Three layer pink dragon fruit cake with a fruity sponge, pink dragon fruit mousse and pink dragon fruit jelly.
This recipe captures pretty much everything that I love about cakes. I love taking a bite of a sponge cake and squashing the air out of it in my mouth (ok, that sounds weird and confronting, but it's the truth so I'll stick with it). I love the simplicity and smoothness of raw cakes. And of course, I just like something silly, like wobbly jelly.
Layer cakes can be tricky because if one layer doesn't work, your whole cake could collapse. It could even look like a child's sandcastle that's been trodden on by the child's sibling. I'll be the child crying for you. But never fear, I've brought the recipe is here, and it's not even dear (oh I had to)! I've tried 5 variations of this recipe so I've cut out all of the hard work and awkward taste testing for you!
I used simple and subtle-tasting ingredients to bring out the true flavor and color of the pink dragon fruit powder.
You can probably sub dragon fruit powder with any other powdered flavoring. Think berries, chocolate, matcha! Of course, yours will be a different color. I mean, just check out this magenta...
Even thought the cake might look difficult to make, I promise it isn't. It just takes some patience to wait for each layer to cook/set. But the wait is well worth it!
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Pink dragon fruit layer cake
- 1 ⅓ cup buckwheat flour
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp pink pitaya powder
- ¼ cup thick scoopable canned coconut cream, + ⅛ cup water
- ¼- ½ cup any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- ¼ cup beetroot juice
- 3 tbsp aquafaba (brine from a can of chickpeas)
Raspberry chia jam
- ¼ cup raspberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- ¾ cup cashews, soaked in water overnight
- ¾ cup thick scoopable canned coconut cream
- 3 tbsp any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp pink pitaya powder
- ½ tsp agar powder
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 15cm cake tin with baking paper.
To make the sponge:
- Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. Add all the wet ingredients except the aquafaba and mix until combined.
- Whisk the aquafaba in a small bowl with a fork until slightly bubbly (around 30 seconds). Add the aquafaba to the sponge batter and mix until combined. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted and comes out clean.
- When the sponge is baked, remove from the tin to cool. Trim the top of the cake to create a flat surface then return the cake to the cake tin.
To make the chia jam:
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mash the berries with a fork. Mix the ingredients and and spread it on the surface of the sponge cake.
To make the mousse:
- Drain the cashews and add to high-powered blender with ½ of the coconut cream, rice malt syrup and dragon fruit powder. Whizz until extremely smooth and set aside.
- Add the other ½ of the coconut cream and agar agar powder to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mixture to the blender and pulse the blender until the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the mousse into the cake tin on top of the layer of chia jam. Place it in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes
To make the jelly:
- When the mousse has set and is firm to the touch, start making the jelly layer. Add the agar powder and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in syrup and dragon fruit powder. Pour the jelly mixture onto the mousse layer and place it in the fridge to set.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and cake tin. Cut the cake with a sharp knife. The cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Hi - I struggle to see how you would remove this from the cake pan once it has jam, jelly, and mousse on top of it.
Are you using a springform pan?
I used a loose-bottom cake pan but a springform pan will also work. You'd remove the cake just like how you'd remove a cheesecake.
Question - Is it possible to make it all without the jelly on top? I’d love to make this recipe, I’m just not a fan of jelly. Let me know if it’s okay to & if it’ll turn out just as great. Thank you!
Yes it's absolutely ok! If you top it with fresh fruit (or none), it'll be as pretty. Taste wise, it's the same :).
raquel Mowery says
Hey Im inspired by your beautiful dessert.
How do you think pomegranate jam instead of raspberry would be?
Also what can I use besides syrup for the mouse and jelly?
Aw thank you! Pomegranate jam would be lovely! And instead of syrup, you could use regular cane/beet sugar 🙂
Hi! Beautiful cake, just to be sure... the beetroot juice goes into a sponge cake?
Thank you so much! Yes, the beetroot juice goes into the sponge cakes under 'wet ingredients' in Step 2. I hope this helps xo
Hi Anthea, this cake is a true beauty! I'm hoping to make it for my friend for her 25th birthday this weekend. Can the recipe be doubled for a bigger cake/cake tin? Also, I'm thinking of substituting the dragon fruit powder for an alternative one, perhaps acai? What do you think? 🙂
Hi Vanessa! Sorry for the late reply. Yes, I would say the recipe could be doubled for a bigger cake tin! And I think acai would work well in replace of dragonfruit powder. Just taste as you go as acai differs from dragonfruit in terms of sweetness!
Diana Marie says
Looks delicious, I was wondering does the pitaya powder just add color or does it have a sweet taste as well? I was thinking about ordering a pouch from just blends now that they ship worldwide 🙂
Hi Diana! When you add the pitaya powder to a small amount of food, you will see it's beautiful colour and it has a slightly sweet taste! Pitaya itself is quite subtle and the powder is a little more intense than the fruit 🙂
Amazing! Can't wait to try!
Aw, thanks Abigail! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
What a beautiful cake ... Do you know how I can purchase pitaya/dragon fruit powder in Europe ??
Thanks so much Annabelle! I did a quick google search and Hybrid Herbs in the UK sells pink dragon fruit powder. I'm not sure where else might sell it but it might be worth checking in with your local health food store xo
James | The Nude-Food Hero says
Those layers! My cakes do usually turn out like trodden on sandcastles but I'm to try the world of raw cakes so maybe this is time for my cake making to shine, lol. And I had no idea dragon fruit powder was a thing?!
Thanks James! Haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one with epically failed layered cakes! Oh, I didn't know dragon fruit powder was a thing either until someone recommended it to me! I thought it only came frozen. The powdered version turned out to be quite convenient as my freezer is shocking! I hope you get to give this cake a go 🙂
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
i have never made a dragon fruit cake before! these look amazing, and i just love how vibrant and nutritious they are. totally can see myself making the recipe - when the weather gets hotter here! Xx
Aw, thanks so much Thalia! It's amazing how beautiful natural colours are. I hope you are keeping warm in this chilly Winter!! xo
This cake is just BEAUTIFUL Anthea! I am hoping to make it for my daughter for her birthday. She has an allergy to chickpeas though. What could I use instead of aquafaba? Any advice would be appreciated!!
Aw, thank you so much Kaillin! You can use the brine of any other canned beans (maybe cannellini or butter beans?) or substitute it for 1 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water. I hope this helps!
Cake is beautiful and I can imagine how delicious.
Last time I used Agar for jelly he would not squeeze
although I was doing all the instruction.I used 2 teaspoons
per half liter of fluid.To which the temperature of the heated fluid with Agar.?I warmed up to 40 C.Where is problem?
Thanks for help.
Thank you so much Vesna! The cake was delicious!
I initially had the same problem with the agar agar. Some instructions tell you to heat your water up to 40C but realised that the water needed to be heated to a much higher temperature. My water was almost as hot as tea. Maybe try again but heat it up higher?
The jelly top is amazing Anthea! So beautiful!
Thanks so much Dee! I haven't had jelly in years so it was amazing to make and eat this jelly! xo
This layer cake is somptuous, just so pretty and appetizing!
Pink dragon fruits are also amazing 🙂
Thank you so much! I love pink dragon fruits too - I only wish that Australia had the climate to grow more! Wish I could send you a piece of this delicious cake xo
John Mares says
What a nice colorful cake, Anthea! Looks delicious 🙂
Aw, thanks so much John! They really were delicious and made me feel like I was on the beach!