youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Tropical Chocolate Cake

by . Featured in FEAST
Print me

Introduction

If you're worried about using alcohol in a cake that might - but doesn't have to - be destined for children, then just use two spoonfuls of the (usually apple) juice the pineapple was canned in. It also makes it less expensive to make if you don't keep Malibu in the house; frankly, though, I am never without it. But if I were you, I certainly wouldn't dream of going out and buying it especially.

This is a wonderful cake: amusing but no joke; the velvety sponge is dark, moist and gently fragranced. Go easy on the essence in the icing, though, or it will be just too Hawaiian Tropic.

If you're worried about using alcohol in a cake that might - but doesn't have to - be destined for children, then just use two spoonfuls of the (usually apple) juice the pineapple was canned in. It also makes it less expensive to make if you don't keep Malibu in the house; frankly, though, I am never without it. But if I were you, I certainly wouldn't dream of going out and buying it especially.

This is a wonderful cake: amusing but no joke; the velvety sponge is dark, moist and gently fragranced. Go easy on the essence in the icing, though, or it will be just too Hawaiian Tropic.

Tropical Chocolate Cake
Photo by James Merrell

Ingredients

Makes: 8-10 slices

Metric Cups

For the Cake

  • 220 grams canned pineapple in juice (approx. 4 rings)
  • 75 grams cream cheese
  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  • 75 grams soft light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 grams butter
  • 40 grams cocoa powder (sieved)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons malibu (or the juice from can)

For the Icing

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut essence
  • 40 grams desiccated coconut (or shredded coconut)

For the Cake

  • 8 ounces canned pineapple in juice (approx. 4 rings)
  • ⅓ cup cream cheese
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¾ sticks butter
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons malibu (or the juice from can)

For the Icing

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ⅔ cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut essence
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut (or shredded coconut)

Method

  1. Take whatever you need out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF, and butter and line two loosebottomed, 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins.
  2. Process the drained pineapple (reserving the juice just in case) and cream cheese until smooth and amalgamated. Add all the other ingredients, and process again to make a smooth batter. Spoon the batter evenly into the two sandwich tins, and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once they're done, they should be beginning to come away at the edges of the tin and spring back when gently pressed. Let them sit for 5 minutes in their tins on a wire rack, and then turn them out to cool. They will look disappointingly flat, but don't panic in the slightest: they will redeem themselves once they are iced. Once they're cold, you can get on with the gleaming white coconut icing.
  4. Arrange a bowl that fits over a saucepan of barely simmering water to use as a double boiler, and put the whites, sugar, syrup, salt and cream of tartar into the bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk over the simmering saucepan until the icing goes thick, white and glossy and is stiff enough to form peaks. This will take about 5 or so minutes. I have never attempted this by hand, but obviously it would be possible with a balloon whisk, but it might also be agonising.
  5. Take the bowl off the saucepan away from the heat and whisk in the coconut essence.
  6. Sandwich the cakes with just over a third of the icing, and then ice the top and sides in a swirly, snowy fashion. Immediately throw over the desiccated coconut to coat the sides and top of the cake.
  7. I don't bother with the paper square, though you could: I just brush off any stray bits of desiccated coconut from the edges of the plate, or just leave them where they've fallen.
  8. This cake looks wonderful in its uncut fluffy bouffant whiteness, but I like it best once you've sliced in, so that the chocolate layers gleam out darkly, striped and edged in brilliant white.
  1. Take whatever you need out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF, and butter and line two loosebottomed, 20cm / 8 inch sandwich tins.
  2. Process the drained pineapple (reserving the juice just in case) and cream cheese until smooth and amalgamated. Add all the other ingredients, and process again to make a smooth batter. Spoon the batter evenly into the two sandwich tins, and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once they're done, they should be beginning to come away at the edges of the tin and spring back when gently pressed. Let them sit for 5 minutes in their tins on a wire rack, and then turn them out to cool. They will look disappointingly flat, but don't panic in the slightest: they will redeem themselves once they are iced. Once they're cold, you can get on with the gleaming white coconut icing.
  4. Arrange a bowl that fits over a saucepan of barely simmering water to use as a double boiler, and put the whites, sugar, syrup, salt and cream of tartar into the bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk over the simmering saucepan until the icing goes thick, white and glossy and is stiff enough to form peaks. This will take about 5 or so minutes. I have never attempted this by hand, but obviously it would be possible with a balloon whisk, but it might also be agonising.
  5. Take the bowl off the saucepan away from the heat and whisk in the coconut essence.
  6. Sandwich the cakes with just over a third of the icing, and then ice the top and sides in a swirly, snowy fashion. Immediately throw over the desiccated coconut to coat the sides and top of the cake.
  7. I don't bother with the paper square, though you could: I just brush off any stray bits of desiccated coconut from the edges of the plate, or just leave them where they've fallen.
  8. This cake looks wonderful in its uncut fluffy bouffant whiteness, but I like it best once you've sliced in, so that the chocolate layers gleam out darkly, striped and edged in brilliant white.

Additional Information

For vegetarians: make sure the cream cheese is one that is suitable for vegetarians.

For vegetarians: make sure the cream cheese is one that is suitable for vegetarians.

Tell us what you think

What 5 Others have said

  • Tried this cake for the first time and didn't really follow the recipe. Lesson learnt: do follow the recipe! Still it turned out as delicious cake and absolutely fabulous glazing. Never knew that was that easy to achieve. THANK you Nigella for giving me new confidence in the kitchen!

    Posted by Wonderwom on 14th July 2013
  • I'm making this cake for the second time tonight, I made it for Christmas cake since my family don't really celebrate, and don't like fruit cakes. Since then I have been looking for an excuse to make it again, it's my friend's birthday tomorrow, I'm making this cake. Though instead of desiccated coconut, I swirl the icing and spray it silver, this is a truly delicious, beautiful cake. I make the icing with a balloon whisk because there are no plugs near to our oven, and I don't find it too dreadful a task, it takes me about ten minutes of whisking.

    Posted by RhiC on 7th March 2013
  • I love this cake! I just made it for my friend's 21st tonight. It was very easy to make & smells so beautifully fragrant. I put a Barbie doll on top for the Malibu Theme and looks great. :) Thanks Nigella x

    Posted by lukedavidson on 9th March 2013
  • I've just made this cake yesterday, it was delicious, not even too sweet. It's perfect for a birthday or a supper with your friends, or just to comfort yourself. Utterly delicious! Nigella you're always the best!

    Posted by acer on 14th July 2012
  • Very good cake, a birthday cake to make for a friend whose birthday falls in high summer, and is not a traditionalist. I found the icing a bit nerve-racking to make, just keep on going with it, and stay strong, and it will turn out alright. Don't tell people there's egg in the icing if your friends are a bit boring.

    Posted by manonlescaut on 2nd April 2012
Show more comments