Toasted Coconut and Lime Cake

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From Rory O’Connell’s book ‘Cook Well, Eat Well’ published by Gill Books. ‘This is suitable for almost any occasion where a rich, delicious cake is required’, says Rory. ‘The flavours are a bull’s eye combination. I sometimes serve this cake with fresh raspberries, which is another flavour that works beautifully here.’

Serves 8–10


170g butter, softened, plus extra melted butter for greasing
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
170g self-raising flour
50g desiccated coconut
Zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons lime juice

Filling and icing
90g cold butter
175g icing sugar, sieved
110g cream cheese
Zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To finish:
90g desiccated coconut
Zest of 1 lime

To serve
Softly whipped cream or
Crème fraîche
Lime wedges


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush 2 x 20cm cake tins with a little melted butter and line the bottom of each tin with a disc of non-stick baking paper.

2. Place the butter in a large bowl and beat until it has paled in colour. Add the caster sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sieve the flour over the eggs and butter and add the coconut and the lime zest and juice. Fold the ingredients together thoroughly but do not over-beat or you might make the cake tough.

3. Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until the cakes are well risen, a rich golden colour and feel somewhat spongy to the touch.

4. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack, still in the tins. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then gently remove from the tins and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

5. While the cakes are cooling, scatter the coconut over a baking tray in an even layer. Place in the oven until lightly toasted and golden. This takes about 10 minutes and I usually stir the coconut once or twice to achieve an even colour. Allow to cool completely.

6. To make the icing, place the butter in a food processor and blend to a creamy consistency. Add
the remaining ingredients and blend again to achieve a smooth and spreadable icing.

7. To assemble, place one sponge on a flat plate and remove the paper disc. Spread on 2 tablespoons
of the icing and pop on the other cake, paper disc removed, smooth side down. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing. A palette knife works well for this purpose. Dust the top and sides of the cake with the toasted coconut and sprinkle the lime zest over the top of the cake. It may look like you have too much toasted coconut, but keep pressing it gently onto the side and top of the cake and you will end up using it all.

8. I serve the cake with softly whipped cream or crème fraîche and a little plate of lime wedges on the side.


You can buy Rory’s new book at the Gill Books online bookshop or at any good bookstore throughout Ireland.

CURATE: You can also buy Rory’s book online at

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