Nelly Elliott

Newcastle based blogger, mama, creative, coffee-only with my oxygen, vegan, plus-size fashion lover and feminist.


Coconut Peach Melba Cake.

The Clandestine Cake Club is one of my favourite food-related gatherings in Newcastle. I have been attending cake club for over a year and a half now and cannot recommend it highly enough. I mean, if you love cake and want to meet some awesome people who also love cake... This is the place for you.

There seems to be this misapprehension that you have to be a ridiculously awesome baker or some sort of peggy-porchen-esque super decorator to come along. The purpose of this post is to show you that this is not the case.

If there was any sort of competition involved or minimum standard of cake-beauty I would of been dis-invited long ago. My cake always tend to be the slightly lop-sided one with lots of icing (to cover a multitude of sins). The beauty of cake club is that it gives you an opportunity to try new things, experiment with new recipes or flavours.

Each meeting has a theme which you should bake to, although you can be as vague as you like with it really. The theme is really just a jumping off point to be a bit creative.

For example for July's cake club the theme was "History". Boy did I struggle to come up with a recipe for this theme. I ended up making a peach melba coconut cake. I have been wanting to try a coconut sponge for a while and felt that the peach melba topping was quite retro, sort of like the pineapple upside down cake my Gran used to make.

I have found previous themes a little more inspiring. I made a Harry Potter Butterbeer layer cake for the film theme, and my Shirley Temple Mocktail cake for the drinks theme was a triumph! (both of these recipes can be seen in the Clandestine Cake Club book)

This coconut peach melba cake is the perfect example of not needing to be perfect or even pretty to be polished off at cake club! (it was much tastier than it looks *honest*)

print recipe
Coconut Peach Melba Cake
  • 150ml Tinned coconut milk (low fat is fine)
  • 50g Desiccated Coconut
  • 250g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Free-range eggs
  • 260g Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Fresh Peaches
  • a handful Raspberries
Start by preheating the oven to 180C and greasing a 23cm round cake tin.Bring the tin of coconut milk to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add the desiccated coconut and vanilla extract and leave for 15 minutes to soak.While this is soaking away nicely, slice the peaches into rounds (they should be doughnut shaped with the hole in the middle) and place them in the bottom of the cake tin. Place a fresh raspberry in the middle of each peach slice. Think of an old fashioned pineapple upside down cake with the little red cherries in the middle.Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Don't worry if it looks slightly split at this stage.Sift the flour and baking powder together and then alternate adding flour and the coconut mixture until fully incorporated.Pour the batter carefully over the fruit in the tin and level the top with a spatula.Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer placed in the center of the cake comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the tin before turning out.