The Plain-Cake Appreciation Society {edition 30} – a Passionfruit Cake and playing favourites.

As a cake baker and recipe writer, I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to: I think this is my favourite cake. A comfortingly simple butter cake, slathered with passionfruit buttercream.

This is the cake I make first when I’ve been away from home and the one I crave with a big cup of tea when my Mum is not around for a hug. I hope it finds a place in your kitchen too. x

Butter Cake with Passionfruit Icing

(makes one loaf cake)


185g unsalted butter, softened
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
Pinch of bicarb soda
185ml buttermilk

125g unsalted butter, softened
240g icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp passionfruit pulp


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced) and grease a loaf tin well with butter. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. Place butter, caster sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.
  3. Place flour, salt and bicarb soda in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add 1/2 the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and stir gently to combine. Add buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients, mixing gently to a smooth batter.
  4. Scoop batter into prepared tin, smoothing the top with a spatula and tapping the tin on the bench a few times to remove any air bubbles. Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Allow cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. When cake is cool, make buttercream by mixing butter and half the icing sugar until smooth. Add remaining icing sugar and passionfruit pulp and beat until light and fluffy. Smooth icing onto cooled cake and top with a little extra passionfruit pulp if you like.

Serve at room temperature, in thick slices, with a pot of tea or coffee. Any leftover cake will keep happily in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.