Tropical splatter showstopper birthday cake

Tropical splatter showstopper birthday cake

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Looking for a baking challenge? This colourful splatter cake can be made in any colour combination, so let your imagination run wild. What a showstopper! Perfect for birthdays or other special occasions.

Preparation time: 2.5 hours

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 10 to 12


For the blueberry and black sesame cake...

190g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
190g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp soured cream
3 RSPCA Assured eggs
190g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp buttermilk
100g blueberries
2 tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted
zest of 1 orange

For the coconut and passion fruit cake...

225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
390g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
400g sugar
3 large RSPCA Assured eggs, separated, plus 2 large RSPCA Assured egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
240ml coconut milk, shaken well before measuring
100g desiccated coconut

For the tropical syrup...

4 oranges
1 to 3 tbsp sugar

For the cream cheese icing...

450g cream cheese
125g butter
600g icing sugar, sifted

For the fondant icing...

750g coloured fondant icing
125g icing sugar
4 assorted food colourings

You will also need...

2 passion fruits - halved
1 x 24cm thick cake board
1 x 16cm thin cake board
4 baking dowels (available from cake decorating suppliers)
2 x 23cm round cake tins
1 x 16cm round cake tin


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Brush all three cake tins with melted butter to grease.

Line the bottoms with baking paper rounds and dust the insides with a little flour.

For the blueberry and black sesame cake:

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix gently until combined.

Add the soured cream, blueberries, sesame seeds and orange zest.

Fold in gently using a spatula or large metal spoon.

Spoon the mixture into one of the cake tins and set aside.

For the coconut and passion fruit cake:

To make the coconut cake, sift the flour and baking powder together into a medium size bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and continue to blend until you have a creamy texture.

Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract.

If using an electric mixer, reduce the whisk speed to low.

Add the flour and baking powder mixture a little at a time, alternating with the coconut milk and mixing until smooth.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed 

then stir in the desiccated coconut. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form.

Stir a quarter of the egg mix into the cake batter to lighten the mixture then use a spatula to fold in the remaining whites.

Divide the batter evenly between the two large tins and smooth the tops. Add all the cakes to the oven and make a note of timings.

The blueberry cake takes 50 to 60 minutes while the coconut cake takes 25 to 30 minutes to bake.

Timings can vary depending on your oven so it’s best to check the cakes with a skewer (if the skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked).

While the cakes are in the oven, make the tropical syrup.

For the tropical syrup:

Squeeze the juice from the oranges into a pan and add a spoonful of sugar.

Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then add the peel and take the pan off the heat, allowing to cool.

Just before you use the syrup, remove the peel.

Once the cakes are ready, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool, poking a few holes in the top with your skewer.

Pour over a couple of tablespoons of syrup on each cake, a little at a time and allow to sink in.

Leave in the tin for a further 5 minutes to settle, then remove and allow to cool completely on racks.

While the cakes cool, you can make the cream cheese icing.

For the cream cheese icing:

Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer until smooth. Add half the icing sugar and gently mix together using a wooden spoon before beating with the mixer.

Repeat with the remaining icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Place one of your coconut cakes on a cake board or plate.

Spread with 3 to 4 tbsp cream cheese icing. Spoon over the passion fruit pulp. Top with the other cake.

Cover the assembled cake generously with the cream cheese icing and be sure to fill all the gaps. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cut the blueberry cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place one layer on a cake board 

or plate and spread with cream cheese icing as before.

Layer until complete and then cover with the remaining icing. This will also need to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Measure across the top and sides of both cakes using a piece of string. This will act as a guide for when you roll the icing out later.  

For the fondant icing:

Make sure your work surface is clean and free of any crumbs then dust liberally with cornflour or icing sugar.

Knead fondant icing for a couple of minutes to soften before rolling out to about 0.5cm thick.

Use the string measurements for guidance and cut the icing to size with a little to spare.

Drape the coloured fondant icing over the top of each cake in turn and smooth down,

pushing out any air bubbles and creases.

Start at the top then work down for best results.

Use a pizza cutter or a small knife to cut away the excess icing and save the offcuts for decoration.

Now cover the countertop with cling film as things are about to get messy!  

Pour two teaspoons of water into a large bowl and carefully add icing sugar. 

Start mixing slowly, gradually adding more water until you have a consistency similar to gloss paint.

Divide the icing into four little bowls and add your chosen food colourings to each and mix.

Dip a small (clean!) paint brush into the first bowl of icing and get ready to unleash your inner Jackson Pollock.

Use the brush to flick splatters all over both cakes, cleaning the brush thoroughly between colours.

Once the icing is dry, insert 4 dowel rods into the centre of the coconut cake and trim them so that no more than an inch protrudes from the top.

Carefully sit the smaller cake on top, making sure it is central.

The dowels will stop the top cake from sinking or shifting.

To finish off, add ribbons of your chosen colour and enjoy!

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