Monday, 4 March 2013

A Taste of the Tropical: Chocolate and Coconut Cake for Mother's Day and Waitrose Direct 'Making for Mum' Competition

This certainly is the time of year for themed baking. From Valentines' Day to St David's Day via flippin' Pancakes there is nothing What Kate Baked likes better than a themed bake. See, for example, Christmas.

Thing is, it is Mother's Day. What possible combination of flour, sugar, egg, butter and baking powder is sufficient to express all the thanks yous, all the appreciation, all the gratitude and all the love?

So, ideally for Mother's Day I'd be taking Mam away to a sunny tropical island. You know the sort. Aqua blue sea, soft golden sand, swaying palms, not a cloud in the sky. A personal butler who may bear more than just a passing resemblance to Hugh Jackman topping up our refreshments.

Trouble is my NHS salary will get us as far as Andover rather than Antigua.

So the next best thing is this decadent chocolate cake with a hint of the tropical- a silky coconut icing. 

Thank you Mum.

Meanwhile, this Mother's Day Waitrose Direct have launched a 'Making for Mum' competition. To be in with the chance of winning your lovely Mum, plus a friend, a day of expert cooking lessons at the Waitrose Cookery School you just need to send them a photo of what you'll be making for your Mum. And you can get crafty as well as, erm, cakey! You can enter right here.

A Taste of the Tropical: Chocolate and Coconut Cake for Mother's Day

For the cake:
100g chocolate, chopped
120ml boiling water
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
175g unsalted softened butter
225g light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs lightly beaten
150ml buttermilk

For the ganache and decoration:
150g chocolate
150ml coconut milk
Handful of dessicated coconut 
Handful of white chocolate buttons

1. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins and preheat the oven to 180C/fan 170C/350F/Gas Mark 4
2. Pop the chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour over the just-boiled water. Stir until melted and set aside to cool
3. In a bowl sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and vanilla pod seeds together and set aside
4. Beat the butter and sugar together for 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, adding a tablespoon of the flour mixture if it begins to curdle. Add in the chocolate and buttermilk
5. Gently fold in the flour mixture and divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, smoothing the tops
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until firm on touch. Leave for 5 minutes to cool in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely
7. To make the ganache: Pop the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Place the coconut milk in a small pan and heat until simmering point, stirring throughout. Remove the pan from the heat and pour over the chocolate, whisking the mixture until the chocolate has melted and it is smooth, glossy and thickened. 
Set aside to cool for 1-2 hours, or until thick enough to spread over the cake.
8. Use half the ganache to sandwich the two layers together and smooth the remainder of the ganache over the top. Decorate with a sprinkling of dessicated coconut and white chocolate buttons

Baker's notes...
  • The coconut milk ganache is also a great vegan substitute for the traditional double cream-based ganache. But no coconut milk? No worries- simply use double cream instead
  • The buttermilk helps ensure the cake remains lovely and moist 
  • The cake, uniced and wrapped well, freezes for up to 3 months. 
Please note Waitrose Direct kindly sent us some wine to promote their Mother's Day competition. It certainly helped numb the disappointment of not spending the weekend with Mam in Antigua. 


  1. That looks delicious kate, I could just eat that ganache all on its own!
    My Cupcake Habit

  2. What a beautiful cake. Love the idea of bringing a taste of the tropics to Mother's Day. Competition sounds great, will check it out x

  3. I bet your Mum will love this as much, if not more, than a blowout holiday - a little personal touch and a lot of love is all most mums need :-) Love the combination of chocolate and coconut, yum!

  4. That looks utterly scrumptious Kate and I have wanted to try ganache with coconut milk for an age now, but still haven't managed it. Gorgeously decorated too.

  5. Stunning looking cake Kate! Any mum would be impressed with this :)

  6. I want to thank fantastic mixture. I just wine basket it tasted awesome: -)
    I have a webpage with the help of white recommendations professionally for everybody who is concerned. You can find it at

  7. Can I use coconut milk as a substitute for buttermilk in the recipe, if so how much coconut milk should I use


Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!