Coconut cake with scalloped piping

Coconut cake with scalloped piping

Danielle Wood

This is the perfect match of a simple and tasty cake with impressively fancy icing. Practice piping the dots on baking parchment first – it’s much easier to achieve the scalloped piping than it looks.

For the cake:


Quantity Ingredient
175g unsalted butter
375g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
375g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
250ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g desiccated coconut

For the vanilla buttercream filling:

Quantity Ingredient
175g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
100ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the swiss meringue buttercream:

Quantity Ingredient
400g unsalted butter
10 medium egg whites
450g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 18cm round, deep cake tins
piping bag, fitted with a plain 10 mm icing tip
cake board or stand
How to level & split a cake
How to fill a piping bag
How to pipe a scalloped buttercream cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease the cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until they are well incorporated.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a clean bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the sugar and butter mixture and beat. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract, continuing to beat, and then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Finally, fold in the desiccated coconut.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins, then turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. While the cakes are cooling, make the vanilla buttercream filling and the Swiss meringue buttercream. To make the vanilla buttercream filling, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter for 3–4 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat for another 2–3 minutes until smooth.
  5. To make the Swiss meringue buttercream, using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer beat the butter for 4–5 minutes until pale and fluffy. Place the egg whites and sugar in a clean heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk and gently heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved into the egg white (you can check this by feeling some of the egg white between your fingers – it shouldn’t feel grainy).
  6. Remove the bowl from the heat and using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or an electric hand whisk, start beating on a low speed for 1–2 minutes, then increase the speed until the bowl has cooled down to room temperature and the mixture forms stiff peaks (about 10 minutes in total). Add the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring that each addition is well incorporated before adding the next one. It might look like the buttercream has curdled at this point but keep whisking and it will come back together. Once smooth, beat in the vanilla extract.
  7. Level the cakes with a cake leveller or a serrated knife and split each cake in half so that you have 4 layers. Fix your cake to a cake board or cake stand with a small amount of buttercream. Spread a generous amount of the vanilla buttercream between the cake layers, then cover the outside with a thin layer. Chill for 20–30 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, fill the piping bag with the Swiss meringue buttercream and cover the cake with a scalloped effect.
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