I am 28 today. Yep, two years to thirty...although having said that, the big 3-0 is not an age that scares me just yet. Ask me again in two years time. It occurred to me that I hadn't had a proper birthday cake in a few years - either that or my memory has really failed me today - so I broke out the rum and made myself a cake.
I'd had about eight different recipe ideas for my birthday post and I was so overwhelmed that I wasn't sure I'd ever get round to actually baking anything. Then inspiration struck in the booze aisle at Aldi, surely where all great ideas come to fruition, and I threw the rum into my basket and hurried off with the pram to find limes. I should add that I do not make a habit of buying rum when I have Matilda with me, I'm not quite at the edge yet ;)
Mojito is a pretty strong flavour but this cake isn't overpowering. I'm not a fan of boozy cakes where all you can taste is alcohol (I'm looking at you Christmas cake) but this cake is has all the flavour of a mojito without making you feel like you've just necked a cocktail. This makes it perfectly ok to drink a mojito at the same time as eating a mojito cake.
So, what's my plan for today? Well I'm going to spend it with Matilda, drinking praline flat whites and hunting for a warm weather jacket. Nick will be at work so I'll try and not eat any cake until he gets home but I make no promises. I love birthdays but mine just doesn't seem so important anymore and I'm pretty damn excited for a certain someone's first birthday in seven months time.
Coconut Birthday Cake
(adapted from Lily Vanilli's Victoria Sponge Cake recipe)
330g plain flour
320g caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
190ml whole milk
zest of 2 limes
50g desiccated coconut
200g unsalted butter, softened
400g icing sugar
zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons white rum
40g desiccated coconut
8 mint leaves, thinly sliced
sprinkle of desiccated coconut
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grease and line two 18cm cake tins and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the butter and mix on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs and mix until just incorporated. Then add the milk and mix on low until it comes together, move the speed upto high for 2-3 minutes until the mixture appears paler in colour.
- Fold in the lime zest and coconut until evenly distributed.
- Divide between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 35 minutes and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for ten minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- When the cakes are cool make up the filling. Beat the butter for 4-5 minutes on high.
- Sift in the icing sugar - this is super important because otherwise you'll get lumpy icing.
- Mix on low until combined then move up to high and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the lime zest, rum, coconut and mint leaves and mix slowly until evenly distributed.
- Spread half over the bottom cake layer and half over the top, then layer together.
- Sprinkle with a little extra coconut and garnish with some extra mint leaves.