Coconut cake 2.0

Another day, another cake. There is never a justifiable excuse or reason to not make or eat cake and though baking a cake is far more strenuous than simply buying one, I am a firm believer in homemade cakes being a lot better than shop bought ones. For starters these can be tailor made to your specific tastes and needs, and most importantly at least for me is the absence of icing or frosting. Yes, hate me if you will but I do not like cream filled, thickly frosted cakes whatsoever. The cakes I prefer should be suitable to be had with tea or coffee and it’s these no frill cakes, saturated with flavour and perfect crumb that make my day, and yours too if you bake it.

There already is a stunningly delicious coconut cake recipe on this blog, and the reason I added another coconut cake recipe here is because this one is a relatively easier with some extra texture and somewhat lesser fussy ingredients. I contemplated making this in a blender and gave up on the idea because I didn’t want to wash my bulky blender, but you can if you want to. Just goes on to show how easy and quick this recipe is.

The ingredients in question are vanilla, sugar, flour, shredded coconut (lots of it), butter, baking powder, eggs and some lemon extract which I have wrongly written as orange extract

In a clean bowl mix together soft room temperature butter, sugar and lemon extract. Substitute with lemon zest if you have lemons on hand. There isn’t a lot of creaming and beating and whipping here. For this initial process of mixing I would however suggests a whisk and not a spatula. A mistake I went on to correct.

Add the vanilla extract after a brief mixing of butter, sugar and lemon extract. This is homemade vanilla extract. Mix in the eggs one at a time.

Once all the eggs are mixed in add the flour and baking powder and mix well.

I also added a few tablespoons of milk into the batter while mixing in the flour. The batter should be thick but of dropping consistency before the addition of coconut

Finally add in the shredded coconut and mix briefly until everything is lusciously combined.

Finally pour the batter into a well greased cake pan. This batter will make one large cake or two smaller sized ones. One to eat at home and the other to give to a friend.

bake at 170ºC for 45 -60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes before taking out of the pan.

Recipe ingredients
Butter: 115g
Flour: 300g
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Shredded coconut (Unsweetened): 200g
Eggs: 5
Sugar: 200g
Vanilla extract: 1tsp
Milk (optional): 2 tbsp

Recipe instructions

In a clean bowl beat in the butter with sugar and lemon extract or lemon zest if using. Add in the vanilla, give it a brief mixing and add the eggs one at a time. Beat in each egg into the mixture thoroughly. Once all the eggs are incorporated into the batter, add the flour, baking powder and milk if the batter gets too thick.

When all the flour is mixed add in the shredded coconut and mix well.

Pour into a well greased cake tin preferable a 12 inch or two smaller cake pans and bake at 170ºC for at least 45-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. The edges of the cake start pulling from the cake tin when the cake is completely done.

Let the cake rest on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.

The addition of so much shredded coconut lends the cake more texture and results in a better crumb. The cake tends to dry a little which works better for this flavour than a more moist one.

Mint & tea sorbet

DSC_0722Since the gods are being all sorts of unkind with the sun, what with the blazing rays and scorching heat, it’s only natural to pour in copious amounts of coolants into your body, without skimping on the sugar.

This is where sorbets come into existence. Like feathery ice, kissing the insides of your mouth ever so daintily, melting softly on your tongue; sending shivers of exquisite chill to your temples. The flavours are so delicate that you’re forced to down a few dozen scoopfuls, before you realize you’re a being surreptitiously iced. Lighter than air, frozen sweets, they are like the elegant cousins to boisterous ice creams and much too easy to make.

Easier still if you have an ice cream/sorbet machine/maker, because making these sans modern contraptions takes away the chill factor from the sorbets, and you’re left churning semi frozen liquid every hour of the day, and we are not here for that. NO!

It’s about making life comfortable sometimes, and summers aren’t for survival of the self righteous. Summers are to chill, and that’s exactly what this sorbet is about. Accentuated with cool vibes of mint and earthy tones of tea, this is easier than going out to buy a frozen ice treat.



I didn’t lay out ingredients this time, because this is much too easy. This is the beginning of a simple syrup. Sugar + water that you bring to a boil till all sugar is dissolved.



like so. It’s hot, really hot so don’t go around poking your fingers in.



throw in a pinch of salt.



and fistfuls of mint, and a tea bag.


cover and let it steep for half an hour



fish out the tea bag and add in some lemon juice. Let it cool completely and transfer to a fridge for a few hours or overnight. The flavours mingle and intensify in the syrup.




I let mine stay in the fridge overnight and the next day the mint leaves were weepy and the liquid was a fabulous murky brown.



sieve into a clean bowl



bring out the heavy machinery and we are en route to making joy



turn on the machine, pour in the minty tea syrup (as per your machine instructions)



a few seconds in and you can see the early beginnings of snow



churning into polar beginnings of your personal sorbet



twelve minutes in, and the syrup was a sweet scrunched ice berg



the glacial quality of this bowl was an indication enough to stop. Took about fifteen minutes.



This sorbet right here, in its most sherbet form is good enough to eat, but not quite frozen to the point you could scoop.



transfer to a freezer safe container for a firmer consistency and freeze for a few hours. I let mine gestate for about four hours.



scoop and serve.


Water: 800 mls (3 cups)

Sugar: 350 g (1.1/5 cup)

Mint leaves : 1 cup

lemon juice: 90mls (5 tbsp)

1 tea bag



Prepare a simple syrup with water and sugar by dissolving them in a sauce pan over medium heat until sugar has dissolved into the water.

To the syrup add in mint leaves and tea bag. Cover and let steep for half an hour.

Discard the tea bag and add lemon juice into the mixture. Once its completely cooled, transfer to a fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Strain the now chilled mixture and pour into ice cream maker according to machine to instructions.


Transfer sorbet into a freezer safe container for firmer consistency.