Passionfruit & Coconut Mini Cakes


I know that somewhere on this blog I said that I like to follow the seasons with my choices of food and that summery strawberries don’t work for me in winter. That is still the case but there are some exotic fruits I make an exception for, the passion fruit for example. After all, no season in England is ever warm enough for passionfruits. I’m sure there are seasons for passionfruits, depending on which country England imports them from but they do seem available all year round and at the same price, so I can’t feel too seasonal for the lovely passion fruit.

As a quick morning treat, I often have the tangy juice and crunchy passion fruit seeds simply spooned over creamy Greek yoghurt, sweetened with honey. And when I was looking for more ways to use passion fruits in other brunch treats I came across some little passionfruit and coconut cakes that I want to introduce you to.

For starters, they look rather cute. I really like this idea of turning muffins or cupcakes upside down (as I did with my almond and cranberry mini cakes) and ice the smaller end of the cakes for a different look.

The cakes themselves contain creamed coconut, which makes them really moist but with an extra depth of coconut, which of course is also quite oily so they are probably rather high in fat but the good one… I hope!

And the frosting in the original recipe is what makes them particularly tasty, assuming you like coconut, as it uses coconut cream rather than butter. This coconut cream icing is the one on the pictured cupcakes above but if you want them even more refreshing you could go for a glazed icing, made from icing sugar and passion fruit juice.

Either way, they’re a popular cupcake alternative, especially in the morning when proper cupcakes are too much to digest for most people (not me, of course).

Recipe adapted from

For 12 mini cakes you need:

  • 125g butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 180g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 50g coarsely grated creamed coconut (creamed coconut comes in a block, so you’ll need to grate 50g of the block)
  • 80ml coconut cream (this comes in cans and each time I open a can, I find the solid coconut separated from the fluid, so make sure to stir them together again before measuring out your 80ml)
  • 3 passionfruits

For the coconut icing:

  • 250g icing sugar sifted
  • 4 tbsps coconut cream

Alternatively, for the passionfruit icing:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsps of passion fruit juice

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and grease a muffin tin and dust it with a little flour.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the grated coconut and beat again.
Add the eggs and self-raising flour and mix well.
Lastly, stir in the coconut cream and the pulp from the passionfruits.

Fill the muffin tray – ideally the mix should go about 2/3rds up in each muffin case – and bake for about 25mins until golden brown on the top and springy to the touch.

Leave the tray to cool down for about 10mins, then remove the cakes with the help of a knife and turn them out upside down, that’s with the smaller side up, and allow them to cool completely.  

When the cakes are cold, mix the icing sugar with about 4 tbsp of the coconut cream. You may need a little less or more, depending on how thick you want the icing to be (if you want the icing to drizzle down a little like on the pictured cakes above, go for a custard consistency).

Drop around a teaspoon worth of icing on top of each cake and, if you wish, tip the cake to its sides to allow the icing to drizzle down the side.

Alternatively, for the passionfruit icing, stir half the icing sugar in the juice and once it’s incorporated, stir in the rest. Spread a teaspoon worth of the icing, with the back of a tablespoon on each cake and let it harden.

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