Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. I made him a cake because that’s what I do. If only he could eat it. Alas, my in-laws live in Northern England, in the most beautiful little town where everything is so green it almost hurts your eyes. I absolutely fell in love with the place when we went to visit a couple years ago.
Luckily, my in-laws, Ken and Barbara (take a second to giggle) have had the opportunity to come visit us in Hawaii twice now. I think they might like it here as much as I like it there. We tend to have an overabundance of sunshine, something I understand is quite rare in England. When I asked Ken what kind of dessert he wanted for this birthday, he requested something with the lilikoi, also known as passion fruit in English, that are growing in our backyard.
I combined a Hawaiian favorite with an English classic to make this cake. I love it when two worlds collide. The lilikoi curd is sweet and tart, and the cake is rich and buttery. The fresh sweetened whipped cream is silky and light. There’s no frosting on this cake, so I think that makes it perfect for summer. You can shovel it in without feeling too heavy.
I get a kick out of picturing Ken in his rocker days on his motorcycle, and I laugh to myself every time I hear my husband unknowingly delivering one of his dad’s jokes. I hope he would like this cake. I know we did.
Happy birthday, Ken!
- 175 grams (3/4 cup) butter, softened
- 175 grams (1-1/2 cups) sugar
- 3 eggs
- 175 grams (1-1/2 cups) self-rising flour
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup passion fruit curd
- 1-1/2 cups whipped cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 340 degrees and butter two nine-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Sift the flour over the butter mixture and add the milk. Fold to combine.
- Divide the batter between your two pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes in the pans for ten minutes then cool completely before adding the fun stuff.
- Put your first cake layer on your cake stand and spread the curd (or whatever fruity and delicious filling suits your fancy) evenly over the cake. Mine dripped a lot. It's fun that way.
- Add the whipped cream and spread that onto your cake as well.
- Top with the second cake layer.
- Put your powdered sugar into a mesh sieve and tap it over the cake to create a dusting of powdered sugar all over the top.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy. Imagine yourself in Hawaii or England. Whichever you prefer.
- The butter is the star of this cake, so this is a good time to splurge on the good stuff, or use the rule of second cheapest. Low quality butter can lead to a mealy cake.
- Measurements for fillings are approximate and interchangeable. I've also made this cake with raspberry jam, which is more traditional. Use whatever you love.