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 a bundt cake flavored with passion fruit puree so much I make it for myself on my birthday. The one-of-a-kind tangy flavor of passion fruit takes a basic butter cake batter to a new level of flavor and complexity.
Although this is my favorite cake recipe, I’ve never shared it before.
A bundt cake so good it doesn’t even need frosting
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 event-worthy dessert, 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. And your going to love what happens when the tropical flavors of the cake and this frosting combine.
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.
How to make coconut cream cheese frosting
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. (Coconut oil solidifies around 74 or 76 degrees. So assuming your room temperature isn’t unusually warm, it probably remains in its solid form in your pantry.)
Thick and creamy, coconut oil makes a perfect butter-like base for the frosting but one with the unmistakably tropical flavor of pure coconut.
Incidentally, coconut is among the best foods for men’s sexual health. So if you want to make sure the man in your life has a very happy birthday, this might be the tropical cake to set his next year off on the right foot!
Passion Fruit Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cake:
- 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)
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz coconut oil in solid form
- 8 oz cream cheese softened*
- 2 C powdered sugar sifted
To make the cake:
- 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.
To make the 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.
Love passion fruit? Don’t miss my Passion Fruit Curd recipe.
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