Recipe of the week - Four tiered kaffir lime and coconut cake


It was my beautiful friend Kitty's baby shower this week, so I decided to try something new ... The kaffir lime is a bumpy, bobbly lime native to South East Asia, and is one of my favourite ingredients at the moment.  Before you learn what it is, I always think it tastes a bit like a deja vu - the flavour is distinctive and familiar, you've tasted it before in Asian cooking, but you just can't quite pinpoint it.

My cake was much smoother and even but I didn't leave enough time to let it set, so the layers slid around in the car and it went a bit wobbly.  Very annoying!


For the cake (4 layers):

450g salted butter (softened) 450g golden caster sugar 450g self-raising flour 8 eggs Zest of 3 limes

For the drizzle:

Zest of 3 limes 170g Golden Caster Sugar 12 tsp lime juice 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves

For the icing:

500g icing sugar 160g butter 50ml coconut milk 2 tbsp dessicated coconut A few drops of coconut essence




1. Preheat the oven to 180c or 160c/fan. Line 4 x 21cm tin(s) with greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. In a blender, mix the butter with the sugar for a minute or two until creamy and slightly pale. Add the grated lime zest and eggs, one at a time and mix well.

3. Stir in the flour and mix well.

4. Heat sugar, lime juice and kaffir lime leaves and zest on a moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved and the lime leaves have softened (do not boil)

5. Remove the stalks from the leaves and blend into the cake mixture until they are in small pieces.

6. Pour mixture into the tins - you can either shallowly fill 4 tins or make 2 larger cakes and slice them in half to make 4 cakes.

7. Cook for 40 - 45  minutes until risen, brown and the top is firm and springy.  Prick the cakes with a small sharp knife to make sure they're ready.

8. Remove the cakes from the oven. Cut off the pointy tops carefully so you have 4 flat cakes (if you only made two cakes, slice them in half here).  Pour the drizzle mixture onto cake. Leave to cool.

9.  Make the icing: blend the butter and sifted icing sugar until well blended and dense.  Add the coconut milk to loosen and then the dessicated coconut and essence.  For icing the cake you want it to be firm but spreadable.

10.  Make sure the cakes are cool and totally flat - even them out with a sharp knife if not.  Ice between each layer of cake and pile them up.

11. Start with the crumb coat.  With a palette knife and hot water, spread the icing thinly around the cake vertically, twisting the plate or whatever it's sitting on, as you go.  Spread a thin layer on top too.  Don't worry if there are crumbs - you are effectively gluing the crumbs down.  Put it in the fridge for around 45 minutes until it is totally set and dry.

12. Neatly spread on a second, slightly thicker layer of icing.  Decorate with flowers and desiccated coconut or lime zest.  Refrigerate the cake so it sets, particularly  if you're transporting it, as otherwise the layers will slide and wobble - like mine did!