Helen's Tropical Fresh Fruit Cake



1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C (Fan)/Gas  6. Grease and line a 20cm round springform tin with baking parchment and set aside.


2. Put 300g of pineapple in a food processor and pulse to crush the fruit; it should be finely chopped but not become a puree. Tip the finely chopped flesh into a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes (don't boil vigorously - you don't want too much of the liquid to evaporate). Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool. If you are starting with tinned pineapple you can skip this boiling stage.


3. Place the eggs, vanilla, brown sugar and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer  for about 3 minutes, until creamy. Then, while whisking at a medium speed, pour in the oil in slowly until combined. Add this to the bowl of cooled pineapple along with the mashed bananas and desiccated coconut. Stir to combine.


4. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt together into the wet mix and use a large spatula to fold until just combined. Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 40 minutes, until browned. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/160°C (Fan)/Gas 4 and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.


​For the cake:

1 medium pineapple, peeled and

 core removed -

    -300g cut unto 3–4cm chunks

    - 50g cut into 2–3cm chunks (see below)

2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (150g)

45g desiccated coconut

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g soft light brown sugar

100g caster sugar

160ml sunflower oil

225g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp salt

For the Icing:

¼ of a large ripe mango, peeled and chopped

65g unsalted butter (room temparature)

100g cream cheese

75g icing sugar, sifted


To decorate:

½ banana, cut into roughly 1cm pieces (50g)

½ a large ripe mango, cut into thin strips (70g)

50g pineapple flesh (see above)

Scooped out seeds of 1 passionfruit

20g flaked coconut


5. To make the icing: place the mango flesh in a food processor and blitz to form a fine purée. Tip out into a bowl and set aside. Add the butter and cream cheese to the food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the icing sugar, pulse to combine, then add the mango purée. Pulse again until evenly mixed and transfer into a bowl. Keep in the fridge, covered, for at least 2 hours (it needs time to thicken), before icing the cake.


6. Just before serving, spread a thick layer of icing over the top and sides of the cake. Place all the fruit for garnish in a small bowl, mix gently, then spoon it into the centre of the cake. Finish by pressing the flaked coconut into just the sides of the cake and serve.

Helens Tropical Fresh Fruit Cake.jpg