Vanilla & Passionfruit Cake

One of my closest and dearest friends celebrated his 25th birthday last week, and I was asked to bake a seaside themed cake for him. He’s a diver and loves the beach, so why not? The thing is, this turned out looking like a baby shower cake! Considering he’s one of my babies, I don’t see anything wrong with that. 
Dearest Leslie, hope you had a great birthday week surrounded by family and best friends. It’s been a while since our last holiday together, so lets go diving in May! Or rather, you go diving with E and I’ll go sit on the beach with a cheesy historical romance novel with the rest of the FFs. 
This blog post & recipe is dedicated to one of the sweetest, kindest, and most protective friends I have. I’m so glad to have you in my life. 

Vanilla Bean cake with Passionfruit filling, covered in Passionfruit Cream Cheese frosting

  • 440g all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 240g butter, softened to room temperature
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Seeds from 2 vanilla bean pods
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, line 2 8″ round baking tins with butter and parchment paper
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until combined, then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Dump in the seeds from the vanilla bean pods and stir to get it mixed
  4. Add half the flour mixture and beat until combined, then pour in all the milk and stir until it’s incorporated in the batter, then add in the rest of the flour. Don’t overmix, just ensure all the ingredients are evenly coated, be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl
  5. Divide the batter between the two baking tins and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted at an angle comes out clean
  6. Cool the cakes in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely (do this top side down to get flat, even layers)

Passionfruit cream cheese frosting

  • 2 tbsp strained juice of a passionfruit
  • 42g butter, softened
  • 114g cream cheese, cold
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer until thoroughly combined. Pour in the passionfruit juice and continue to beat for another minute or so
  2. Add the icing sugar in one go and just beat until light and fluffy (you may need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl), for about 5 minutes. Do not beat for too long as that will make it too runny

Assembling the cake
Place one layer top side down on a cake plate, and pipe a circle of cream cheese frosting around the edges of the cake. Fill the middle with passionfruit curd (I used about 1 cup of curd as I piped a thick layer) and place the second layer of cake on the top, bottom side down.
Apply a thin crumb coat and allow it to crust for about 15 minutes before frosting the rest of the cake. I chose to go with a simple frosting design this time around, placing the cake on a revolving cake stand and just running my offset spatula along the side, tilted at an angle while I spun the stand. I should try to make a tutorial video to show how I blended the colours… 

The beautiful seaside themed cake toppers you see in these pictures was made by Zurisha over at Tinytype: Propfolio, a local designer who takes orders for themed cake toppers and the like. If you’re in the KL area, you can contact her at to order some or check out her instagram page @TinyType to see her work. I’m definitely looking forward to getting more of these to go with some of my upcoming dessert spreads.

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