Tropical Papaya-Coconut Cake
Oh boy is this cake good – a little too good to just have chilling in my fridge on a random weekday. Despite how delicious it is, this cake is actually quite unsightly; it doesn’t rise much and the top is craggy. But as far as looks go, not to worry because all will be well; a craggy top is nothing a little glaze can’t fix.
Isn’t that flowered plate pretty? It was a gift from Brandy of Nutmeg Nanny – thanks, Brandy!
This cake is moist and dense, with an almost chewy quality. Texture-wise, it’s sort of like a cross between bread and cake. Oddly enough (because there’s no cheese in it), this cake reminds me of a cheese pastry in both flavor and texture. It’s softly aromatic and really lovely accompanied with tea. It’s perfectly sweet on its own so a light glaze is topping enough, and you could even skip the glaze if you want (that is, if you don’t mind the craggy top, lol).
If you’re looking to bring a little (simulated) warmth to a chilly winter’s day, this tropical-flavored cake is the way to go.
Tropical Papaya-Coconut Cake
- Cooking spray
- 2 1/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (115 g) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups (375 g) cubed papaya (fresh or frozen; thawed if frozen)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut water
- 1 cup (115 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon flaked coconut, for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F; line 3 (8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch) loaf pans with parchment paper and lightly spray the insides with cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, coconut, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and then beat in the eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and rum extracts. Puree the papaya and coconut water in a blender or food processor, and stir the puree into the wet ingredients.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding 1/3 at a time, being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once the cakes are cooled, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze.
- Pour the glaze on top of the cakes and spread it evenly across. Sprinkle the flaked coconut on top, if using.
- Let the glaze set before cutting and serving; store refrigerated after the first day.
Baking in a Different Sized Pan: I imagine this batter could also be baked into cupcakes or larger loaves; however, if you decide to try it, be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
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