Tag Archives: Hummingbird Bakery

Coconut Layer Cake

After all my stressing and preparation for my viva voce examination (read earlier whining here), results came out on Saturday – and I passed! Yes! Finally, I’m an enrolled Advocate in Bangladesh!

The first thing I do? Bake a celebratory cake, duh!

I can’t go out in all my lawyery awesomeness on an empty stomach now, can I?

Coconut Layer Cake with Coconut Buttercream topped with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Coconut Layer Cake

Makes one, triple layer 8 inch cake – it wouldn’t be a celebration if it was any less than three layers!

This recipe has been adapted from two Hummingbird Bakery recipes – after a slight accident with the original coconut custard frosting and filling (the less said, the better), options had to be reassessed. I sent out my hungry, cake-anticipating friends to gather ingredients for coconut buttercream frosting instead. Ingredients were acquired, butter was very tentatively and briefly zapped in the microwave to soften (time restraints, I had no choice!), and the show went on!


For the cakes:

120g unsalted butter, at room temperature

400g caster sugar

360g plain flour

1½ tbsp baking powder

40g dessicated coconut

¼ tsp salt

3 large eggs

260ml coconut milk

100ml whole milk

½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

For the frosting:

160g unsalted butter, at room temperature

500g icing sugar, sifted

50ml coconut milk

For the decoration:

80g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1 tsp unsalted butter

half a dozen strawberries

a handful of toasted flaked almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3, grease and line three round 8-inch cake tins.

2. Put the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, dessicated coconut and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix the ingredients together until you get a sandy consistency.

3. In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the eggs, coconut milk, whole milk and vanilla.

4. Keeping the electric mixer on a slow speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the mixture of dry ingredients. Mix until the two are combined.

5. Divide the batter between the three prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are a lovely golden brown, bounce back when the tops are pressed lightly with a finger, and a skewer comes out clean in the middle.

6. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, before turning them out onto a wire rack and leaving them to cool completely.

7. While you are waiting for the cakes to cool, get on with preparing the decorations and frosting. Wash the strawberries and pat them dry to get rid of all excess moisture. Line a flat plate with cling film to have it ready for strawberry landing.

8. Place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl and let the two melt together, stirring occasionally. Once melted, take off the heat.

9. Holding the strawberries by their green stems, dip them into the melted chocolate and twirl around until they are covered in chocolate. Lift up and twirl to get rid of excess chocolate. Place on the cling film lined plate. Once you have covered all the strawberries, place the plate in the fridge and leave to set.

10. Now, onto the frosting! With an electric mixture, beat the butter and icing sugar together until the mixture comes together (this may take some time, be patient).

11. With the mixture on low speed, gradually add the coconut milk. Once the coconut milk has been incorporated into the mixture, turn up the speed to high and mix for 5-10 mins. Make sure to use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrape the bottom and sides, to make sure everything is well mixed. Once the frosting is light and fluffy, it is ready!

12. Fill and frost the cake layers with the frosting, then decorate with the chocolate covered strawberries and flaked almonds.

13. (Optional) Once you have eaten a substantial amount of cake, dance around the room on a sugar high, singing “I’m a real lawyer now!”. Heck yes, baby. I am.


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Further Adventures in Baking & The TAG Project

Ahh, back to infrequent posting. Old habits and all that.

I’ve been meaning to bake Nigella’s Best Birthday Cake for a while. It’s been on my ‘to-bake’ list, waiting for an appropriate birthday to make its appearance. Finally, this month – it was my younger brother’s birthday and I thought this cake would be perfect. Chocolate icing, custard filling – omnomnom, what’s not to like?

I really wanted to like the cake. Because I really do love Nigella. However – while the icing and filling were delicious – the cake itself was a disappointment. It smelled too eggy and I didn’t like the taste very much.


Ah, never mind. I used the leftover chocolate icing (which really was delicious!) to frost my Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes – delicious combination!

In other news, I’ll be posting more on The TAG Project now, since the new season has started up. TAG is a project that I am a part of – a bunch of us create creative stuff each week based around a theme. I’m supposed to post on Wednesdays. I try not to be late. And often fail.


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Getting through revision – technique #1 : sugar rush

When the going gets tough, the tough get baking. It is a fabulous form of  stress relief, and has the benefit of having tangible, edible delights at the end of the process.

I tried out my first recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook yesterday – their classic vanilla cupcake, with chocolate frosting. Simple but very yum. My brother gave my efforts a ‘9.5’, saw my expectant gaze and changed his verdict to a ’10’. I guess that means that they didn’t turn out all that bad!

The recipe was easy to follow, and the cupcakes only took 20 minutes in the oven. They came out lovely and light and spongy. So far, the cookbook gets a big thumbs up!

I went with the vanilla one first because I had all the ingredients at hand – but Blackbottom cupcakes are most definitely next on the list! Then again, the hazelnut and chocolate cupcakes do look scrumptious. And then there’s the rather indulgent looking Brooklyn Blackout Cake…

Couldn’t I just be examined on this instead? Much more exciting than the wonders of civil procedure, surely?

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The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

‘Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.’ – Jo Brand

Something which made my day a lot happier:

I finally purchased it! After I’ve finished drooling at all the yummy photos, I can’t wait to try out the recipes. Which one to try first – red velvet or blackbottom?


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