225 g softened butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
225 g caster sugar
4 large eggs
225 g self-raising flour
50 g desiccated coconut
finely grated zest 1 orange
1 tsp baking powder
For the frosting
5 large passion fruits
225 g softened butter, cubed
375 g icing sugar, sifted
280 g full-fat cream cheese
75 g white chocolate
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan. Grease 2 × 20cm loose-based sandwich tins and line the bases with discs of baking paper. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, coconut, orange zest and baking powder in a food processor or food mixer and blend or beat until well combined, thick and creamy. Do not over-blend or the cake will be tough rather than light. If you don’t have a food mixer, put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat hard with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake on the same shelf in the centre of the oven for 25 mins or until well risen and just beginning to shrink back from the sides of the tin. Remove the tins from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins before running a knife around the edge of the cakes and turning out onto a wire rack. Peel off the paper and leave to cool completely.
- When the cakes are completely cold, very carefully cut horizontally through each one with a serrated knife to make 4 thin sponges. To make the frosting, cut the passion fruits in half and scoop into a sieve. Press through the sieve to strain the juice – you should have 3 tbsp. Set aside and reserve the seeds. Put the butter, icing sugar and cheese in a food processor or mixer and blend until smooth. Do not overbeat or it will become runny. Slowly add the passion fruit juice and blend until just combined.
- Place one of the sponges, cut-side down, on the metal base of the sandwich tin and put on an upturned bowl on a tray. This will help make frosting the cake easier. Spread with roughly a fifth of the frosting – just enough to cover the sponge. Use a paddling motion with a palette knife or soft spatula for the best result, trying to keep contact with the cake to prevent the sponge from lifting.
- Cover with a second cake, spread with frosting and repeat the layers once more, ending with the last sponge, cut-side down. By this stage, you should have layered 4 cakes with passion fruit frosting between 3 of them. Use the remaining frosting to spread over the top and sides of the cakes to cover completely. Don’t worry if the sides are a little messy, as the grated chocolate should cover any imperfections.
- Put the cake in the fridge for 30-60 mins to allow the icing to set a little. Coarsely grate the chocolate. Working your way slowly around the cake, scoop grated chocolate onto a palette knife and sweep up the sides of the cake, pressing into the soft icing.
- Take the cake off the bowl, slide the palette knife between the cake and the metal base, and gently transfer to a plate or cake stand. (If the icing is too soft to do this, pop the cake in the freezer for 30 mins and then try again.) Chill until ready to serve. Before serving, drizzle over 1 tsp of the reserved passion fruit seeds over the top of the cake. If making a day ahead, cover with a cake tin or a bowl large enough to cover the cake without touching it, so the cake doesn’t get damaged in the fridge.