A special occasion calls for a special cake. Ten years ago, I was put in charge of sourcing such a dessert. It was for my sister’s wedding. She had just started a new job and moved back home from the other side of the world. She had perfectly planned her dress, the flowers, music, decorations and food- but the cake was entrusted to me.

On that muggy December day she took my Dad’s arm and walked down a grassy aisle towards her great love.  A few hours later we all sat in the Botanical Gardens’ restaurant under the wide eyes of fruit bats and ate slices of Simmone Logue’s famed lemon curd cheesecake. It’s wild to think that wedding was a decade ago now.

We’re not just celebrating ten years of a great marriage. This year marks their twenty year anniversary.

They’ve lived more of their lives together, than apart.

My gorgeous sister and her husband, 20 years ago.

My just as gorgeous sister and her husband, two nights ago.

Together they’ve built houses, ushered three irrepressible, adorable children into the world and hosted more than their fair share of epic feasts (think custom built swimming dams, lambs on spits, tables groaning with heirloom tomato salads, tabbouleh and 10 kg of their buddy Paddy’s famed roast potatoes on platters – his secret is to par boil them from cold water, rough them up in the roasting trays and then crisp them well in the oven. If there’s duck fat around, then all the better).

Saturday night was another one of those nights. There was a booming bonfire and declarations of love. Together they are fearless.

I  volunteered to bring the cake. I reached back into my memory for what stood out about their wedding cake. Its appeal lay in the contrast between the plush richness of the cream cheese against the tartness of the lemon curd. I knew my sister had already sourced a vat of coconut gelato from Berry’s famed Il Locale gelateria (a mandatory stop off point on your way down the NSW coast) for dessert and had planned a blueberry, pineapple and coconut salad to go with it.

And hence this cake was born. For me another cause for celebration was finally cracking the ratios of coconut flour. Too much and you’re eating something as appetizing as sand, too little and your dessert lacks structural integrity. When used well coconut flour is a grand option for flourless baking.  Here its natural gentle sweetness is mellowed with ground almonds and deepened with coconut oil- though you could just as easily use a neutral flavoured oil, or melted butter. A good number of eggs help to round it all out.  The end result is a simple affair of melt, mix, portion and bake. By baking it in two tins, you have ready made layers (which means no faffing with cutting things evenly ) and no issue with the outside being dry by the time the centre is set.

I made a few extra over the course of the week to test timings and ratios and can happily say that a small wedge on its own is lovely with a cup of tea at 3pm. Will also approves of a slim finger of it at 10.30 am (the sugar levels in this are relatively low and come from maple syrup- in fact, if you omitted the lemon curd, this is a cake that curiously classifies as Paleo -because of course Paleolithic man tucked into cake…).

On its own this cake does the job. But combine it with the zip and zing of lemon curd and it completely comes into its self.  Like any good marriage, these elements bring out the best in each other.

Happy anniversary Kate and Jacques. xxx

Flourless Coconut Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Serves 12-14

Shopping/foraging

The below quantities makes two layers.  Feel free to halve it for a simple tea cake. For a larger, three layer cake (as per the photo)  just multiply the below quantities by 1.5 and bake three layers. I find placing toothpicks vertically at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o clock around the cake useful to ensure a three layer cake stays together while icing.


6 tbsp/130 gm maple syrup
1/2 cup/125 ml melted coconut oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup/ 55 g almond meal
1/2 cup/ 70 g coconut flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut shards, to decorate

To go with
3/4 cup lemon curd, or clementine curd (recipe here)
300 g cream cheese frosting to cover – recipe here, or omit and serve with ice cream on the side.

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and grease and line two 22 cm cake tins.

2) Combine the oil with the maple syrup.

3) Add the eggs and whisk well to combine

4) Sift in the dry ingredients.

5) Whisk to combine, working to get out any lumps that have formed from the coconut flour.

6) Divide the cake evenly into two pans.

7) Bake for 35-40  minutes, until the centre is firm and a skewer comes out cleanly. Remove from cake tins and allow to cool.

8) Sandwich the cakes together with a generous amount of lemon curd. Either serve as is, or gloss the top and sides with cream cheese frosting. I find it’s easiest to do that if you have frozen the cakes. I tend to sandwich the cakes with lemon curd, then wrap them in foil and freeze for 4 hours. A very cold cake and room temperature frosting means the frosting will harden on application, making it easier to get a consistent base coat. Allow the frosted cake to come back to temperature in the fridge and then decorate the edges with coconut shards before serving.