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School Dinner Coconut and Jam Sponge

It's back to school with Candice Brown's nostalgic jam and coconut sponge. Serve with hot custard for a comforting teatime treat.

From the book

Candice Brown


I think this might be my all-time favourite school dinner pudding. Another easy-peasy recipe that hits all the right spots – I know that this pudding makes people happy as I made and served hundreds of portions with hot vanilla custard during lockdown and everyone loved it. Sometimes just a little reminder or a memory is enough to make your day a little bit brighter. You can use whatever jam you like and flavour the sponge with zest or spices.

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100g desiccated coconut
160g golden caster sugar
160g unsalted butter
170g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
zest of 1 orange
Splash of coconut milk
300g raspberry jam
custard, to serve

Essential kit

You will need: a 25cm square cake tin.


Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4) and line a 25cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Scatter the desiccated coconut over a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 3-5 minutes until starting to turn golden brown. Set aside.

Put the sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, eggs, orange zest and coconut milk in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer or hand mixer, mix together until pale, fluffy and completely combined. Pour into the prepared tin and level out. Bake for 20–25 minutes until risen and golden brown or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Spread the jam all over the cooled sponge – get right into the edges. Evenly sprinkle over the toasted desiccated coconut.

Cut into squares and serve hot with custard.

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From the book: Happy Cooking: Easy uplifting meals and comforting treats

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