This rich and delicious Vegan Coconut Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd tastes just like summer, and it is full of fresh tropical flavors.
Happy Friday my loves! I have this gorgeous dessert to share today that is absolutely perfect for the warmer weather – it is sure to transport you straight to the tropics. This Vegan Coconut Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd is made with layers of fluffy coconut cake sandwiched with rich passionfruit curd and coconut buttercream frosting. The whole thing is then topped with fresh passionfruit pulp for a delicious finish!
Sooo I did a thing, you guys. I went LIVE on Instagram for the first time! I was planning on doing a cake decorating video, but I didn’t feel like this coconut layer cake would be a good fit (since I still wanted to post the recipe separately) – as a compromise, I decided on a whim to just decorate it live and it was so fun! I personally don’t enjoy watching Lives from other people, but I loved doing it myself – I think it will have to happen again. If you want to see me decorate it live, you can check it out here as I saved the video!
What do I need to make this coconut layer cake with passionfruit curd?
You need a few special tools and a few special ingredients to make this delicious cake!
- A cake leveler – this is a great tool in any baker’s repertoire! It helps make sure your cakes are perfectly level, and it also helps divide your cakes evenly. I like splitting my cakes in half so that I have more layers, and this tool makes it so easy.
- A 1M decorating tip – I’ve talked about it before, but the 1M cake decorating tip is my absolute favorite! It is so versatile and pretty. I used it to decorate the top of this cake.
- Piping bags – I personally prefer a reusable fabric bag for decorating my cakes. It seems backwards, but I feel like a bigger bag is easier to handle! I absolutely love my reusable piping bag by Ateco and it is an awesome investment. You’ll be reaching it for it time and time again! I love that I don’t have to refill it with frosting every 2 seconds.
- Fresh passionfruit – if you can get these, they make the BIGGEST difference in this cake! I think they are currently in season, as I have seen them in more stores, even at my local Kroger. Your best bet will be a natural food grocery like Whole Foods or Sprouts. Or you can order them online through Melissa’s Produce!
- Coconut extract – I feel like coconut is one of those flavors that is really tricky to get in cakes! It easily bakes out. In addition to coconut flakes and coconut milk in my cake, I also recommend adding coconut extract for some extra oomph! I also use it in the frosting to add more flavor.
- Coconut oil – To add even more coconut flavor, I used unrefined coconut oil in the cake and in the frosting. In this case, we want unrefined coconut oil specifically as it retains the coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil is a good option for cooking savory food and in situations where you don’t want to taste the coconut!
Tips for success for making this coconut layer cake
- Give yourself plenty of time! Several of the components can be made ahead of time, so work smart and stress less. I recommend making the passionfruit curd ahead of time so that it can cool off (it needs to chill before you can use it in the cake). It is also super helpful to make the coconut cake the night before and allow it to chill overnight so that it is easier to handle!
- Trim the top of the cakes to make them level. A lot of the time, even if cakes appear to be perfectly flat and level, they are not. The bad part is that you usually won’t realize this until you’re halfway through assembling and realize that your cake is totally leaning sideways. I recommend using a cake leveler to flatten your cakes out to ensure that everything is perfectly flat!
- Remember to toast your coconut! Toasting your coconut takes just a few minutes, but adds tons of flavor! Don’t skip this step.
I hope you guys will give this coconut layer cake with passionfruit curd a try! It is absolutely delicious and tastes like summer. If you can get your hands on some fresh passionfruit, I promise it is so worth the work!
Looking for more tropical fruit treats?
- Mini Vegan Pavlova with Passionfruit Curd
- Vegan Coconut Lime Trifles with Tropical Fruit Salad
- Vegan Coconut Mango Snack Cake
- Vegan Mango Peach Toaster Pastries
- *for the passionfruit curd*
- 3 fresh passionfruits
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup nondairy milk (I used almond)
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- *for the cake*
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
- 1 cup granulated sugar + 2-3 tbsp for topping
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, solid
- ⅓ cup coconutmilk yogurt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- ⅔ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
- *for the frosting*
- *for the frosting*
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup shortening
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- pinch of salt
- For serving - 1-2 fresh passionfruit, toasted coconut flakes
- First, prepare the passionfruit curd. Combine the pulp of the three passionfruit with sugar and milk in a small saucepan. Heat on medium.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth. Add this mixture to the passionfruit.
- Heat, whisking often, until mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the vegan butter. Set aside to cool before using for the cake.
- Next, make the coconut cake. Preheat oven to 350F and spray two 6" round cake pans with nonstick baking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside to thicken.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Add in the coconut oil, and beat on low until it's incorporated and has a sandy texture.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, flaxseed mixture, coconut yogurt, and vanilla & coconut extracts, and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Next, pour in the coconut milk and beat on medium-low until smooth and creamy. Finally, gently stir in the shredded coconut.
- Divide batter evenly among the two prepared pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Set aside to cool.
- It is now time to assemble, so make your frosting. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the vegan butter, coconut oil, and shortening until creamy.
- Add in the vanilla and coconut extracts, then mix in the powdered sugar as needed to create a frosting, and add a pinch of salt. Add coconut milk as needed if the frosting is too thick and lumpy.
- To assemble the cake, divide the 2 cake layers in half to create 4 thin layers.
- Place one cake piece on your cake stand or platter, pipe some of the frosting around the edge of the cake to create a "fence", then spoon some passionfruit curd in the center. Spread it to create a thin layer, and repeat with all.
- Frost the outside of the cake with the rest of the frosting as desired, and decorate with frosting, fresh passionfruit pulp, and toasted coconut. Enjoy!
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