Manchester Cake

Sometimes in life things just don’t go to plan. Heck I should be a famous jazz singer by now, lounging over a piano in Ronnie Scott’s if they did. But mostly you just have to roll with what life throws at you and always try to chuck a bit back if you can!

I’ve been messing about with creme patisserie in the kitchen this week. This is because my ‘plan’ was to bring you an Australian version of a Boston Cream Pie, I wanted to call it ‘Hello Possums Cream Pie’! But I couldn’t get the consistency of the custard filling right, nor the texture of the genoese sponge. So instead of weeping at my cooker – this has happened in the past as Mr Love will testify – I have come up with a cake version of a 1970’s school dinner classic.

Manchester Tart usually has a pastry base, jam and custard filling and is sprinkled with toasted coconut. My cake version is a moist coconut sponge with a raspberry jam and vanilla creme patissiere filling. Nigella has helped out a lot here! The sponge is adapted from her Coconut Cake and the Vanilla Creme Patissiere is from her Boston Creme Pie recipe – both from How To Be A Domestic Goddess ( or The Bible as its called at Love Towers ).

And you know what, I love that my ‘Hello Possums Cream Pie’ stalled because this cake is gorgeous. It was utterly demolished after a family Sunday lunch of sticky spare ribs ( they were delicious too, thanks Mr L ), see the pictures below of my niece and nephew chowing down on their second helpings!


Creme Patissiere
125 ml full fat milk
125 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar
20g plain flour, sifted

Coconut Sponge
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
225g self raising flour
50g fine desiccated coconut soaked in 150ml boiling water

5 tablespoons of good quality raspberry jam

2 x 21cm sandwich tins buttered and lined with grease proof paper.


Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced.

Bring the milk and cream to the boil in a heavy based saucepan. Remove from the heat and set aside. Beat the egg yolks, caster sugar and vanilla extract until creamy, stir in the sifted flour. Whisk in your milk and cream until smooth. Pour the mixture back into your saucepan and heat on a low heat until the custard thickens. Leave custard to cool in a bowl and top with a disc of grease proof paper to prevent a skin from forming.

To make the coconut beat butter until pale and creamy. Gradually add caster sugar and continue beating so that the batter becomes light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time along with a tablespoon of the flour beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Fold in sifted flour and finally the soaked coconut.

Pour batter into prepared tins and bake for 25mins until skewer comes away clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.

When the sponges are cool, spread the bottom layer with jam. Dollop the creme patissiere onto the jam and spread evenly. Place top layer on top a dust the cake lightly with icing sugar just before serving.

Dig in and enjoy!

Love Lemony x


  1. Alex mathie says:

    Who are these gorgeous kids and why are they eating my cake?!!!

    Have you had a bit of a blog make over? Looking fab lemony lushness! X

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