My signature recipe
If there was one thing I’d want someone to make for me on Valentine’s Day, it would be this Passion Fruit Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.
I love Passion Fruit Cake so much, I sometimes make it for myself on my birthday. That’s right. In order to ensure I get exactly the cake I want, I make my own birthday cake. That is how much this cake means to me.
I’ve never shared my recipe before. Typically, I eat it naked. (Not me, the cake is naked…but I’d be happy to eat it in the buff.) I actually like it–and all cake–hot and straight out of the oven, while the edges are still crunchy. (If you’ve never had crunchy cake, you must take the time to make a cake for yourself and just slice into it as soon as it’s cool enough to touch. For anyone who loves great baked goods, this is the ultimate way to eat cake.)
But I knew that, in order to transform my go-to cake into an aphrodisiac worthy of Valentine’s Day or any romantic event, I had to give it a special topping. But trust me, no ordinary buttercream will suit this cake. When I pondered the tropical note that makes this cake my greatest enticement, it became very clear to me that there is one kind of frosting that would do it justice: Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.
Credit goes to my baking guru
I based my cake recipe on Chrysta Wilson’s Lemonade Picnic Cake from Kiss My Bundt: recipes from the award-winning bakery with a couple of alterations to make it my own. I always turn to Chrysta’s recipes as the base for my experiments. Her recipes are the most reliable made-from-scratch cake recipes I’ve ever tried. But I departed from her recipe for the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting. For my frosting, I replaced the butter in buttercream with coconut oil in its solid form. It makes a perfect butter-like base for the frosting but one with the unmistakably tropical flavor of pure coconut.
This Passion Fruit Bundt Cake recipe, based on Pastry Chef Chrysta Wilson's Lemonade Picnic Cake, shows how easy it is to make a beautiful cake from scratch. The Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting uses coconut oil in place of butter to give the frosting a uniquely tropical flavor.
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 C unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 C sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 2 tbsp passion fruit concentrate (such as The Perfect Purée)
- 1 1/4 C milk (whole or 2% recommended)
- 4 oz coconut oil in solid form
- 8 oz cream cheese softened*
- 2 C powdered sugar sifted
Preheat you oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is soft and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time. Then beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.
Add passion fruit concentrate and beat on low until just incorporated.
Beginning and ending with the flour, mix 1/3 of the flour into the wet mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating until all ingredients are mixed.
Grease and flour a bundt cake pan. (Or use a cooking spray that includes flour). Be sure to coat it very, very well.
Pour the batter into the pan. It should be about 3/4 full.
Bake cake until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean--approximately 40-50 minutes.
Invert cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (If cake still resists, cool an additional 15 minutes in the pan.) Cool completely before frosting.
With an electric mixer on a medium speed, cream the butter and the cream cheese until soft and completely smooth, at least 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, making sure to scrape down any frosting stuck to the sides of the bowl.
Mix on medium speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Note: You can use this batter to make 2 cake rounds for a layer cake or 24 cupcakes as well as a bundt. (Depending on how much frosting you like, you may want to make a double batch for cupcakes.)
Love passion fruit? Don’t miss my Passion Fruit Curd recipe.
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