Coconut Mojito Cake

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

garnish:
mint leaves
sprinkle of desiccated coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Grease and line two 18cm cake tins and set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the dry ingredients together. 
  3. Add the butter and mix on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  4. 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.
  5. Fold in the lime zest and coconut until evenly distributed. 
  6. Divide between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 35 minutes and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool for ten minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. 
  8. When the cakes are cool make up the filling. Beat the butter for 4-5 minutes on high. 
  9. Sift in the icing sugar - this is super important because otherwise you'll get lumpy icing.
  10. Mix on low until combined then move up to high and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
  11. Add the lime zest, rum, coconut and mint leaves and mix slowly  until evenly distributed. 
  12. Spread half over the bottom cake layer and half over the top, then layer together. 
  13. Sprinkle with a little extra coconut and garnish with some extra mint leaves.