Recipe courtesy of Samantha Seneviratne

Coconut and Passion Fruit Pound Cake

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 20 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf
This one is for my mom. It’s a simple pound cake inspired by the flavors of her tropical home. True pound cake relies on the lift that comes from creaming the butter and sugar perfectly. This recipe includes a little bit of insurance in the form of baking powder. It’s a great beginner cake. Easy to make yet special. In most recipes, I call for unsweetened shredded coconut, but this loaf is an exception. The sugar and moisture that comes from classic sweetened shredded coconut is important for the soft texture of this cake.



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
  2. Spread the coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the toasted coconut to a plate to cool. Keep the oven on for baking the cake.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and the passion fruit pulp and seeds. 
  4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and coconut oil in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. 
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup of the toasted coconut. 
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of toasted coconut. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour, then remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely.