You are viewing this website with an old browser please update to a newer version of Internet Explorer here.

Chris’ Tropical Fresh Fruit Cake

A real fruit fest, this unusual three-layered sponge is made with fresh mango, pineapple and Limoncello liqueur. There’s also tropical fruit in the cream filling and as decoration – with enough leftovers to make a tasty smoothie.

Makes: 1 very large cake (serves 16)

Hands-on time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

Skill level: Easy

For the sponge:

225g fresh mango (from about 2 large fruit), chopped

175g fresh pineapple (from 1 pineapple), chopped

340g white caster sugar

40g golden caster sugar

Finely grated zest 1 unwaxed lemon

Finely grated zest 1 unwaxed lime

2 medium eggs

380g self-raising flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons Limoncello liqueur

For the fruit puree:

About 375g fresh mango (from about 3 large fruit), chopped

About 250g fresh pineapple (from about 1 pineapple), chopped

2 tablespoons Limoncello liqueur, or to taste

For the cream filling:

400ml double cream, well chilled

90g icing sugar, sifted

Finely grated zest 1 unwaxed lemon

Finely grated zest 1 unwaxed lime

Limoncello liqueur, to taste

For the decoration:

12 physalis fruits

Few slices fresh mango, pineapple and kiwi fruit

Dried hibiscus flowers

You will also need:

2 x 18cm loose-based deep sandwich tins, greased with butter and base-lined

1 x 10cm loose-based deep cake tin, greased with butter and base-lined

Large electric stand mixer

Food processor/blender

Large disposable piping bag

Small disposable piping bag

Step 1 – Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.

Step 2 – Chop the mango flesh finely, using a large sharp knife rather than a food processor, then transfer to a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Tip the mango into the bowl of the electric stand mixer. Repeat with the pineapple. Stir in the sugars and the zests from the lemon and lime, then whisk in the eggs until they’re frothy and thick.

Step 3 –Sift the flour and baking powder into another bowl, then gradually add to the fruit mixture, whisking on a very low speed. When all the dry mixture has been incorporated, add in the Limoncello.

Step 4 –Place one 18cm tin on the weighing scales and spoon in 375g of the mixture. Spread it evenly, then repeat with the second 18cm tin. Into the smaller tin, spoon 180g of the cake mixture (you will have a little left over, which you can save to bake muffins later).

Step 5 – Bake the three tins for 30 to 35 minutes until golden and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean – if space is tight, bake the smaller tin on the shelf below the other 2 tins. Leave to cool for a minute, then run a round-bladed knife around the insides of the tins, turn out the sponges onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

Step 6 – Meanwhile, make the fruit puree: blitz the mango pieces in the processor or blender until very smooth. Transfer to a measuring jug, then pour 225ml into a clean bowl (save any extra for smoothies). Puree the pineapple in the same way and add 175ml to the mango in the bowl. Mix in the Limoncello. Set aside 100ml of the mixture for the decoration, cover and chill.

Step 7 – To make the cream filling: in a clean mixer bowl, whisk the cream with the icing sugar and the lemon and lime zests until floppy. Add the remaining fruit puree (what’s left after the 100ml saved for decoration) and Limoncello to taste, then whisk until the mixture is thick enough to pipe. Transfer to a large piping bag, but don’t snip off the corner just yet. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Step 8 – To assemble the cake: if necessary, trim the tops of the cakes so they are flat and level. Place one of the 18cm sponges on a cake plate or board (top-side down). Snip off a corner of the large piping bag and pipe individual ‘kisses’ of fruit cream over the sponge.

Step 9 – Transfer the fruit puree set aside earlier to the small piping bag, snip off a corner and drizzle the puree over the cream. Carefully place the second 18cm sponge on top (top-side up) and repeat. Then put the small sponge on top of the second layer (top-side up). Pipe more cream ‘kisses’ on the top of the small sponge, around its base, and on the exposed crust of the middle sponge. Drizzle with the fruit puree.

Step 10 – Finally, decorate: open out the leaves of the physalis and place the fruits around the edge of the middle sponge. Arrange slices of the fresh mango, pineapple and kiwi on the top sponge. Place the hibiscus flowers to one side of the cake base.