I adore pretty things. Whether it be polka dot plates, wild flowers in a jug, or brushing my hands on cow parsley while out for a walk. Given a choice my garden will always be full of old english roses and rambling honeysuckle, rather than neatly edged borders containing structural plants. This relaxed approach is, I believe, reflected in my baking. A drizzle of icing here and there makes a cake not only beautiful, but shouts that it is homemade. Here, my Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake not only looks pretty but tastes pretty good too!
A rich buttery coconut cake, packed full of glacé cherries, simply decorated with glacé icing and more cherries. Yet it looks like an afternoon tea party. In fact this cake makes me want to get out my best china, string bunting everywhere and hold a garden party. Why? Because it is such a cheerful, pretty and delicious cake. THE perfect cake to share.
I rather enjoy baking loaf cakes such as this Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake. The loaf tin makes them easy to slice and perfect for packing up and taking on a picnic. Also, should the cake need to be shared further than anticipated, each slice can easily be cut in half. When I look at the photographs of this Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake they make me smile. Any cake that does that is a winner in my book.
Recipe: Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake serves 8
For the cake:
200g/7oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature
200g/7oz Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon halve quantity if using free flowing
1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey
4 Large Free Range Eggs
125/4.5oz Sweetend Shredded Coconut – such as Bakers available from Amazon alternatively use the equivalent weight of desiccated coconut and add 3 tbsp whole milk to the cake batter
100g/4oz Glacé Cherries halved
250g/9oz Plain White Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
175g/6oz White Icing Sugar (Confectioners sugar)
2 Tbsp Tap Water
10 Whole Glacé Cherries
Small Red Sugar Balls approximately 1 tsp
Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, 325F, gas mark 3
You will need approximately a 25cm x 11.5cm x 7.5cm (10” x 4.5” x 3”) 2lb loaf tin for this recipe. Grease with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
- First of all add the butter, sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until the ingredients are fully combined, pale and creamy.
- Now add 2 eggs, half the flour and vanilla extract. Whisk together until just combined.
- Add the last 2 eggs and whisk to incorporate.
- Finally add the remaining flour, baking powder, coconut and cherry halves. Toss the cherries in the flour, this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking.
- Fold all of the ingredients together (adding additional milk if using desiccated coconut) until they are combined.
- Spoon cake batter into the prepared tin making sure the top is level.
- Place the cake tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. My cake took 1 hour and 10 minutes to bake.
- The cake is baked when golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
- Once the cake has cooled run a palette knife around the inside of the tin. Turn out the cake, remove the baking parchment and place on a rack over a baking tray.
- Use a whisk to mix the icing sugar and water.
- Spoon the thick glacé icing on to the top of the cake.
- Add the glacé cherries to the iced cake.
- Finally sprinkle over red sugar balls before the icing sets.
- Put the cake to one side and leave to set.
Serve sliced and placed on your very best china, along with a freshly made pot of tea.
Store in an airtight container. Eat within 5 days.
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I am not the world’s best cake decorator! Yet I’ve developed several strategies for making the cakes I bake look presentable. Because we eat with our eyes first AND as I mentioned, I like pretty things, cakes being one of them. For inspiration I follow several bakers and cake decorators on Twitter and Instagram. They are an invaluable source of tips, tricks and ideas. Likewise Pinterest is also full of inspiration. For me though nature is the greatest inspirer. None more so than my beautiful back garden.
What inspires you?
Have fun making, baking and creating your feasts.
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