This toasted coconut tropical fruit cake roll is subtle, fruity, and just irresistible. Within a light and fluffy sponge cake, you’ll find a delicious mango-lime curd with various tropical fruits. Top with toasted coconut, and enjoy!
You could serve it any time of the year really, but in France cake roll is usually served around Christmas time. In fact, yule log, cake roll and any type of spiral layered-shape cakes count among what we call bûche de Noël in French. Among them all, yule log is probably the most traditional one, prepared with chocolate and resembling to an actual log. From this original version, many variations were invented with time, involving chocolate, fruits, pastry cream, ice cream… And every year, it’s the same question in every family: which bûche de Noël are we going to prepare?
Whether you want to make it for Christmas, for a summer party or an afternoon tea, or even as a Birthday cake, this cake roll recipe will never disappoint. It’s light, fruity, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. And because I’m a forever sweet tooth, I added some white chocolate on top and infused the sponge cake with a wonderful rum syrup with spices. Believe me, you will ask for some more!
A quick video tutorial
I know what you’re thinking right now: “the recipe seems too advanced and I will never be able to make it”. Here’s my answer to you: “Yes you can!”. Let me guide you through the recipe with this little video tutorial. Note that the video is in French, but really all you need is to watch the steps. The rest is a piece of cake and you’ll have all the detailed instructions explained in the recipe card below.
Toasted coconut tropical fruit cake roll
5 easy steps to make a cake roll
- Prepare the sponge cake. You can’t really go wrong with a sponge cake recipe, it’s quick and easy. You could also use it for layer cakes.
- Let cool sponge cake in the fridge with a damp towel.
- Prepare the filling and let cool (ideally, prepare one day ahead).
- Infuse sponge cake with the syrup and spread the filling all over.
- Roll the cake on the shorter side and decorate with icing and/or other toppings.
Tips to prepare ahead of time: You could prepare this toasted coconut tropical fruit cake roll from A to Z one day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Remove 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to develop. If you want to keep your cake roll as fresh as possible, you can make it on D-day, but make sure you prepare the curd in advance (ideally one day ahead) to make sure it’s thick and cold when you spread it out on the cake.
Key to succeed your cake roll
Cake roll is prepared with a sponge cake and usually implies a filling and an icing/decorations on top. With many years of experience baking cake rolls, I noticed a few tricks to guarantee success every single time:
- Prevent sponge cake from being too dry – Immediately after baking, cover your sponge cake with a damp towel and place it in the fridge. This will help the cake to keeps its moisture and prevent any future cracks when you roll it out. Then, when ready to use, brush the cake with a syrup (it can be just water and sugar) to add even more moisture.
- Use a very cold filling – One basic mistake when you make a cake roll is to rush things a little bit and prepare the filling at the same time you do the sponge cake. Whether the filling is a curd, a pastry cream or other, I recommend you prepare the filling one day ahead, and let cool in the refrigerator overnight. This process will guarantee a thick, homogeneous filling that won’t spread out when you fill the cake.
- Don’t fill too much – You don’t want filling to spread out when rolling the cake. To prevent this from happening, make sure you leave a border all around when you spread the filling, and don’t overload the cake.
- Roll the cake on the shorter side and leave the joint on the bottom part – This way, you get a beautiful cake roll and make sure filling has no way to spread out.
- Decorate and keep refrigerated until serving – Whether you decorate with an icing or shredded coconut, always make sure you refrigerate afterwards to make sure the cake is set. An exception is when you use a meringue, which should be prepared at the very end, just before serving.
Other French Christmas desserts:
- Dark Chocolate Mango Yule Log
- Lemon Meringue Cake Roll
- Chocolate Orange Cake Roll with Caramelized Nuts
If you like desserts with tropical fruits:
- Crepes with Fresh Mango, Coconut and Chocolate
- Healthy Raw Mango Cheesecake with Coconut
- Pineapple Coconut Smoothie
- Fresh Mango Salad with Burrata
- Healthy Green Smoothie with Tropical Fruits
This tropical fruit cake roll is subtle, fruity, and just irresistible. Within a light and fluffy sponge cake, you’ll find a delicious mango-lime curd with various tropical fruits. Top with toasted coconut, and enjoy!
For the sponge cake:
- 4 eggs, whites and yolks apart
- ½ cup (100g) sugar
- ¾ cup + 1 Tablespoon (100g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 Tablespoon shredded coconut
- Spice mix (star anise, cloves, cardamom)
For the mango curd*:
- 1 fresh mango
- ½ cup (120 ml) lime juice
- ¾ cup (150g) sugar
- 3 yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1 stick (120g) unsalted butter, diced
For the spiced rum syrup:
- 3 Tablespoons rum
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 whole star anise
- 2–3 cloves
For the white chocolate:
- 3.5 ounces (100g) white chocolate
- 3 Tablespoons heavy liquid cream
- Tropical fruits, diced (mango, kiwis, pineapple, passion fruit…)
- Toasted coconut
- 2 or 3 whole star anises
For the sponge cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 12.25×8.125-inch (31×20.5 cm) baking tray with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still on, slowly pour in the sugar and then the yolks. Grind spices and add to the batter. Finally add in the sifted flour.
- Grease the parchment paper with melted butter, then pour the cake batter in an even single layer. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, cover with a damp towel, then place in the refrigerator to cool.
For the mango curd:
- Puree fresh mango in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, pour in lime juice, and ½ cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, egg, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a medium bowl for about 2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- As you continuously whisk the eggs, gradually pour in the hot mango mixture, then transfer the result steadily back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until curd thickens, about 5–7 minutes (do not let it boil). Remove from heat and add butter a couple of pieces at a time, whisking until fully incorporated before adding more.
- Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring glass bowl or nonreactive bowl and cover, pressing plastic wrap directly onto surface. Chill for at least 2 hours until firm.
- Prepare the spiced rum syrup with rum, sugar, and infuse the spices.
- Remove cake roll from the fridge, remove the damp towel, then brush the cake with syrup.
- Spread the mango curd all other the cake, leaving a border all around. Add in passion fruit, and just a few pieces of tropical fruit such as pineapple, kiwi, mango or other tropical fruits of your choice. Roll the cake on the shorter side, while leaving the joint on the bottom part. Transfer to a serving tray.
- Melt white chocolate with heavy liquid cream in the microwave, stirring every 10 seconds, until completely melted. Pour all over the cake roll, then quickly sprinkle with shredded coconut. Decorate cake roll, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
* I recommend to prepare the curd up to one day in advance to make sure it has time to set in the fridge. This way, you are guaranteed to spread a thick cream all over the sponge cake that won’t spread out when rolling the cake.
Keywords: Coconut cake roll
This recipe and video were originally created with and for Peugeot Saveurs.