Easy Vegan Passionfruit Coconut Cake which only takes 10 minutes to prepare. The cake is fluffy, tastes like a tropical holiday and is super versatile!
Ingredients you'll need
This vegan passion fruit cake uses only common ingredients including:
Notes about the ingredients
Plain or all-purpose flour is best for this recipe. Whole wheat or spelt flour will also work but will make your cake less fluffy.
Granulated sugar (regular sugar). Coconut sugar can be used but will make the cake slightly darker.
Desiccated coconut for flavor and texture! A high amount of passionfruit in the cake makes it a little chewy and dense but adding coconut helps keep the cake fluffy and moist.
Passionfruit pulp and seeds. If you don't like eating the seeds of passionfruit, you can remove them using a strainer. However, I kept the seeds for texture and I think they're a key characteristic of anything flavored with passionfruit!
Lemon juice enhances the tartness of the passionfruit and the crumb of the cake.
Baking powder to help the vegan passionfruit cake rise. I added a little more than usual to counteract the high amount of passionfruit (a high amount of fruit in cakes makes the crumb denser, just like banana bread).
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
A surprising egg replacer!
Did you know that passionfruit pulp can be used as an egg substitute in vegan baking?! The viscous texture of passionfruit is similar to eggs and helps ingredients 'stick together' in baking.
Understandably, this is not common vegan baking 101 fact because passionfruit has a strong taste and is full of seeds!
I discovered this when trialing recipes for my first cookbook, which includes a recipe for a vegan passionfruit banana cake. The more passionfruit in a cake, the chewier it is! That means this vegan passionfruit cake doesn't need an egg replacer.
How to make vegan passionfruit cake
This is a really easy cake to make! Simply add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until there are no lumps apart from the coconut.
Add all the wet ingredients including the passionfruit pulp and mix until combined.
I recommend using a 20 cm (8 inches) loaf tin to bake the passion fruit cake. As there's a lot of fruit in it, it takes a little longer to bake than other cakes. So we need a long tin so it doesn't take toooo long to bake.
If you don't have a cake tin of that size, I'd recommend using a larger tin.
Decorating and serving the cake
This vegan passionfruit coconut cake is excellent with an easy simple icing. It makes the cake very pretty and presentable!
I made the icing using powdered sugar, passionfruit pulp and a little vegan butter (or coconut oil). The ratios in the recipe make a thick frosting so it won't run/melt everywhere. However, you can add more passionfruit pulp (or dairy-free milk) for a runnier frosting.
Alternatively, you can also top the cake with:
- Coconut or dairy free yogurt and passionfruit puree (pictured below is the passionfruit banana cake from my cookbook.)
- Vegan buttercream such as the one in my vegan pina colada cake recipe. I'd recommend using only half of the buttercream recipe
- Vegan cream cheese frosting such as in my carrot cake cupcake recipe.
Or skip the icing or frosting and serve the slices warm with dairy-free ice cream or vegan custard!
Other delicious quick bread recipes
Vegan Passionfruit Cake
Dry cake ingredients
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 1 for gluten-free option)
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 cup (80g) dessicated coconut
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
Wet cake ingredients
- ¾ cup (190g) passionfruit pulp, (~6 medium size passionfruit, note 2)
- ⅔ cup (165g) dairy-free milk
- ⅓ cup (85g) neutral flavored oil
- 2 tablespoons (30g) lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups (150g) powdered sugar / icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons passionfruit pulp, (~1 passionfruit)
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or margarine, optional for a firmer frosting
- Note: For the best results, I'd recommend using a scale to weigh your ingredients rather than using cups. Adding too much dry or wet ingredients to this cake will make the cake overly dry or moist.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 20 cm (8 inches) or larger loaf tin with baking paper. The larger your tin, the shorter amount of time it'll take to bake the passionfruit cake.
To make the cake:
- Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined and there are no lumps.
- Add all wet ingredients including the passionfruit pulp to the bowl and mix until just combined. The batter should be thick. Some lumps are fine, as long as they aren't lumps of flour. Overmixing the batter will result in an unpleasant cake.
- Pour the cake batter into the lined baking tin.
- Bake the cake for around 50 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into the cake and it comes out clean.
To make the icing:
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. Add more powdered sugar for a firmer frosting or more passionfruit pulp for a runnier frosting
- When the cake has fully cooled, spread the icing on top of the cake allowing it to drip down the sides.
- The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for 3 days.
- To make the cake gluten-free, substitute the plain flour with 125g almond flour (blanched almond meal) and 125g all-purpose gluten-free flour. For the wet ingredients, start with only 65g of milk and add more (if needed) until the cake batter is thick and just pourable (like the pictures above).
- Fresh, frozen or canned passionfruit pulp will work. If there are any 'strands' of fiber in your pulp, break them up using a spoon. If you don't like eating the passionfruit seeds, sieve them using a small strainer.
This recipe and post was first published in 2019 and updated in 2021. This recipe is also on the Harris Farm Market website.
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