There’s a reason why the sandwich (or layer) cake has survived for so long – it’s perfect! The layer of filling separating the two sponges and further icing on top is heavenly to eat and guarantees that you get a bit of all the components in every bite.
As I type this my home is filling with the aroma of warm coconut and I know already that this cake will be something special!
I’ve never used Swiss meringue buttercream as a filling before, normally I pipe it on top of cupcakes. I’ve done some piping here too but what struck me was how light the buttercream was as a filling – it worked really well.
For the cake:
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons coconut extract
3 tablespoons milk
For the buttercream:
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line two 20cm sandwich pans with baking paper.
- Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until soft and well combined. Due to the ratio of ingredients, the mix won’t get light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little of the flour if it looks like the mix might curdles.
- Add the remaining flour, baking powder, coconut and extract and beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the milk to loosen the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the two prepared sandwich tins and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took exactly 25 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before turning out and letting cool completely on a wire rack.
- The sponges can be made in advance and stored in an airtight tin.
- Make the buttercream. Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and stir constantly to stop the egg from cooking.
- After 5-10 minutes the sugar should have dissolved. You will know whether this has happened by looking at the back of the spoon – if you can see any sugar crystals the mix needs more heating and stirring.
- When no crystals are visible, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the meringue mixture until it has puffed up and cooled.
- Add the butter and coconut extract to the meringue and continue to whisk. The mixture will collapse initially but don’t panic; keep whisking and it will form a smooth, fluffy buttercream.
- Spread half of the buttercream on to one of the sponges and place the other sponge on top.
- Pipe the remaining buttercream on top of the cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.