Almond, vanilla and coconut cake

When Friday rolls around, it’s time to leave work behind and dive head first into some baking fun. And a relaxed evening braai (South Africanism for barbeque) with friends, and a whole free-range  chicken on the grill deserves to be followed by a sweet and delicious baked treat.

But who has the time on a Friday to spend hours putting together intricate creations? I needed something quick to make, but delicious and soulful… and I found just the inspiration I needed from Belinda Jefferey‘s Almond, coconut and vanilla cake.


To add a little zing to the dense and oh-so-buttery deliciousness of this cake, I served it with a tart lemon cream and it was the perfect pairing.

Quick to make, beautiful and just so yum… I’m definitely going to be whipping this one up again… and again, and again!

Go on, give it a go… you know you want to!



(In theory this cake serves 8, but with a hint of embarrassment, I must admit that four of us happily managed to polish it off, so take that as you will…)

For the cake

  • 200g butter (melted)
  • 180g almond flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • ¼ tsp almond essence (optional)
  • Large handful flaked almonds

For the lemon cream

  • 250ml cream
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp caster sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper, grease with butter and dust with flour (this cake is quite moist so the baking paper really helps to remove the cake from the tin without it breaking – I learnt from experience!)
  • Melt the butter and set aside to cool
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sugar and coconut (you can use a standing mixer for this if you prefer)
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla (and almond essence, if using), then add the cooled butter (if the butter is too hot, it will start to cook the eggs)
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a loose batter
  • Pour into prepared cake tin and sprinkle generously with the flaked almonds
  • Bake for 40 – 50 minutes (the cake and the flaked almonds should be beautifully golden) and the sponge should spring back up when lightly pressed
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack (it is much easier to remove from the tin once it has cooled and set)
  • When cool, invert onto a cooling rack, remove the baking paper and invert again onto a serving plate
  • For the lemon cream, whip up the cream using a standing mixer until thick and satiny
  • Add in the lemon zest (finely chopped) and slowly incorporate the lemon juice while mixing constantly
  • Serve a slice of the cake with a healthy dollop of the lemon cream, and enjoy!



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