Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Coconut Bounty Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache

This coconut cake is layered with whipped chocolate ganache and topped with a decadent cream-cheese frosting. 

Words & recipe: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson

This is a true show-stopper, brilliant for any kind of celebration. It can be made up to three days in advance.

Serves 14 to 16


3 Coconut Cake layers (recipe follows)
Whipped Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
Miracle Frosting (recipe follows)
170g shredded or thread coconut

Spread one cake layer with half the Whipped Chocolate Ganache. Repeat with second cake and remaining ganache, then set the last cake layer on top.

Cover top and sides of assembled cake with Miracle Frosting, followed by shredded coconut.

Coconut Cake

With layered cakes, I prefer to make individual cakes rather than slicing one into three.


280g flour
100g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
300g sugar
3 eggs, separated
265ml Kewpie mayonnaise (available at supermarkets)
190ml coconut milk (I use Kara brand)
140ml buttermilk
4 teaspoons Malibu liqueur (or 2 teaspoons coconut extract)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Heat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease and line three 23cm tins. Sift flour into a bowl and add desiccated coconut, baking powder and salt.

Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment beat sugar and egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Add mayonnaise, coconut milk, buttermilk, Malibu and vanilla extract and mix until combined. With the mixer running on low, slowly add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold them into the other mixture, then divide it between the prepared cake tins and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

More stories you might like:
Recipe: Kristy Lorson’s Soy Milk

Cool cakes for 20 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

Heat 550ml cream until just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and add 550g roughly chopped dark chocolate (such as Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana). Stir gently until smooth.

Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Leave at room temperature until cool, but not to the point of setting, and beat until thick and creamy. Be careful not to overbeat as it may curdle. Use immediately – it won’t spread once it sets.

Miracle Frosting


300g sugar
35g flour
20g cornflour
¼ teaspoon salt
375ml milk
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
225g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cut into 12 to 16 pieces and at room temperature
225g butter (preferably unsalted), cut into 30 to 40 bits and at room temperature


Place sugar, flour, cornflour and salt in a pot. Slowly pour in milk, whisking until mixture is smooth. Set over medium heat and constantly whisk for 5 to 7 minutes or until mixture boils and is very thick. Stir in vanilla, then pour into a bowl and chill overnight.

Put the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed, adding one piece of cream cheese at a time, then one bit of butter at a time.

Whisk for 2 minutes or until butter and cream cheese are incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and whisk for about 5 minutes, or until frosting is light and fluffy.


To store the cake, set it on the lid of a high-sided plastic container and fit the container over the top. Remove from the fridge one hour before serving.

More stories you might like:
Recipe: Soba Noodle, Wakame and Cucumber Salad

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
Discuss This Article
Send this to a friend