This easy passion fruit cake makes a perfect bake for any occasion. Beautiful, light and moist texture and sweet and tangy flavours of passion fruit and lime create the most delicious, refreshing and exotic combination.
If you love the idea of simple, everyday cake that is wonderfully moist and full of flavour, this recipe is for you!
Velvety texture, resembling the one of the pound cake, fantastic flavours and simple, yet very effective appearance. This easy passion fruit cake recipe is perfect as the every day tea cake, but can equally be served for any special occasion.
Just like my Small Batch Lemon Drizzle, this passion fruit cake is a one-bowl recipe. The handful of the ingredients gets simply mixed in one bowl to create the cake batter. Once baked, the cake is soaked in the passion fruit syrup and topped with sugared passion fruit seeds for an extra crunch and burst of an exotic flavour!
The ingredients for this easy passion fruit loaf can be divided into two groups:
- Dry ingredients: self-raising flour, caster sugar, salt.
- Wet ingredients: unsalted butter, eggs, sour cream, passion fruit and limes (lime juice).
Before you start making this passionfruit cake, make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. Take the butter, eggs and soured cream out of the fridge at least an hour before.
Watch the video in the recipe card to see how I made this cake.
Start by creaming the sugar and the soft butter together, until the mixture is pale and fluffy. This should take about 3-4 minutes, using an electric mixer.
Next, add the beaten eggs. Do it gradually, adding only a little bit at a time, about a tablespoon. Keep whisking after each addition, and scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed.
Sift in half of the flour and salt and using a spatula, fold them gently. Add the soured cream, and fold until fully combined, followed by the remaining flour. Fold the ingredients until they are just combined and you have thick batter.
Hint: Do not overmix the cake batter. Folding the ingredients until they are just combined will ensure the light, fluffy and soft texture of the cake. Stop folding the cake batter as soon as the last ingredient you added (flour) is no longer visible.
Transfer the cake into prepared loaf tin and smooth the top with spoon or spatula. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer it into a cooling rack.
Syrup and drizzle
While the cake is cooling, prepare the syrup and drizzle. Spoon out the passion fruit pulp into a sieve placed over a medium bowl or a jug and press it hard with the spoon or spatula to extract as much juice as possible.
Save about 2 tablespoons of the passion fruit seeds, and set them aside (you will use them later for the drizzle and topping). Juice the limes and add to the passion fruit juice.
Rinse the passion fruit seeds that you saved earlier under the running water. Try to discard as much of the pulp from the seeds as you can.
Use a skewer or a cake tester (toothpick will also work) to poke all over the top of the cooled cake with. Brush the cake with half of the passion fruit and lime juice mixture. Add the passion fruit seeds to the remaining half of the juice, and add the 60 g of caster sugar to it. Spread this syrup over the top of the cake.
You can serve the cake straight away, or allow it to sit for another 1-2 hours on the kitchen counter for the drizzle to set and soak more into the cake.
Hint: For the maximum crunch, allow the cake to sit for at least a couple of hours. The sugar from the syrup will create a deliciously crunchy topping along with the sugared passion fruit seeds.
- Caster sugar - Feel free to use white caster or granulated sugar instead (in the cake and in the syrup/ drizzle).
- Self-raising flour - This type of flour is commonly used for baking in the UK, and it already has raising agents added to it. If you don't have any self-raising flour, use plain flour (same amount), but add 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder to it.
- Soured cream - Adding soured cream to cake batter creates wonderfully moist and tender crumb. You can also use yoghurt, buttermilk or even some coconut cream instead.
- Passion fruit - I recommend using fresh passion fruit in this recipe. But you can also use frozen passion fruit, or replace it with passion fruit puree, which is available to buy in most of the supermarkets (it may be without the seeds, but it will still taste delicious).
- Limes - Use lemons or lemon juice instead of limes.
This simple drizzle cake can be served in few different ways, see below for few suggestions:
- Turn it into layer cake - add a layer of passion fruit curd into the cake batter for even more exotic and tropical flavour! Transfer half of the cake batter into the baking tin, then add a layer of 3-4 tablespoons of passion fruit curd and spread it gently. Top with the remaining cake batter.
- Make mini-loaves - instead of using one large loaf tin, use two mini-loaf cake pans. Remember to reduce baking times.
- Top it up - add whipped cream or some buttercream instead of the drizzle. You can flavour the cream or the buttercream with some passion fruit juice. Or, just like in my Zesty Lemon Cake recipe, use the simple icing flavoured with citrus as a topping.
- Try it vegan - for a vegan passion fruit cake, check out this Easy Vegan Passionfruit Cake recipe from Rainbow Nourishments.
- Handheld electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
- Loaf tin - This recipe was tested using 21.6 x 11.4 x 6.35 loaf tin, which is 1.2L capacity. You can use bigger loaf tin, but I wouldn't recommend going any smaller (unless baking 2 mini loaves in mini-loaf tins). You can also use square 20 x 20 cm baking tin, or 20 cm round baking tin instead.
- Baking parchment - Use baking paper for lining the tin with. Make sure there is plenty overhang, to prevent and spills and to help you remove the cake from the tin later.
- Sieve - Metal or plastic sieve.
- Skewer or cake tester.
- Pastry or silicone brush for brushing the syrup over the cake. This is optional, as you can also simply spoon out the fruit syrup onto the cake.
This passion fruit sponge cake will keep well at room temperature in the airtight container for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze any leftovers for up to a month. Wrap the cake into a double layer of clingfilm/ plastic wrap, and keep in the freezer. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
If making ahead and freezing this cake, do not add the passion fruit drizzle or the sugared seeds to it. Simply freeze the cooled loaf, and only once it has been thawed, poke it with the skewer and drizzle with passion fruit juice. Otherwise the passion fruit juice will form ice crystals, and this can allow the freezer burn to set up.
Why is my cake flat?
This could be caused by few different factors. Your raising agent or flour was out of date, the cake batter has been overmixed or you used a significantly different size baking tin.
Why do you add soured cream into the cake batter?
Soured cream adds an extra moisture, without thinning the cake batter too much. It also creates creamier and richer texture of the cake. You could also use Greek yoghurt, buttermilk or coconut cream instead.
My cake turned soggy. Why is that?
You probably overmixed the cake batter, or you added the drizzle and the syrup into the cake that was still too warm. Remember to fold the batter gently, and stop mixing it as soon as you can no longer see any flour. And allow the cake to cool until barely warm, before adding the juice and the syrup drizzle to it.
Can I use different size of the baking tin?
Yes, you can. 1.2L loaf tin works best, but you can also use bigger loaf tin. Square or round baking tin (20cm) will also work, but baking times may need adjusting.
What does 'folding the batter' means?
Folding the batter involves a specific motion to ensure you don't deflate the batter. You gently mix the lighter ingredient into heavier cake batter, using a wooden spoon or a spatula. That means no stirring, beating or agitating the cake mixture. You simply start at the back of the mixing bowl, inserting the spoon or spatula vertically to cut through the both mixtures, across the bottom of the bowl and up the nearest side. The bowl should also be rotated slightly with each stroke.
Sift the flour into the cake batter. Sifted flour is much lighter and easier to mix with other ingredients. It also eliminates any lumps or clumps.
Adding beaten eggs gradually, in small additions, prevents the cake batter from curdling.
If the cake starts to catch up the colour and browns up too quickly when baking, cover it with kitchen foil.
Poke the cake all over with cocktail stick or skewer. This way you will create little holes which will be filled with that delicious, sweet and tangy juice. This is what gives this cake it's incredible flavour.
To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card, or on any of the photos above.
If you try this recipe, or any other recipe on Anna Banana, please take a moment to rate the recipe and/ or leave me a comment. I love hearing from you , but it also helps the other readers who are thinking of making the recipe.
Passion Fruit Cake
- 1 loaf tin (1.2 L capacity tin will work best)
- 1 baking parchment
- 1 hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- 1 fine sieve or kitchen strainer
- 1 pastry or silicone brush optional
- 1 skewer or cake tester
- 200 g unsalted butter room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 250 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature, beaten
- 250 g self-rising flour *see notes for the alternative
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 160 ml sour cream room temperature, see notes for the alternative
- 3 medium passion fruit
- 2 medium limes juice only
- 60 g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease and line the baking tin with baking parchment (leave plenty overhanging).
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, pale and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Gradually, start adding the beaten eggs, only about a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Sift in half of the flour and salt and fold gently using spatula, until combined. Add cream and fold again until fully combined. Sift in the remaining flour and fold gently once more, until combined. You should have smooth, soft batter. Transfer the batter to the baking tin and smooth the top with spatula. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
- Spoon out all of the the passion fruit pulp into a sieve and press it with spatula to extract the juice. Reserve 2-3 teaspoon of passion fruit seeds and rinse them under the water. Set aside. Juice the limes and mix the lime juice with passion fruit juice.
- Using a long skewer or a cake tester, poke the holes all over the cake, then brush ½ of the juice over the top of the cake. Mix the remaining ½ of the juice with passion fruit seeds and 60 g of caster sugar and pour over the top of the cake. Allow to set for few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- If no self-raising flour is available, use the same amount of plain/ all purpose flour but add 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder to it.
- Soured cream can be substituted with Greek yoghurt, buttermilk or coconut cream.
- Allow the cake to cool down, before poking it with the skewer and adding the drizzle and the syrup to it.
This recipe was originally published in May 2020. It has been updated with the new photos, video, revised recipe and tips in February 2022.
Recipe adapted from Waitrose.