Coconut Mascarpone Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

by thomandaimee

The mascarpone buttercream in this cake reminded us of the apple cake we made some time back. If you look at the writeup that accompanied the recipe in Guardian, you’d find a charming snippet of chef Dan Lepard and his marriage to his partner. Coincidence then, that the aforementioned apple cake was by Yotam Ottolenghi who is also gay. Not that it matters, because it should not. No one should be judged by their race, religion, gender or sexuality. Hopefully, with marriage equality, everyone will be treated fairly as fellow human beings and without prejudice.

But what struck me was how a simple thing like a cake played such a meaningful part in Lepard’s story. It was a symbol of an individual moment that spoke deeply to a person’s life and possible futures. Think about the birthday cake you had when you were a child, there would be precious memories whether bitter or sweet. That is probably why people brighten up when served with a slice of cake; it’s just filled with happiness and hopes.

Make a cake, and it could be any other day. Just waking up is more than enough to celebrate. Us? We are just celebrating cake.

Coconut Mascarpone Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream
By Dan Lepard

Makes one large square cake, serves 25

For the Coconut Mascarpone Cake
350ml coconut milk
125g desiccated coconut
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
75g arrowroot or corn flour
75ml sunflower oil
125g white chocolate, broken into small pieces
200g mascarpone
8 medium eggs
375g plain flour
4 level teaspoon baking powder

For the Mascarpone Buttercream
250g mascarpone
150g caster sugar
250g icing sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
Vanilla extract or other flavouring


For the cake, line the base and sides of a 23cm or 25cm square cake tin with nonstick paper. Bring the coconut milk to a boil, take off the heat, mix in the desiccated coconut and leave for 30 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, sugar and arrowroot. Put the oil and chocolate in a saucepan, warm until it melts, then beat through the coconut mix with the mascarpone. Beat in four whole eggs and four egg yolks, then sift in the flour and baking powder, and fold through evenly. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold evenly through.

Spoon into the tin, cover loosely with foil – this helps keep the top of the cake level – and bake for about 90 minutes at 170C (150C fan-assisted), removing the foil after 45 minutes. When a skewer comes out clean, it’s baked. Leave to cool in the tin, then slice it level across the top before decorating.

For the buttercream, spoon the mascarpone into a saucepan, stir in the caster sugar and bring to a boil. Leave to cool, then chill. Using the whisk attachment on an electric mixer, gradually beat the icing sugar and butter, chopped into rough pieces, until light and fluffy, then beat in the chilled mascarpone mixture just until mixed, no more.

Work with the buttercream while it’s cool but not fridge-cold, because the texture roughens when the butter gets hard. And if it gets too soft, just chill it a little and whip it gently again.