Sugar-dusted passion cake

This is a cross between a carrot cake and a
hummingbird cake – a very popular fruity bake
Down Under

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 487
  • fat 30g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 50g
  • sugars 36g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 7g
  • salt 0.36g


  • 250ml sunflower oil, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 140g dark muscovado sugar
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 432g tin crushed pineapples, drained, reserving 50ml juice (from Sainsbury's, or see Know-how, below)
  • zest and juice 2 limes
  • 200g caster sugar
  • icing sugar and doilies, mascarpone and natural yogurt, to serve


If you can’t get hold of crushed pineapple, simply drain a 432g can, or 2 x 227g cans, of pineapple chunks in natural juice, and pulse in a food processor until mushy.


  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Grease and line a deep, 20cm square tin with baking paper. Sift the muscovado until it’s lump-free. Tip into the largest bowl you have with the flour, coconut, mixed spice, baking powder and walnuts, then mix well. In a jug, whisk together the oil, eggs and 2 tsp of the vanilla extract, then pour over the dry ingredients. Add the carrot, pineapple, reserved pineapple juice and lime zest to the bowl, then give everything a really good mix until combined. Scrape into the tin, then bake on a low to middle shelf for 1 hr, until a skewer inserted comes out with just moist crumbs clinging to it and no sticky mix. Once cool, the cake can be frozen for up to 3 months, then soak with the syrup once defrosted.

  2. Meanwhile, make a lime syrup by gently heating the caster sugar, lime juice and final tsp of vanilla in a small pan. Once dissolved, boil for a few mins until syrupy.

  3. Leave the cake in its tin until cool enough to handle, then turn upside-down onto a wire rack. Using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake and drizzle over the syrup a little at a time, waiting for the last addition to soak into the cake before pouring over any more. Cool completely, then trim the edges. Will keep for a few days in an airtight tin.

  4. To serve, return the cake to a serving plate, right side up, and place a doily, or a few doilies, over the top. Dust liberally with icing sugar, then very carefully lift off the paper without disturbing the sugar. Serve immediately, as the icing sugar will begin to melt after a while, with a dollop of something creamy on the side – try mixing equal amounts of mascarpone and natural yogurt with a little more icing sugar.

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