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FoodPassionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

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This Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake has light and fluffy vanilla white chocolate cake layered with a Swiss meringue passion fruit buttercream frosting. It’s sweet, tart and citrusy and delicious served with a cup of coffee or enjoyed with Baja Fish Tacos or Spinach Enchiladas for the perfect spring meal!

Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake on a cake stand with cut passion fruit on the counter near by.

Making beautiful cakes is my passion! My Lemon Coconut Cake looks like a gigantic flower, this Elderflower Lemon Cake is topped with pretty buttercream flowers, and these Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting look like a flower garden complete with buttercream “grass”. All of these cakes are all super cute and taste even better!

Overhead view of Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake with fresh passion fruit on top. Overhead view of Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake with fresh passion fruit on top.

Ingredients You’ll Need for a Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake

  1. Flour – You want the vanilla bean cake layers to be really light, fluffy and tender so using cake flour is a must!
  2. Chocolate – White chocolate is mixed right into the cake batter. The cake tastes like rich vanilla with a hint of creamy white chocolate.
  3. Vanilla – Vanilla bean paste will give a strong vanilla flavor to the cake. Vanilla extract can be used as well!
  4. Eggs – You’ll need plenty of eggs for both the cake and the Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
  5. Passion fruit – This is a sweet and tart tropical fruit that tastes similar to kiwi or pineapple. I used thawed frozen passion fruit concentrate.

For the rest of the ingredients, please refer to the recipe index card below!

How To Make Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake

  1. For the vanilla bean cake. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, egg yolks and whole eggs one at a time. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture until everything is well combined. Finally, fold in the white chocolate.
  2. Divide the batter between 3 prepared cake pans, bake for 28 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. For the passion fruit Swiss meringue buttercream. Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk gently then place the bowl over a pot with simmering water. Heat the mixture while whisking intermittently until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Transfer the bowl back to the stand mixer then whisk until medium-stiff peaks form. From here, switch to the paddle attachment then on medium-high speed add butter beating until the frosting is silky smooth. Finally, mix in as much passionfruit puree as you like.
  5. Decorate the cake. Frost the cake then top with some fresh passion fruit puree on the top.

Tips and Tricks

  • How to freeze passion fruit. You can place whole fresh passion fruit into the freezer. When you are ready to use them, slice in half(while they’re still frozen) scoop out the pulp then let it defrost.
  • How to make an ombre finish. The decorating part took me over 5 hours, so you can totally skip this step if you want! I used a small star tip (Wilton #18) to get those rows of shells. Divide the frosting into 3 bowls, tint each one with yellow food coloring, going from dark to light. Start with the darkest frosting on the bottom then after 3 or 4 rows switch to the next color ending on the lightest color. Short cut decorating tip– Instead of piping small shells you could add a good amount of the darkest frosting on the bottom of the cake then spread it out using an offset spatula or bench scraper. Repeat a little higher with the next color, slightly overlapping the frostings to create an ombre look!
Close up image of a frosted cake on a cake stand.Close up image of a frosted cake on a cake stand.

Recipe FAQs

What does passion fruit taste like?

Passion fruit is a tropical fruit native to South America. It has yellow pulp with plenty of edible seeds. Passion fruit is sweet and tart with a flavor similar to oranges and pineapple put together.

Where to find passion fruit?

You’re most likely to find passion fruit in the frozen fruit section at your local grocery store. Look for fresh passion fruit in the tropical produce section of the store or at local farmer’s markets.

Overhead image of a slice of Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake on a plate with a fork.Overhead image of a slice of Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake on a plate with a fork.

More Cake Recipes

If you tried this Passionfruit Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

For the Vanilla Bean Cake:

For the Passion Fruit Buttercream:

Make the Vanilla Bean Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. 

  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. 

  • Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the vanilla. Add the egg yolks and eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next. Mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. 

  • Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. After the last streaks of the flour mixture are combined, mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and fold in the chocolate by hand. 

  • Evenly divide the batter among the three prepared pans. Bake for 28 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely, right-side up, on the wire rack before removing the parchment. 

Passion Fruit Buttercream:

  • Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Gently whisk them by hand to combine. In a medium saucepan, bring an inch or two of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Heat the egg mixture, whisking intermittently, until it reaches 160 F on a candy thermometer. 

  • Carefully affix the mixer bowl to the stand mixer (it may be hot) and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture holds medium-stiff peaks and the outside of the bowl has cooled to room temperature. 

  • Remove the whisk attachment and add the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to medium-high and add the butter and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. 

  • Add 6 tablespoons of the passion fruit concentrate a few tablespoons at a time and mix until combined, then taste and add the remaining passion fruit concentrate to your liking. 

To Decorate the Cake

  • Smoothly frost the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. 

  • To decorate the cake with the ombre shell piping, divide the remaining buttercream into three bowls. Tint each of the batches of buttercream to different degrees of yellow, going from darker to lighter. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small star tip (Wilton #18) with the tinted buttercream. Pipe a continuous row of shells around the bottom of the cake. After about three rows, empty the piping bag and fill it with the slightly darker shade. Repeat until you’ve worked your way all of the way up the cake. 

  • If you like, you can add some fresh passionfruit puree to the very top. 

Tips and Tricks

  • How to freeze passion fruit. You can place whole fresh passion fruit into the freezer. When you are ready to use them, slice in half(while they’re still frozen) scoop out the pulp then let it defrost.
  • How to make an ombre finish. The decorating part took me over 5 hours, so you can totally skip this step if you want! I used a small star tip (Wilton #18) to get those rows of shells. Divide the frosting into 3 bowls, tint each one with yellow food coloring, going from dark to light. Start with the darkest frosting on the bottom then after 3 or 4 rows switch to the next color ending on the lightest color. Short cut decorating tip– Instead of piping small shells you could add a good amount of the darkest frosting on the bottom of the cake then spread it out using an offset spatula or bench scraper. Repeat a little higher with the next color, slightly overlapping the frostings to create an ombre look!

Calories: 136678kcal | Carbohydrates: 19463g | Protein: 1846g | Fat: 5920g | Saturated Fat: 3611g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 300g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1480g | Trans Fat: 213g | Cholesterol: 15350mg | Sodium: 5348mg | Potassium: 29680mg | Fiber: 291g | Sugar: 10779g | Vitamin A: 178925IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 16232mg | Iron: 116mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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