Recipe: Tamarillo Pillow Cake (Dairy-Free)

Get ready to sink your teeth into this billowy tamarillo cake.

Recipe by Kristina Jensen

Tamarillos are beginning to fall from the trees and this season looks to be a good one. Some of our ‘soundsie’ residents out here in the Kenepuru Sound, Marlborough, managed to keep their trees alive through last winter’s outrageously wet conditions and are reporting great crops.

READ MORE: Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree

This cake, based on a ‘best feijoa cake ever’ recipe from way-back-when, can be made with yellow or red tamarillos. It’s best if the fruit is not too ripe as they are hard to peel at the best of times. This non-dairy option suits me because, to me, cakes made with oil instead of butter are so soft and ‘pillowy’. My brother and I used to call any cake that was soft and gooey in the middle a ‘pillow’ cake when we were kids. Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of those sibling things.

Tamarillo Pillow Cake

Serves: 8- 10


500g (about 8) tamarillos, topped-and-tailed, peeled and halved using a serrated knife

Wet ingredients:
150ml rice bran oil
250ml coconut cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond essence

Dry ingredients:
1¼ cups white flour (if making store-bought gluten-free flour, just one cup)
½ cup almond flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup white sugar

2 teaspoons raw sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 22cm springform tin with baking paper (I draw around the base of the tin onto baking paper and then snip into the circle that I’ve drawn from the outside edge of the square of paper so that it also goes up the sides of the tin as well.)

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Beat or whisk the wet ingredients together in a bowl; mix the dry ones together in another. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly mixed.

Pour into the prepared tin and arrange the tamarillo halves on the batter, working quickly so they don’t sink before you have got them all on (Some batter may rise up and over the fruit so don’t worry if some of them sink.)

Mix the raw sugar and ginger together and sprinkle over the cake. Bake in the centre of your oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. Cut with a serrated knife to serve.


Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree

Recipe: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Saffron Almond Cake

Recipe: Esther’s gluten-free gingerbread recipe

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