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Recipe provided by Rowie Dillon

This is my Islander cake. It conjures up images of the Bahamas “ big swinging banana leaf fans, rattan armchairs and clear blue water as far as you can see. Best consumed with a laidback island attitude and a Long Island Ice Tea.

+ Ingredients

150g unsalted butter, chopped and softened

230g (1 cup) caster sugar

5 eggs

140g (1 ¼ cups) coconut flour

1 ½ teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

150g (1 ¾ cups) desiccated coconut

430ml (1 ¾ cups) buttermilk


230g (1 cup) caster sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 lime

125 ml (1/2 cup) water


2 egg whites

2 teaspoons lemon juice

375g (3 cups) pure icing sugar

+ Method

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease and line a high-sided (approx 9.5cm) 20cm springform cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until pale and fluffy (the sugar needs to dissolve and the mixture should be very creamy). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the coconut flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and mix in the desiccated coconut with a whisk. Fold the coconut mixture and the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until firm on top. Cool in the tin on a wire rack.

To make the syrup, place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes without stirring. Pour one third of the syrup over the cake in the tin. After 5 minutes pour over another third of the syrup. If your cake still needs more liquid, after a further 5 minutes, pour over the remaining syrup being careful not to add more than it can absorb. Set the cake aside for at least 3 hours or overnight.

To make the icing, beat the egg whites and lemon juice with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the icing is thick and holding perfectly smooth and shiny standing peaks. Be very careful not to overbeat, this will cause the icing to break down into clumps. Using a palette knife, quickly (the icing sets very fast) and evenly spread the icing over the entire cake to create peaks all over the top and sides.