Jammiest Coconut Cake

This coconut cake recipe from Miranda Gore Browne is a perfect tea-time treat, combining light sponge with sweet jam and flecks of desiccated coconut. It's easy and fun to make.

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I am not sure what it is that I love so much about this cake. Perhaps it is the buttery vanilla sponge speckled with coconut and baked with a layer of sweet raspberry jam. Or the simple layer of icing dredged with desiccated coconut. Or, maybe it is because it just reminds me of being little. I can remember the feel of the desiccated coconut in my fingers and its fragrant, sweetly tropical aroma as I helped to make a similar cake with my mother.

Makes about 18 squares


350 g unsalted butter, softened
350 g caster sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
400 g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
170 g desiccated coconut
pinch of salt
8 tbsp raspberry jam
For the topping:
200 g icing sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
75 g desiccated coconut

Essential kit

You will need a 20 x 30-cm tray bake tin and an electric mixer.


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line a 20 x 30-cm tray bake tin with non-stick baking paper.

2 Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat or whisk well until pale and fluffy.

3 Gently mix in all the dry ingredients. Spoon half of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out with a palette knife.

4 Dollop the jam on top and spread to evenly cover the mixture. Spoon the remaining mixture on top and spread carefully with a palette knife to cover the jam and create a smooth top.

5 Bake in the preheated oven for about 35–40 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and leave in the tin to cool.

6 Make the topping. Mix together the icing sugar and water, adding the water a little at a time, until you have a smooth, spreadable icing. Roughly spread the icing over the top of the cooled cake then use a
spoon to spread the desiccated coconut on top.

7 Leave to set then cut into squares to serve.

TIP: This is a great cake to take on holiday or on picnics. It keeps well in an airtight tin or storage container.

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