girl Called Adri

Malawah (Somali Sweet Pancake) | A Sweet Point Of View

Spicy Okra & Corn Salsa | Beautiful Eats & Things

Yam and Plantain Curry | Ethically Living

Peanut Curry Braised Ribs | Britney Breaks Bread

Buttermilk Fried Chicken | Butter Be Ready

Sweet Potato Pop-Tarts with Brown Butter Icing | Chenée Today

Homemade Cajun Andouille Sausage with Shrimp and Grits | Cooks with Soul

Suya-Spiced Brussels Sprouts | Dash of Jazz

Stewed Okra & Tomatoes with Chicken Sausage | Dude That Cookz

Buttermilk Cornbread With Southern “Sprinkles” | Erique Berry Co.

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake
Yield: about ~2 cups

Homemade Passionfruit Curd

Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups passionfruit pulp juice (or passionfruit concentrate or cocktail)
  • 3 egg yolks, whisked in a small bowl
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the sugar with the cornstarch and add in the juice.
  2. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly. Gradually whisk in half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks to temper the eggs.
  3. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring.
  4. Remove from heat and add in the butter pieces. Whisk until melted.
  5. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed against the top. Chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight until set.

Notes

  1. I linked a few options of passionfruit below.
  2. You can also use fresh passionfruit pulp if available to you. You will need about 8-10 medium-sized ones.

Making this Recipe?

Share it with us on Instagram using #aclassictwist so we can see what you are baking up in your kitchen!

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake
Yield: 1 6-inch layer cake

Passionfruit Coconut Layer Cake

A spring cake with coconut flavors and tart passionfruit

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

For Coconut Cake:

For Swiss Meringue Coconut Frosting:

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cream of coconut
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For Filling and Topping

  • Passionfruit Curd Recipe (above)
  • Toasted coconut flakes

Instructions

For Coconut Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 4 6-inch round cake pans or 3 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment and grease parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and egg whites. Whisk in the coconut cream, water, and vanilla, and coconut extracts into the egg mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer, mix on low for one minute. With the mixer on low, add in butter, one piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain about 1 minute. Do not over-mix.
  4. Add in half of the wet ingredients, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add in the remaining wet ingredients. Mix on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir batter once by hand with a rubber spatula (Do not over mix cake batter otherwise you will end up with a dense cake).
  5. Divide batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in centers come out clean, about 20-25 mins, rotating pans halfway through baking. (Do not over bake the cake. Start checking the cake for doneness around 16 minutes. If you are using a bigger cake pan, adjust the time accordingly)
  6. Let cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated or frozen for up to 2-3 days. Be sure to bring it back to room temperature before frosting.

For Swiss Meringue Coconut Frosting:

  1. Whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof mixing bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Whisk until warm and sugar are dissolved (mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingers), about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. With an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip egg white and sugar mixture for 5 minutes over medium speed. Increase speed to medium-high, and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue has cooled (test by the feeling of the bottom of the bowl), about 6 minutes.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium speed, add butter, one piece at a time, beating well after each addition. The frosting might look separated at first but keep beating until it comes together. Be patient and it will come together (as long as you dissolved all the sugar in the previous step and your meringue was cool before adding in the butter).
  4. Once the buttercream is smooth and silky (and not before), beat in the coconut cream, coconut extract, and vanilla until combined, an additional one minute.

To Assemble Cake:

  1. Using a serrated knife, remove the dome on cake layers. Place one layer of cake onto a cake platter.
  2. Spread about 1 cup frosting evenly.
  3. Top with about 1/4 cup passionfruit curd. Spread evenly.
  4. Place the second layer of cake on top of the curd. Repeat until your final cake is placed on top.
  5. Spread the remaining frosting on top and the sides of the cake. Smooth frosting as evenly as possible and decorate as desired.
  6. I decorated with toased coconut flakes around the cake and topped

Notes

  1. Please use coconut cream OR cream of coconut. I am linking to two options on Amazon. https://amzn.to/38eZvfL https://amzn.to/38Y3YTu
  2. Be very careful not to OVER MIX or OVER BAKE the cake. It will be dense. Also, wrap your cake in plastic wrap as it cools to maximize moistness.
  3. The Swiss meringue frosting is not as sweet as the traditional American buttercream but it's a great match for this cake. If this is your first time making it, please be patient with it. It comes together after a good amount of beating with an electric mixer. If using a hand mixer, this will take up to 10 minutes. 
  4. For a traditional buttercream, here's my favorite. Feel free to use it for this cake instead of the swiss meringue.
  5. Cake recipe adapted from Sweetapolita

Making this Recipe?

Share it with us on Instagram using #aclassictwist so we can see what you are baking up in your kitchen!