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Passion fruit coconut cake with toasted coconut and passion fruit curd on cake stand

Coconut and Passion Fruit Curd Layer Cake Recipe Card

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Juyali (ju-ja-lee)
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Bake time: 22-25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 60 minutes plus chilling
  • Yield: 1 9" round cake 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Latin


This Scrumptious Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Curd Filling is a tropical delight. It’s made up of layers of super-moist coconut cake covered with tangy passion fruit curd, then topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut, and more Passion Fruit goodness. Great for Easter brunch, a birthday, or simply enjoyed after a summer meal.



Coconut Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup of White Sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 stick) of Butter
  • 1 cup of Buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of Apple Sauce
  • 4 Eggs at room temperature (separated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 2 1/2 cup of all-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 3 teaspoons of Coconut extract

Passion Fruit Curd Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of Passion Fruit Concentrate
  • 1/2 cup of Water
  • 1/4 cup of granulated Sugar
  • 6 large Egg Yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

Decoration Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of Coconut Extract
  • 1 cup of Toasted Coconut


Make the Coconut Cake (30 minutes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three (3) 9" round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper (or butter and flour) on the bottom of the pans only, not the sides.
  2. Whip the egg whites with the Cream of Tartar in a medium-size bowl using an electric mixer. Whip at medium speed until "soft peaks" form and the whites hold their shape. Set aside. 
  3. In a separate large bowl, whip the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, and continue to beat for two more minutes. This process introduces air which helps make the cake soft and fluffy. Add the buttermilkapple sauce, and coconut extract, and mix at low speed until combined.
  4. In a third bowl, combine the flourbaking sodabaking powder, and salt and lightly whisk to ensure all dry ingredients are well combined.  
  5. Add half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, and fold in half the whipped egg whites gently with a rubber spatula until just mixed. Folding means lifting the batter up from the side in a circular motion and over itself back to the middle. Do not overbeat the batter, or you will have a dense cake. " folding " aims to combine the ingredients just enough without deflating the mixture. 
  6. Add the second half of the flour ingredients and fold the remaining egg whites gently until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter evenly onto the three prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake the cakes for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Be careful not to overbake the cakes. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack. 

    Make the Passion Fruit Curd (15 minutes)

  1. Mix all ingredients (except butter) in a 3-quart saucepan until well combined. Cook mixture at low heat, constantly whisking until the mixture has thickened. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a visible trail when you run your finger through it. The temperature should be around 160°F / 71°C when doneLow heat is used to keep the eggs from curdling. 
  2. When the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter (butter adds flavor and creaminess).
  3. Pour the passion fruit curd into a strainer and press it through it with a rubber spatula until all have gone through the strainer.
  4. Pour into a glass container and cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap, gently pressing onto the surface of the curd. This prevents creating a “skin”. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This fruit curd recipe yields about 1 cup, just the right amount needed for this cake!

Prepare the decoration Ingredients (15 minutes)

Toast the Coconut

Spread 1-cup of shredded coconut in an even layer over a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.  Stop to stir every three minutes.  This oven method works the best.

Make the Whipped Cream
Chill a mixing bowl (metal preferably) and the metal whisks from the electric mixer for 5 minutes in the refrigerator (or for 2 minutes in the freezer). This ensures they are cold, and the cream will whip nicely.
Add the cream, powdered sugar, and coconut extract into the bowl and whip at high speed until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat the cream to avoid turning it into a butter texture.


  1.     Time planning tip! All cake components (cake, curd, whipped cream, and toasted coconut) can be made ahead of time and assembled the day you plan to serve it.
  2.    Servings - This cake will feed approximately 12-14 people. Since it's relatively tall, the slices can be thinner.
  3.    Don’t have Buttermilk? Add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add milk to fill up to the 1-cup line (250 mL) and stir. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  4.    Apple Sauce  - Helps add moisture like butter. I supplemented it here to keep the total fat reasonable.
  5.    The cake is best eaten at room temperature, but because of the curd and cream, it should be kept refrigerated. To serve, remove from the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to soften. The cake will keep in the refrigerator for one week.
  6. Where to buy Passion Fruit Pulp? - I use Pitaya Foods Concentrate or Alpes Passion Fruit Pulp with seeds which I bought online interchangeably in recipes. The Goya Passion Fruit Pulp (found in the freezer aisle of Latin Grocery stores) is also fantastic.