26 Feb2009


It isn’t often that I sit back on the couch on a lazy morning, armed with a cup of Earl Grey Tea, and rip open my subscription copy of Gourmet Magazine, turn a page or two and jump right back up and head to the kitchen to bake. The recipe that inspired immediate action? A Key Lime and Toasted Coconut Cake. I am always on the lookout for recipes that might work well with local produce and ingredients, and if you are a long-time visitor of this blog, you will know one of my food obsessions is dayap. I once made a dayap pie that was superb albeit INTENSELY flavored, and I like dayap in leche flan, and I thought dayap in a cake might be brilliant, and, well, it is. Thank you Gourmet for the wonderful recipe, here, and I highly recommend this simple and delicious cake. But using our native dayap (or key limes if you live in the U.S.), not green lemons or regular large limes, is utterly essential the first time you try this recipe.


The recipe is simple enough, but here are some tips, particularly if you are trying this in the Philippines. I made a double recipe as I wanted a big cake and several cupcakes to give away. Start with cool butter, beat it vigorously with the sugar until well blended. Since local large eggs aren’t U.S. grade large eggs, I threw in an extra eggyolk for richness. Lower your oven temperature to 330-340F, not the 350F stated in the recipe. Measure your dayap juice to the amounts specified; use unblemished zest, and it doesn’t have to reach a tablespoon worth (per recipe)… I found that difficult to do since dayaps are such rare and precious commodities in Makati, it seems. Use whole milk, UHT okay, but NOT evaporated milk. Replicate self-rising flour by adding baking powder and salt to your flour before sifting. Look up self-rising flour substitutes on google.


A couple of other notes. I thought, somewhat cheekily, that my cake looked better than Gourmet’s. It had a nicer color of toasted coconut (which if you follow their instructions, yields TOASTED coconut), not the pale shreds they have in their magazine or website photos. Also, the edge of the cake will brown or turn golden, and I cooked the cake 5-8 minutes shorter than instructed! If you want to minimize browning, put the cake on a cookie sheet before placing it on the middle oven shelf.


Glaze the cake while it is still warm and sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut on top. I loved this cake. It was denser than those store-bought cakes, with the piquant flavor of dayap and the sweetness of sugar and coconut. It had a nice texture as well. Mrs. MM practically hates dessicated or sweetened coconut so this wasn’t a big hit with her, but I really liked this cake and wonder why there isn’t a local restaurant I have dined at recently that offers an array of homey desserts such as this one that feature spectacular local ingredients. I found that the cake paired nicely with a cup of Earl Grey tea, probably due to the citrusy bergamot flavor of the latter.


This was definitely worth the price of the March issue of Gourmet Magazine. And I am thrilled to have this recipe on file for the next time I have lots of dayap in the house. Oh, and the cupcakes disappeared so fast I forgot to take a photo of them! :)



  1. Mimi says:

    reminds me of the martha stewart episode where chef robert carter demonstrated his USD$100 coconut cake. here is the link to the recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/coconut-cake i will try it one day, but not soon.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:34 am


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. AleXena says:

    MarketMan you did it again you made me want to eat cake so badly!!!=)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:36 am

  4. Quillene says:


    It’s a post like this when I say ‘kakainis ka naman” but in a good way! I so want to cut into that cake right now…

    Aaarrrgh! But again, thank you for the recipe. Will try at home. :)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:47 am

  5. Jel says:

    sarap naman, how can i resist!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:06 am

  6. myra_p says:

    You should try the Coconut Cake at Classic Confections. Been having it for years, ordered straight from the baker herself before it became a mainstay on her repertoire. I think she also has kalamansi bars.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:36 am

  7. ragamuffin girl says:

    Sarap! Yours did indeed look better. I love it when that happens, when you follow a recipe with pictures and yours turns out much better looking! Can I use the Thai limes that are ubiquitous here in HK? Not sure if they are makrut or not (no leaves anymore….)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:40 am

  8. Cathy says:

    It looks so good!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:02 pm

  9. bagito says:

    Mmmm! Yummy! I love dayap on leche flan, buko pandan and almost everything else, too. It takes away the “umay” factor or “suya” as we say in kapampangan.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:07 pm

  10. bearhug0127 says:

    Hmmm… Looks good… must taste really good… yummy.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:48 pm

  11. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    GREAT LOOKING CAKE!!!! I have to start scouting the local market for dayap!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:48 pm

  12. Joanie says:

    i never had that but the picture looks delicious

    Feb 26, 2009 | 2:00 pm

  13. Elmo says:

    Hi MM,

    Where do you get your dayap? Would like to try this recipe and the previously featured lime pie.


    Feb 26, 2009 | 3:47 pm

  14. meng says:

    snr have imported key limes already.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 4:12 pm

  15. kate says:

    what a timely post! i have been craving for cake since yesterday :) i really wish i could taste the cake that you made though! It looks amazing!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 4:30 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    meng, yes, they do carry key limes, but wickedly expensive (some 5x the local and more original ones). I wish our own dayap was much more accessible… unfortunately, it is really hard to find and I occasionally find them at weekend markets.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 6:07 pm

  17. millet says:

    want to try that right now with biasong, but getting that much juice will be a pain. can hardly wait to smell the cake! thanks, MM!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 6:19 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    millet, try keeping the biasong for a week or so in the fridge and see if it gets juicier… or throw it into a microwave for 10-15 seconds then slice and squeeze. But I think this would work with biasong…

    Feb 26, 2009 | 6:22 pm

  19. chrisb says:

    MM, we have several dayap trees up north and when they bear fruit, we have more than what we can use at home. We usually send some to my grandmother’s sister which she uses for leche flan. . I can send some your way too, if you’re interested, she lives in your general area (if I presume correctly). There should be another harvest in a month’s time.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 6:28 pm

  20. Marketman says:

    chrisb, wow! thank you, that is very generous of you, and I am always up for dayap if available… :) I’ll trade it for a jar of homemade kalamansi marmalade that I burned my finger making. :)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 7:00 pm

  21. chrisb says:

    great! I’ll e-mail you when they harvest.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 7:38 pm

  22. sister says:

    Looks very good. For those in the US dayap, aka key limes, grown in Mexico, are readily available in groceries, at about $1. a bag of 1 dz. I keep a bag in the freezer as I only use a few at a time.
    I suggest you lower baking temp to 325F and if you do a double recipe to 300F, so that it cooks more evenly and does not overbrown. Or use a piece of folded foil around the pan. This is basically your standard yellow cake gussied up a bit.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 8:57 pm

  23. diday says:

    Can I have another slice? Please..

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:07 pm

  24. zena says:

    MM, for the coconut, did you use the imported ones in the grocery? Sweet coconut flakes (not dehydrated). Any possible substitutions like maybe dessicated coconut in the cake?

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:16 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    zena, yes, I did use the imported coconut flakes… which is bizarre, as they probably come from here to begin with… but they are bigger flakes and still moist and sweetened. Our local dessicated coconut is often too fine and very dry. I have made my own flakes before, but they weren’t as sweet as the packaged ones. I will try and find the appropriate post and link it here for your reference.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:23 pm

  26. zena says:

    Thanks, MM. I figured that it would be difficult to make one’s own as our graters result in fine flakes. Okidok. I’m familiar with the imported ones and I’ll get some tomorrow.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:37 pm

  27. betty q. says:

    If baking goodies in a convection oven, please bake your stuff always 25 degrees lower than specified temp.

    Also SHINY and/or those BLACK baking pans absorb more heat!

    I still prefer to use those round or retangle or square or loaf ALUMINUM pans. Yes, they will stick SOMTIMES if not butterdand floured enough so I think lining the bottom with wax paper, butterd and floured will do the trick.

    To make it more “sariling atin” MM, how about adding COCONUT OIL (made from cacang gata) to the cake batter and some coconut cream to it as well. Then top your cake with the LATIK you get from extracting the oil mixed with your toasted coconut shreds. I think that will be awesome! NOW, that is truly what I would call a PINOY KEYK!!!!!!!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:04 pm

  28. millet says:

    yes, will do that, MM. i could send you some biasong if you want to try making that version. just e-mail me where i can send them.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:09 pm

  29. betty q. says:

    So sorry for the typos…don’t have eyeglasses!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:16 pm

  30. betty q. says:

    MM…I just sent you a comment but was deleted!

    I was just tryong to say that baked goodies in convection oven…25 degrees lower than specified time and SHINY and/or BLACK pans absorb more heat.

    I still prefer to bake using my square/rectangle/loaf ALUMINUM PANS lined with buttered, floured wax paper (bttom only) for ease in reasing the cake.

    MM, to make your cake more “SARILING ATIN”, how bout adding some COCNUT OIL (extracted form cacng gata) and some coconut cream to the cake batter as well. Then top the cake with the LATIK from the cacang gata and mix in some toasted coconut shreds as well. I think it will be AWESOME and that is what I would truly call a PINOY KEYK!!!!!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:22 pm

  31. Nina says:

    Here’s another version, it’s called the Ultimate Coconut Cake.
    This recipe is courtesy of Robert Carter from the Peninsula Grill, in Charleston, South Carolina. The hotel rest. sells this for $100 + shipping (http://www.peninsulagrill.com/coconut.asp).

    Makes one 6-layer cake

    2 cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes
    2 Coconut Cakes (see below)
    Simple Syrup (see below)
    Coconut Filling (see below)
    Coconut Cake Frosting (see below)

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread coconut flakes in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, 5 to 7 minutes; set aside to cool.
    Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level; discard trimmings. Cut each cake into 3 even layers. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan.
    Place one layer on the cake plate. Brush with about one-fifth of the simple syrup. Spread over 2 cups of filling. Place a second layer on top. Repeat process with the next four layers and top with last remaining layer.
    Spread top and sides of cake with frosting, keeping in mind you may not need to use all of it. Press toasted coconut into sides of cake; remove parchment paper strips. Chill cake at least 5 hours and up to 5 days. Slice immediately; bring to room temperature before serving.
    Coconut Cakes

    Makes two 10-inch round cakes

    Nonstick cooking spray with flour
    1 pound unsalted butter, preferably European-style
    3 cups sugar
    6 large eggs
    4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon coconut extract

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 10-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until creamy, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl using a spatula.
    In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together cream, vanilla, and coconut extract. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined.
    Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing cakes from pans.
    Simple Syrup

    3/4 cup water
    3/4 cup sugar

    Place water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
    Coconut Cake Frosting

    Makes enough for 1 cake

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    8 ounces cream cheese
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    5 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1 vanilla bean, scraped

    Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until creamy.
    With mixer on low speed, slowly add vanilla extract, seeds from vanilla bean, and confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
    Coconut Filling

    Makes enough for 1 cake

    5 cups heavy cream
    3 cups sugar
    1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    9 cups shredded sweetened coconut

    Place cream, sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water. Add to cream mixture, bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.
    Place coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coconut is finely chopped. Remove cream mixture from heat and stir in coconut until well combined. Transfer to a large baking dish; let cool.
    Cover filling with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Just before using, place mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes.

    NOTES: You can add lime zest. I make this with less sugar, 4 layers instead of 6, easier to prepare and I add Cayman rum.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:48 pm

  32. betty q. says:

    oh, I think the recipe of Mr. Carter’s was the cake in the Ultimate Throwdown with Bobby Flay! Bobby Flay came up with his own version and won hands down! I saw the episode, MM…if you want to try Bobby Flay’s version…just google it!

    Oh, lightbulb moment!!! Maybe the ccoking shows there could have something like that …ULTIMATE something THROWDOWN have to exclude LECHON though…I don’t know if anyone can dethrone PIGMAN!!!!!!

    BTW…what could be translated as ULTIMATE THROWDOWN in Tagalog?

    Feb 27, 2009 | 12:00 am

  33. betty q. says:

    Coconut Cake…also a must try I think is Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) Coconut Cake she uses for cupcakes. The proportions are similar to Mr. Carter’s.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 12:21 am

  34. betty q. says:

    Hay…I am back in experimenting mode, MM for the ULTIMATE PINOY DAYAP-COCONUT KEYK!!!…have to go out and buy the ingredients. This is my version of it…I think Bobby FLay’s cake (moist and light BUT with lime zest, a bit of coconut oil and coconut cream…Filling: a tibok tibok base witha hint of dayap zest and whipped cream folded into it (with a stabilizer). …could be used as a frosting as well and topped with LATIK and toasted coconut shreds!!!!…gotta go!..sooooo excited…have to go buy ingredients even if it is snowing!!!

    Feb 27, 2009 | 1:08 am

  35. Maria Clara says:

    I will definitely keep the rum in the cake if I will make this to serve pina colada on a plate to go with iced-cold young coconut juice and shaved meat. BettyQ: I like much your idea of whipping cream frosting and adding latik and coconut shreds together for added richness and heightened island look of the cake.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 1:47 am

  36. marguerite says:


    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:43 am

  37. Liz says:

    Really looks yummy,,,I got to try this. Thanks for testing it out and sharing all the tips.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 10:41 am

  38. zena says:

    First thing i did this morning after breakfast was go to the grocery and buy the coconut. I had everything else at home and was itching to make it as dayap was picked from the tree a week ago. I really like citrusy stuff and was somewhat disappointed that the citrus taste wasn’t really noticeable. Or maybe my tongue hit the glaze first (which was real citrusy) and therefore overshadowed the cake. First time to make a coconut cake so i didn’t know what to expect, taste-wise. I have to say that if it weren’t for the glaze, this would be a pretty boring cake for me. Sorry, MM. I followed everything to the letter. I would add 1 more Tbsp of juice and maybe 1/4 cup more coconut in the cake to make it more like its name. And perhaps substitute part of the milk with coconut cream…. hmmmm.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 12:54 pm

  39. Marketman says:

    zena, did you put a couple dayap juice into the cake batter along with the milk and dayap zest? Hmmm… ours was very dayap-y. Quite sour in fact. I wonder what went wrong…

    Feb 27, 2009 | 1:01 pm

  40. zena says:

    If i recall right, it called for 1/4 c dayap juice, 2T for the glaze and 2T to be added to the milk. That was it. I doubled the recipe as I had almost 2 T zest. Just to make sure it was all citrusy, I even added the zest and juice of 1 lemon to make sure I had enough. Oh, well. My mom like it well enough and ate two (!) cupcakes.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:08 pm

  41. betty q. says:

    MM, …didn’t get the chance to bake yet…too many papers to write.

    Zena…if you want it to taste a bit more dayap-y , maybe squishing the dayap zest witha bit of the sugar in a mortar and pestle would probably release more of the dayap oil or essence and then add that dayap scented sugar in the cake batter

    OR if I am to read again your comments in previous posts I can only deduce that just like me, you like GATA!!! So could it be that you were aiming for a more coconut-ty taste as well?

    OR could it be the dayap was picked too early? …just like an apple, if it was picked too early it is not “mabango” or redolent of that apple scent.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:33 pm

  42. betty q. says:

    Zena..another lightbulb moment just now as I opened the freezer…I haven’t heard of a LIME extract unlike lemon extract BUT there is a LIMEADE concentrate. So you want dayap-y? …maybe adding some of that limeade concentrate (which is simply dayap slices added to simple syrup and then reduced and the solids pressed to extract the essence!)

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:56 pm

  43. alicia says:

    Great minds think alike.. my two kitchen gurus on the same page! Check this link out MM

    Feb 27, 2009 | 6:46 pm

  44. zena says:

    Hi, betty q. Since we were in the province for just that day, they picked the available fruit and maybe got some that were too early. That’s a very viable theory. They were juicy, though. I even threw in whatever pulp I could. I ate some again after dinner and now that it has had time to mellow, i can taste some of the dayap and can appreciate the cake better.
    Will take note of your suggestions next baking. =)

    Feb 27, 2009 | 8:14 pm

  45. corrine says:

    Like Mrs. MM, I don’t like dessicated coconut. I love dayap though. MM, where did you buy your dayaps. Nobody sells them where I live in Paranaque.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 9:05 pm

  46. sister says:

    Good god, how many calories per serving are in this cake, Nina? I suppose you could serve it at the last supper of prisoners at Bilibid. Nevertheless, it sounds delicious.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 10:19 pm

  47. sister says:

    Good god, how many calories per serving are in this cake, Nina? I suppose you could serve it at the last supper of prisoners at Bilibid. Nevertheless, it sounds delicious.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 10:19 pm

  48. Nina says:

    Sister, LOL! I don’t want to know or else I’ll never would want to eat it. I made this cake twice already and always with lots of company so I end up not eating a lot. But this recipe with the addition of rum and use of less sugar taste better than the $100 + they’re selling at Peninsula Grill.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 11:42 pm

  49. betty q. says:

    Oh, Sister! You are soooo hilarious!!!! But if I am ever sent to prison in another life …then here is what I wish for as my last meal…MM’s ACCUCHON, any dessert made by Sister, Dadd-F’s Durian Cake for merienda, Marc’s Hinayupak na Ensaimada, Millet’s Durian Cheesecake anything else all of you would want to send me!!!!….NOtice….no vegetables, soup, of fish allowed!!!! I am not trying to live healthy anymore…hahahahaha!!!!

    Feb 28, 2009 | 12:46 am

  50. Maria Clara says:

    Speaking of dayap here, dayap flavored ensaimada is very good. No zest added in the dough. What we do, we mix the zest with the sugar well and then boil the zested sugar in water let get warm to touch and use the warm water to bloom the yeast. Perhaps the addition of fresh extracted virgin coconut milk (not canned coco milk as they put preservatives in and will kill the yeast) in the ensaimada dough will yield another layer of flavor. BettyQ what you think?

    Feb 28, 2009 | 3:38 am

  51. marc medina says:

    ang dayap nilalagay sa merengue sa pampanga para may pampa-alis ng umay ng asukal. also, pag may konting acid yung egg whites mas lalo siyang mag-stiffen. merenge = 1 cup sugar + 1 cup egg whites (increase by proportion), tapos lagyan ng balat ng dayap, yung green na rind lang huwag yung mapaklang puti sa ilalim ng balat.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 12:18 am

  52. marc medina says:

    o dayap sa leche flan, dayap sa yemas, inatcharang dayap…pero kelangan yung dayap na bukol-bukol ang balat, maliit at matulis ang hugis. hindi yung bilog gaya ng binebenta sa salcedo market. basta, may diperensiya ang lasa.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 12:21 am

  53. Maria Clara says:

    Marc, maraming salamat sa liwanag na gamit ng dalayap. Akala ko uubra sa ensaimada na dayap at gata nang niyog so hindi pala puede. Kasi dati gumagawa kami nang ensaimada na me dalayap at masarap siya. Naiisip ko iyong San Nicholas me gata nang niyog iyong kaya sa isip ko ihalo ito sa ensaimada lalong masarap. Hindi pala puede. Kumusta nakang dakal at saka dakal a dakal salamat.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 5:17 am

  54. marc medina says:

    no naman. hindi naman sa hindi pwede. nasa yo na yun. if you want to experiment, why not? and if it works, great! who says you have to stick to tradition? eh kung gusto mong gumawa ng adobo na may olive oil, at bakit po hindi?

    yung saniculas may dayap yung original, pero ngayon halos wala nang naglalagay ng dayap (or dalayap, in arayat) kasi mahirap hanapin. pwede siguro sa gata, kasi nilalagay din sa gatas damulag. so why not? never tried it though.

    ensaimada with dayap? bakit hindi? hmmm, sounds interesting. maybe i’ll try it one day….

    Mar 1, 2009 | 6:51 am

  55. Maria Clara says:

    Marc, kasi iyong Apo ko marami siyang puno nang dalayap. Subukang mong ensaimadang me dalayap masarap. Pero huwag ihalo and balat pipigaing ang balat sa asukal. Kasi pag gumagawa nang ensaimada iyong Apo ko talagang napakaraming itlog ang gamit niya. Iyong lansa nang itlog nawawala sa dalayap. Mamon tostada na flavor dalayap at saka puto seko masarap sila. O sige dakal a salamat uli.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 7:01 am

  56. marc medina says:

    REALLY???? that sounds so cool! i want to try! paano ulit yung process ng pag-piga ng dalayap? can you email me marcoscalomedina@gmail.com? paano pag-piga sa asukal?

    Mar 1, 2009 | 10:14 pm

  57. Mandy says:

    omg i love anything coconut! i even eat grated niyog.

    Mar 2, 2009 | 1:21 am

  58. Frau says:

    I have been thinking about making cupcakes all week. This may just be the thing.
    Do you think it would be better with a little bit of latik on top?

    Mar 9, 2009 | 8:08 am

  59. el_jefe says:

    ei market man..i can give you dayap for free…

    Oct 30, 2009 | 9:41 am


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021