Lemon coconut cake with lemon syrup

With the sun shining outside and an abundance of lemons purchased at the weekend markets I decided to create a cake that sounded delicious in my head. Using what I had lying around the house I created something pretty tasty!! The tang of the syrup which coats the outer crust and the soft, coconut cake inside is the perfect partnership. Delicious warmed slightly with a dollop of cream or ice-cream…

For the cake:
150ml olive oil
225g caster sugar
1 lemon (zest of)
3 eggs
120g dessicated coconut
225g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
185ml coconut milk

For the Lemon Syrup:
220g caster sugar
1 lemon (juice of)

Preheat oven to 180°C (355ºF). Grease a 20cm spring form cake tin or 20cm loaf tin and dust with flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the olive oil, sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Lightly whisk the eggs with the coconut milk then beat into the batter gradually until smooth. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and then add the dessicated coconut and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake in the oven for approximately 60 minutes (after 40 minutes, you may need to cover the cake with foil to avoid burning – this depends what type of oven you’re using). The cake is cooked through when a skewer pierced into the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, to make the syrup:
Combine the sugar, lemon and 200ml water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes until the syrup thickens. Decant to a small jug and leave to cool slightly.

When the cake comes out of the oven, leave for 5 minutes then pierce the cake all over with a sharp knife and release the cake so that it is loose from the tin. Pour over the lemon syrup – it will run down the sides, but the cake will have no problem absorbing everything. Leave for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely.

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