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VEGAN Sunshine Cake: coconut & lime sponge, passionfruit & mango curd, vanilla buttercream & fruits

Made this fun lil sunny girl for my sister's birthday this weekend. I have really been trying to improve my baking over the last few months and I feel like this is the big boss / final hurdle / my Bake Off show stopper lol. This cake is so bright and summery and just looking at it makes me happy. The sponge is light. The passionfruit 'curd' is sweet, tart (and a big old cheat really, thank you Tesco). The buttercream is silky smooth and the fruits give it a sweet/sour kick. And finally, the white chocolate drip round the edge is just... cute. For a first attempt I am proud of this one. And yes, it's alllll vegan! Happy birthday, sis x

As a little pointer: it is really important to use cold vegan baking blocks for the buttercream and not soft-spreads. I made this mistake with cupcakes I made the other week and the buttercream curdled and split. So, cold baking block for the buttercream!


Coconut and lime sponge:

  • 225g dairy-free spread / butter (at room temperature)

  • 400ml coconut milk (tinned, full fat), at room temperature

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar / white wine vinegar

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 425g self-raising flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 lime - finely grated zest only

  • 3 tsp coconut essence (slightly tricky to find in supermarkets - I got this one from Waitrose)

Passionfruit and mango 'curd' (from Tesco lol, not homemade):

  • 1x passionfruit and mango coulis - Tesco, babyyy (pic at the bottom of what I used)

  • 2tbsp corn-starch & 2tbsp water (this will be used to thicken the coulis)


  • 3 x 250g baking blocks (Tesco own is vegan, as is the Flora plant block - just make sure it is straight out the fridge)

  • 800g-1kg icing sugar

  • 1tsp vanilla essence / vanilla paste

  • A few drops of orange food paste (important to use either a gel, powder or paste for food colouring, liquid drop food colourings could split the buttercream)


  • 7-8 passionfruit's

  • 5-6 strawberries

  • Optional: Mint leaves

  • Optional: 1 bar vegan white chocolate for the drip

  • Optional: 4-5 mango fans / pineapple fans / desiccated coconut


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Line your tins (I used x2 standard ones and x1 small one for the 2 tiers)

  2. Shake your coconut milk like a polaroid picture. Add the apple cider vinegar / white wine vinegar directly to the tin of coconut milk, give it a good stir and leave it to the side... we will come back to it.

  3. In a large bowl add your flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt - whisk it together.

  4. Cream your butter and sugar together. Add your coconut essence & lime zest and stir it through.

  5. Gently, tip your dry ingredients in your wet and gradually fold them in (careful not to over whisk)

  6. Add the coconut milk and stir it through.

  7. Pour your batter equally between your cake tins and smooth the tops down with a palette knife.

  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cakes look golden and are springy to the touch. Leave them to cool for about 15 minutes in their tins, then take them out and leave them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

  9. Whilst your cakes cool, make your icing. In a large bowl beat your cold baking blocks together with your sieved icing sugar. Add the vanilla (if the icing looks to thin, add some cornflour - if the mixture looks to 'wet', chuck it in the fridge for about 20 minutes)


  1. Now we are getting to the fun part. Split your icing into 3 bowls - 30% in one, 30% in another and 40% in the final one. Add 3-4 drops of orange food paste to one of your 30% ones, 6-8 drops of orange food paste to the other 30% one and leave the final 40% one as it is.

  2. Pop the pale orange and dark orange icing in the fridge for now.

  3. Pour your coulis into a saucepan and pop the heat up to a medium-high heat. In a mug, mix your cornflower and water together to form a loose paste. Stir it together until it looks like a paste. Add the paste to the coulis and whisk it continuously until it is thick. Leave it to cool completely.

  4. Spread a decent amount of your plain buttercream on top of your first sponge (base layer), followed by a layer of your passionfruit curd. Place the second large sponge on top. Repeat the buttercream and passionfruit curd step in the centre of the top large sponge and add your small sponge on top.

  5. Crumb layer: Using the plain coloured icing, apply a really thin layer round the whole edge of your cake (see pic below). Scrape it round until most of the loose crumbs have come off and it looks smooth. Repeat on the smaller cake if using the tiered approach.

  6. Pop your cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

  7. Grab your orange icings out the fridge. You can pop the remaining plain icing in the fridge for a bit to save it melting.

  8. Apply a decent amount of dark orange icing round the bottom half of the cake and spread it roughly round. Repeat with the light orange icing on the top half. Using a scraper, twizzle and scrape the icing until it looks smooth and looks... ombre.

  9. Repeat with plain icing on the top small cake if using (if not using the small layer, you could do 1/3 dark orange, 1/3 light orange and 1/3 plain and ombre them)

  10. You can get creative here with how you decorate: you could pipe some peaks on top of your cake and add some more passionfruit / mango, melt down your white chocolate and drip down the side, add some sliced/fanned strawberries, decoratively place your mint leaves on top and shave on your white chocolate. Enjoy!

  11. This cake is best kept in the fridge and will keep for around 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Love, Soph x

I hope you love this recipe. Please let me know if you make it and tag me/send me any pictures of your creations! (@slaudus_eats) Feedback is always appreciated!

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