Category Archives: Raspberry

Coconut and Raspberry Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream

It’s cold and grey and the rain is beating a relentless tattoo on my tin roof. Winter has well and truly set in here in Queensland, Australia. I know, everybody thinks it is always sunny in Queensland, well it’s not. When it rains, it pours! As I huddle on the sofa it is hard not to think wistfully back to summer, to hot, humid days and nights, to palm trees and tropical flowers and to the flavours of summer.

This cake is a very moist coconut and raspberry flavour, layered with silky smooth lemon curd Italian buttercream. It has shredded coconut on the sides along with fresh raspberries and flowers made of gum paste to adorn the top.


So to all of you in other parts of the world enjoying summer and, hopefully, endless days of sunshine, yes I envy you…. and I want to give a special shout out to Anna in Scotland – thanks for reading and I hope you have a very good summer – Happy Baking :).

Coconut and Raspberry Cake with Lemon Curd Buttercream


Makes: 1 x 8″ four tier cake.

NB. The cake is very moist and crumbly and the layers don’t cut well so for the best results I made each tier individually. This also ensured an even spacing of raspberries in each tier. As I only have two 8″ cake tins I had to make the cake in two batches. The below ingredients are enough for 2 tiers (so make two batches, to get four tiers).

  • 150gm butter, softened
  • 190gm  coconut cream
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 100gm caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 110gm self raising flour
  • 60gm shredded coconut
  • Frozen raspberries – enough to spread evenly over each tier.


  • Fresh raspberries
  • Shredded coconut
  • Gum paste flowers (optional).


Preheat oven 180°C.

Spray 2 x 8″ cake tins with vegetable oil, line bottom of cake tins with baking paper. Flour sides of tin and tap out excess.

Add lemon zest to sugar and rub together with fingertips.

Beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and creamy.

Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.

Fold in sifted flour, shredded coconut and coconut cream.

Split the batter evenly between two 8″ cake tins, make top as even as possible.

Place frozen raspberries evenly over the top of each cake.

Bake @ 180°C for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Let the layers cool completely in the cake tin then turn out onto a cake rack.

Repeat to make 2 more tiers.

Lemon Curd Buttercream

Make one quantity of Italian buttercream.

Add approx. 150gm lemon curd (or to taste) to butter cream and mix well. For an extra hit of lemon you can add a small amount of lemon juice. I used store bought lemon curd for this cake.


Place first tier on cake/serving platter. Layer tier with butter cream.

Tip: I refrigerate each butter creamed tier before adding the next layer of cake to ensure that each layer is firm.

Repeat for each layer.

Cover top and sides with butter cream.

Cover sides with shredded coconut.

Cover top with fresh raspberries and gum paste flowers (optional).

Cut a large slice, close your eyes and pretend it’s summer………

Raspberry and Chocolate Layer Cake

I was out shopping yesterday and everywhere I went there were glaring reminders that Mother’s Day was fast approaching. I had an immediate freak out, “seriously?” we just got through Easter and now Mother’s Day is racing up, hot on its heels. Sometimes, it feels like we measure time by the advertising posters in the shops.

As always, with any events that come up I start to think about what cake would be suitable. Actually, who am I trying to kid, everything makes me think of cake. So, what kind of cake would I make for my mother? I’m thinking traditional, I’m thinking a time honoured flavour combination of chocolate and raspberry.

As a base for this cake, I thought I would use a chocolate cake recipe from “Planet Cake” a book I purchased a few years ago.  I have found this recipe to produce a dense moist cake with a strong ‘chocolatey‘ flavour … just the way I like it.

For the layers, I decided to use a silky smooth raspberry Italian buttercream and, to give it a real hit of raspberries, I added layers of raspberry puree. Finally, I covered the cake in a dark chocolate ganache.


For extra decoration I have made a flower from gum paste. You can use fresh flowers, but remember some flowers are toxic and should NEVER be used with food, so make sure you check first. Another option is to use fresh raspberries for extra colour.

Unfortunately, my mother and I live in different countries so this is a virtual cake….

Love you mum, happy mothers day ♥ ♥ ♥.

Oh, by the way, Mr Lemon Grove enjoyed your cake!


Chocolate Cake.

This recipe involves making two chocolate cakes, which are cut in half to create four layers. The following quantities are for one cake.

  • 220gm butter
  • 220gm dark chocolate
  • 160ml water
  • 125gm self raising flour
  • 125gm all purpose plain flour
  • 50gm unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 480gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 100ml buttermilk.

Reminder: You need to follow this process twice to create two cakes.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Tip: Prepare your cake tin before creating your cake batter.

Spray one 9″ cake tin with oil then line bottom and sides with baking paper. The baking paper around the side should extend at least 2 cm above the top of the cake tin.

In a large saucepan add chocolate, butter and water. Heat over a low to med heat until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and put aside until required.

In a medium mixing bowl sift together flours, bi carb of soda and cocoa. Add the sugar and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, oil and buttermilk.

Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined.

Add the egg, oil and buttermilk mixture to the chocolate and flour mix and stir again until fully combined.

Pour into cake tin. Bake in oven for approx. 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

NB: This is a moist cake so the skewer may be a little sticky when it comes out of the cake. Also the top of this cake forms a hard crust, this will need to be cut away before layering.

Leave cake in cake tin until cool.

Repeat the above process to make the second cake.

Raspberry Puree.

The following quantities are for both cakes.

  • 500gm raspberries (I use frozen, mostly due to the price of fresh raspberries in Australia)
  • 100gm caster sugar
  • Lemon juice to taste.

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, heat over a medium heat stirring occasionally until the raspberries release juice and mixture becomes more liquid. Bring to boil. Continue cooking until mixture has thickened slightly.

Pour mixture through sieve into a heat proof bowl. You may need to do this a couple of times to remove the raspberry seeds.

Allow puree to cool then refrigerate until ready to use.

Raspberry Italian Buttercream.

Italian buttercream is my favourite of all the different types of buttercream, but it is a bit fiddly and can be a bit daunting handling the boiled sugar. You can substitute for any type of buttercream. You will need a sugar or digital thermometer to make Italian buttercream.

Tip: Remember safety precautions when handling boiled sugar. See Salted Caramel for appropriate safety guidelines.

The following quantities are for both cakes.

  • 300gm caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (extra) caster sugar (for mixing in egg whites)
  • 100ml water
  • 150gm egg white (equal to 4 medium egg whites)
  • 350gm softened butter (cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 150gm Raspberry puree (or to taste).

Place the 300gm caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook until sugar mixture reaches 118°C.

In the mean time, with an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites on a medium speed until they are foamy and soft. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar into the whites and whisk on a medium speed until the whites are firm. Don’t forget to keep checking the temperature of your sugar while egg whites are mixing.

Once egg whites are firm and sugar has reached 118°C, remove sugar from stove and pour in a thin stream into the egg whites while whisking at a medium speed.

Tip: Pour the sugar down the side of the mixing bowl and not into the centre where it will catch on the whisk attachment.

Keep whisking on a medium to high speed until egg white has cooled to 28°C then add the softened butter a bit at a time and keep mixing on a medium speed.

Add vanilla extract and raspberry puree and mix until combined and smooth.

Chocolate Ganache.

The following quantities are for both cakes.

  • 250gm dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 250gm pure cream
  • 25ml honey (optional).

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.

In a medium saucepan bring cream and honey to boil. Remove from stove and pour over chocolate.

Whisk mixture until smooth.

Place in fridge and stir occasionally until at required consistency. To cover the outside of cake it will need to be a medium consistency.

Assembly of cake:

Cut the hard crust off top of chocolate cake. Cut each cake into two even layers.

Spread a layer of raspberry puree on first cake layer then a layer of raspberry buttercream. Keep repeating layers. Place in the fridge for approx. 30 – 40 minutes to allow buttercream to firm.

Spread ganache around top and sides of cake. Place in fridge to set the ganache.

When ready to serve decorate with gum paste flowers or fresh raspberries.