Every year in June I make my brother’s birthday cake. I have no idea when this started, I know it was once we were adults, but that’s what I do. He calls me with some crazy flavor combination and I do what I can to make it. I even made his Groom’s Cake for his wedding!
This year was a little different since we have Baby J. I told my brother I would still make his cake but it couldn’t be as crazy as usual. He agreed and quickly said he wanted a lime cake with passion fruit filling. The lime cake was fine as I’ve made plenty of lemon cakes and figured I’d just substitute in lime zest and lime juice in place of the lemon.
The passion fruit was another matter. I’m not sure I’ve even tasted passion fruit before but I figured I could find the jam or puree at the market. I should have thought again because they had nothing. My market did actually have fresh passion fruit but it was two dollars for one and they were tiny! I looked online and a jar of passion fruit jam sells for $12-$15. That was nuts. I decided to improvise.
I scanned the shelves of all of my local markets and came up with Passion Fruit Cocktail. I’m aware that fruit cocktail isn’t all juice but it did actually have the passion fruit puree in it in addition to water and sugar which was fine because I was turning it into a jam. Plus it was only $2. I also bought a fresh passion fruit so I could add the seeds for flavor and texture.
I made the jam with the passion fruit cocktail, sugar, water, and the fresh passion fruit. It tasted really good! It was sweeter then I would have liked but it thickened well, the seeds gave a nice crunch, and the fresh passion fruit added a bit of tartness to the jam. I was thrilled it worked out and that it didn’t cost me a ton of money.
To make the lime cake I used my favorite yellow cake recipe and added in lime zest and lime juice. I baked it in the two cake rounds and it came out smelling great. Unfortunately the lime flavor was very subtle so I had to figure out how to incorporate more lime into the cake.
I eventually made a lightly lime flavored buttercream. It added tartness and flavor to the frosting that paired really well with both the cake and the jam. I put it all together and took it to my brother’s party. He seemed to enjoy it and when I asked him how it was he said he would order it from me again. That’s high praise from him!
- 2½ c. flour
- 3 T. baking powder
- 1 t. salt
- 2 sticks butter
- 1¼ c. sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- 2 T. fresh lime zest
- ¾ c. milk
- 1 c. passion fruit cocktail or juice
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. water
- 1 fresh passion fruit
- ¼ c. pectin
- 2 sticks butter
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 3 T. lime juice
- 1 T. milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until combined.
- Add in the eggs and mix well.
- Add in the vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest and mix well.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.
- Add in the milk and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining flour mixture and mix well.
- Pour into the two prepared pans dividing the batter evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cakes are starting to turn golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges. Allow to cool for 15 minutes then flip onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the jam by combining the passion fruit cocktail, sugar, water, and the insides of the passion fruit in a saucepan. Heat over medium high heat stirring frequently. Bring to a boil then add in the pectin. Hard boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
- Pour into a heat proof container and cool for 1 hour then refrigerate until it has a jam consistency. You can also just buy passion fruit jam.
- To make the frosting put the butter in a bowl. Beat with a mixer until creamy.
- Add in half the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
- Add in the lime juice and milk and mix well.
- Continue adding the powdered sugar in half cup increments until desired consistency is reached.
- To make the cake place one cake round on a cake board. Pipe a ring of frosting around the top. Fill the ring in with the jam then top with the second cake.
- Reserve 1 cup of frosting for decorating then use remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
- Tint the remaining frosting any color you desire and pipe decorations on the cake.
- Enjoy within 3 days.