Passionfruit Lime Coriander Cake [backup copy]

April 28, 2022
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 24 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

Passionfruit is one of my favorite fruits ever! It’s bright, floral, and fragrant. In this recipe, passionfruit is the star of the show and lime zest and coriander are the backup dancers. Coriander adds subtle citrusy warmth and lime zest brings zing. Together, these flavors remind me of a tropical vacation, which is exactly what we need this time of year, right? What’s that Ina Garten saying - 'You can’t be sad while you’re eating a cookie'? Well, you can’t be sad while you’re devouring this passionfruit cake. It’s delightful.

Note - How to pick passionfruit: Place a passionfruit in the middle of your palm and feel how heavy it weighs. The heavier it weighs the more pulp it contains. Fruit that feels lighter and appears more wrinkled often has less pulp. Typically fruit with smooth skin will taste more tart, whereas wrinkled fruit will taste sweeter (because it’s had time to ripen).

Note - Where to order passionfruit: If you’re worried about sourcing passionfruit, don’t be because they are easy to order online. I ordered a box from Rincon Tropics, a Californian farm, and it arrived in perfect condition. If you’re lucky enough to live someplace warm you can likely find passionfruit at your local market.

Note: The proportions listed in my Lime Coriander Cake are adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Meringue Layer Cake.

Note: Be careful with the temperature of the buttercream. At room temperature the frosting will be silky, smooth, and perfectly spreadable. If the meringue is too warm when you add butter, then the frosting will be too loose and lack structure. Pop it into the fridge for a few minutes before you attempt to whip it again. The reverse can also be true. If you refrigerate your buttercream, it will be too cold to work with straight from the fridge. Allow it to return to room temperature, then whip it in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment before frosting your cake. —Caitlin Feeney

What You'll Need
  • Lime Coriander Cake
  • cups passionfruit juice (from 3 large passionfruit)
  • cups granulated sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Finely grated zest of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups buttermilk (shake before measuring)
  • Passionfruit Buttercream
  • ¾ cups egg whites (from 5 large eggs)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cups passionfruit pulp (from 6 large passionfruit)
  1. Lime Coriander Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 6-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
  3. Prepare the passionfruit syrup: Cut three large passionfruit in half and scoop out the pulp. Pass the pulp through a fine mesh strainer to separate the juice from the seeds. Discard the seeds but keep the juice. Mix ⅓ cup passionfruit juice with ⅓ cup granulated sugar in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the light brown sugar and Kosher salt. Add the lime zest and use your hands to rub the zest into the sugar. Add the ground coriander.
  6. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter to the sugar mixture and beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the whole eggs one by one, beating for one minute after each addition. Add both egg yolks and beat for one minute. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
  7. Add one third of the flour mixture and pulse gently on low speed until the flour is fully incorporated. Add half the buttermilk and mix on low speed. Add half of the remaining flour mixture, then the buttermilk, and finally the last of the flour. Mix gently after each addition.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the cakes onto the cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  9. Once the cakes have cooled to room temperature, use a long serrated bread knife to carefully slice off the domed top of each cake. Retrieve the passionfruit syrup you made earlier (in Step 2) and stir to ensure all of the sugar has dissolved. Use a pastry brush or spoon to evenly distribute syrup across the cut surface of each cake.
  1. Passionfruit Buttercream
  2. Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the bowl atop a small pot of gently simmering water (but don’t allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water).
  3. Continue to whisk the egg whites and sugar until a candy thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Your mixture should look smooth and glossy.
  4. Move the bowl to the stand mixture and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the Kosher salt. Continue to whisk until the mixture cools to room temperature. Now place your hand on the base of the mixing bowl. Is the bowl still warm to the touch? If so, leave the meringue to cool to room temperature. Once the bowl of the stand mixer (and the meringue inside) has cooled to room temperature, proceed to the next step.
  5. With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Cut six passionfruit in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds. With the mixer on medium speed, whisk ¾ cup of passionfruit pulp into the frosting. Whisk until the juice is fully incorporated, about three minutes.
  7. Place 1 tablespoon of frosting in the center of a serving platter. Place one cake (syrup side up) atop the frosting dollop. Press down lightly so the cake adheres to the platter. Divide the frosting into four portions. Top the first cake layer with one portion of frosting. Use an offset spatula to create a smooth, level surface. Add the second cake layer and then the second portion of frosting. Create a smooth, level surface again. Add the third cake layer and then the third portion of frosting. Use the fourth and final portion of frosting to coat the sides of the cake. Create gentle swirls in the frosting and fill in any gaps.
  8. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours. When you are ready to serve, remove the cake from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before you cut slices and serve. Enjoy!

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