Monday, November 15

Orange & coconut syrup cake

orange and coconut syrup cake

It's hard being an obsessive baker when only two people live in your house. Actually, hard is probably the wrong word, the baking bit is easy whether you live in a household of two or ten. The hard it is finishing what you make, particularly on the weeks you don't have people around for whatever reason.

Luckily for me, we seem to have an endless number of people coming and going from our house so most things get eaten fairly quickly. Whipping out a slice of cake makes guests feel comfortable and welcome and it also prevents me from having any unwanted leftovers. It also means I can start on whatever recipe next strikes my fancy without feeling guilty.

I do try to reduce the quantity of most recipes but I'm either paranoid that I'll reduce too much or there's only so small a recipe will go. This recipe falls into the first category, I didn't want to reduce it too much just in case it was delicious (which it was) and I wanted to eat more than one slice of it (which I did). The original recipe made one 26cm (10 1/2") cake, mine makes one 20cm (8") cake. I probably could have reduced the quantity further (down to two eggs, from five) but I'm not sure I have a cake tin that small. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't because it there's all the more for me.

This cake is kind of surprising. Most coconut cake I've made contain desiccated coconut whereas this one contains shredded. As a result the cake has bits of coconut that you can feel as you bit into it throughout. It's weird but nice. I think it works well as the cake itself is super moist due to syrup, the shredded coconut gives it a noticeable texture.

Orange & coconut syrup cake

(adapted from Eating in by Philip Johnson)
makes one 20cm (8") cake

200g (7 oz) Greek-style yoghurt
70g (2.4 oz) cream cheese
90g (3 oz)unsweetened shredded coconut
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
120g (4 1/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
190g (6 3/4 oz) caster sugar
3 eggs
120g (4 1/4 oz) self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Orange Syrup

120g (4 1/4 oz) caster sugar
Juice of 1 orange

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8") spring-form cake tin.

In a food processor or a blender combine the yoghurt, coconut, cream cheese, orange zest, and juice. Process until smooth, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold through the yoghurt mixture, incorporating it well. Sift the flour and baking soda over the top, then fold through.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven.

While the cake is cooking, prepare the orange syrup by combining the sugar and just enough water to cover it in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange juice, then remove from the heat.

Drizzle the syrup over the warm cake in a steady stream until it is absorbed, using a pastry brush to distribute the syrup evenly if necessary. Cool the cake to room temperature before removing from the tin. When ready to serve, slice and serve with ice cream.


  1. I have a samll 15cm cake tin that I use whenever I want to test a recipe- which will guarantee it'll be finish off on the day! haha.....but sometimes it's hard to work with small quantities =S This cake looks really good! I love that you used shredded coconut in it- I can just imagine how good it tastes!! =)

  2. This cake looks amazing, I wish I had a piece

  3. Mmmmm what a delicious looking cake. I love orange cakes!

    I have the same problem as you with only two in the house and finishing all the things I bake. I found the perfect solution though, I send my baking into my boyfriends work (he's in the army) and the baking is quickly gobbled up.

  4. I'm bookmarking the recipe right now - I'm literally obsessed with citrus cakes and I love the idea of combining orange and coconut! Yum!
    At home I have the same situation as you - 2 people - but the problem is my husband doesn't like sweets. Ask the people from the office how much they love my husband for that... ;)

  5. I'll definitely make this one. I crave citrus and the coconut sounds delicious. We are only two at my house, too, so we eat many desserts for breakfast-sounds strange to some, I'm sure.

  6. Jennifer: Thanks, I used to do the same thing but then all his workmates went on diets. Boo!

    Patricia: I hope if you ever make it, your cake is delicious. I'm hoping the people in my new office love sweets as much as I do but I sincerely doubt they will!

    Lynne: Not strange to me, we eat too many desserts for breakfast too. It's tragic really but anything to feed the addiction.

  7. This recipe is great, made it today. Only thing to say is that you haven't stated when the coconut should be put in, I assumed with the flour and baking soda and that's worked..

    1. Hi, sorry about that and thanks for the heads up. I checked the recipe and the coconut was supposed to be added with the yoghurt but I'm glad to hear it didn't make any difference! I've since fixed up the recipe, thanks again.