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Old School Coconut and Jam Sponge Cake

Sometimes it's the simplest things which are the most satisfying. Give me a vanilla sponge cake topped with jam and coconut and I'm back in primary school holding a pastel pink bowl queuing for a large square slice. I have to admit I wasn't one to have the cake served with custard or pink blancmange (pink custard my ass). Occasionally we would have this cake in a traybake tart form. I'm a little annoyed as I was too young to know what the base was. I don't think it was a shortcrust/shortbread base, neither do I think it was a rough puff base. Oh well! This cake is easy to whip up and will definitely put a smile on your face.

Serves 12-16

Hands-on Time 20 minutes

Baking Time 25 minutes


220g Margarine plus extra for greasing

235g Caster sugar

4 Eggs, medium

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

235g Self-raising flour

1/8 tsp Fine salt

1 tbsp Full-fat milk

200g Raspberry jam

50-100g Desiccated coconut


Deep sided 25cm x 20cm Brownie pan Baking parchment

Large mixing bowl

Electric whisk or wooden spoon


Wire rack



Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Grease the pan with a little margarine and line with a piece of baking parchment.

Add the caster sugar and 220g of margarine to the large mixing bowl and beat using the electric whisk on a low speed for 1 minute.

Add the eggs, one at a time, whilst you continue beating on a slow speed followed by the vanilla.

Add the flour and salt. If you’re using the whisk I find it best to give the mixture a little stir using the beaters when they’re switched off. This will stop the flour flying everywhere. Now slowly combine with the whisk on until there are no specks.

Finally add the milk and give a stir, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed in.

Tip the batter into the lined pan and spread out using the spatula so it’s nice, smooth, and flat.

Pop the pan into the oven on a middle shelf for 25 minutes.

When the cake has baked remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Carefully tip the sponge onto the wire rack and remove the pan and baking parchment. Leave to completely cool.

When you’re ready to decorate the cake add the jam to a bowl and stir with a spoon to loosen it up.

Flip the sponge over so it’s the right way up. I think it’s nice to serve it from the pan (washed and dried) but you could transfer it onto a plate.

Dollop the jam onto the centre of the cake and slowly spread outwards using the back of the spoon.

Sprinkle the coconut over the jam until it’s either resembling a light or heavy snowfall.



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