Here it is, friends. My last super summery cake of the season: Blackberry Coconut Lime Cake. This beauty is inspired by fresh summer produce (blackberries) and delicious summer cocktails (the rest, basically).
The cake itself is adapted from my go-to yellow cake recipe, which I use for pretty much everything. Here, I’ve switched out vanilla extract for coconut, and added lime zest. Shredded coconut is folded into the batter before it goes into the pans. (You can’t really see it in the photos because I finely chopped the shredded coconut so the slices would cut neatly. Regular shredded coconut can cause the slices to be a little rough and messy, which is also totally okay!) This batter is super easy to mix up in one bowl (this is who I am as a person), and it produces a soft and moist cake with a light and tender crumb.
I will admit this recipe is a little high maintenance, so feel free to leave things out. Don’t like coconut? Leave it out. Don’t want the lime? Leave it out. Don’t want the lime sugar or toasted coconut as garnish? Leave it out. The blackberry is kind of the point, though, so we’re keeping that.
You can use fresh or frozen blackberries, though. We’re doing my usual berry reduction here, too! It takes some time, but most of it is letting the berry purée cook on the stove while you stir it every now and then. You can do other things while it cooks! And you can make it a day or two in advance.
Two tablespoons of this reduction go into the frosting, and the rest is divided between the layers. I love it because if you cook it long enough, the reduction really is like jam and it doesn’t spill out from between the layers once you cut into the cake. Success!
The frosting is super dreamy and my family kept trying to eat it out of the bowl. After frosting the outside of the cake, I took my offset spatula, scraped some of the blackberry reduction from the sides of the bowl it was in, and swirled that into the frosting as well. I love how naturally pink-ish-purple it is. I sort of have a thing with pink cakes, I guess! (Strawberry, cherry, and a different blackberry!) Maybe I’ll do cranberry later in the fall. 😉
While I absolutely love how this Blackberry Coconut Lime Cake turned out, I am so ready for autumn flavors. I hope you’ll give this baby a try before we officially switch seasons!
Blackberry Coconut Lime Cake
- 12 oz fresh or frozen blackberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Coconut Lime Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 8- oz pkg shortening
- 2 tbsp blackberry reduction
- ½ tsp coconut extract
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 tbsp coarse sugar such as sugar sprinkles
- Fresh blackberries
- Lime slices
- Toasted Coconut
To make the blackberry reduction:
- Place the blackberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour purée through a mesh sieve and into a saucepan to remove the seeds. Discard seeds and solids.
- Add sugar to blackberry purée in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cooker over medium low heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the mixture in the saucepan. Stir frequently until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Continue cooking over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and scraping the sides of the pot, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until mixture is thickened to a jelly/jammy consistency. You should be able to drag a spatula across the bottom of the pot and have the mixture very, very slowly spread back into place.
- Remove from heat and let the reduction cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, or overnight. (Reduction will thicken more as it cools.)
- Reduction can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lime zest, and sugar.
- Add sugar, eggs, oil, coconut extract, and milk. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined. Fold in shredded coconut.
- Divide batter evenly among cake pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until cakes are golden brown and set in the center. (Test by inserting a toothpick into the center of each cake layer. If it comes out clean, they're done!)
- Let cakes cool in pans for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- Cream butter on medium-high speed with an electric mixer. With mixer running, add shortening. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add blackberry reduction, coconut extract, and cream; mix well.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Repeat with the second half of powdered sugar, and mix for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
To make the lime sugar:
- To make the lime sugar, place zest and coarse sugar in a bowl. Use your fingers to rub the zest and sugar together until fragrant and the sugar has a light greenish hue.
- When the cake layers are cool, level them with a cake saw or serrated knife. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Pipe a border of frosting around the top, then fill with half of the remaining black berry reduction.
- Place the second cake layer on top and repeat with the border of frosting and the rest of the blackberry reduction.
- Spread remaining frosting around the outside and top of the cake. Garnish with fresh blackberries, lime slices, toasted coconut, and lime sugar.
- Store cake covered at room temperature.
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