Pink Passionfruit Curd Cake 

This whimsical birthday cake was created in honour of Marimekko’s iconic Unikko print, celebrating sixty years of a floral that is forever in style. The playful yet timeless appeal of the poppy print inspired this colourful creation, a simple sponge sandwiched together with delicious drips of passionfruit curd adorned in pretty pink raspberry rose icing. It’s a cake of unbridled joy; a celebration of style, a symphony of colours, and an ode to all things poppy.

Baking Notes

  • This homemade passionfruit curd is extraordinarily delicious and simple to make, but if your time is limited, you can substitute with a high-quality store-bought lemon or passionfruit curd. 
  • The raspberry rose icing has a darling pink hue and a lovely balance of floral and tart notes, but you can omit the raspberries and rose and opt for a simple lemon icing if preferred.
Image and recipe by Salma Sabdia @thepolkadotter
Image and recipe by Salma Sabdia @thepolkadotter

Pink Passionfruit Curd Cake

Makes a double layer 15cm (6" cake)


Lemon Sponge Cake 
- 120g unsalted butter, softened 
- 120g caster sugar, sifted 
- Zest of 1/2 large lemon (2-3 tsp) 
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature 
- 120g plain flour 
- 2 tsp baking powder 
- Pinch of fine sea salt 
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional) 
- 2 tsp rosewater (optional) 
- 1-2 tbsp whole milk 
- 150ml chilled double cream, to serve 
- 1 tbsp sifted icing sugar, to serve 
- Meringue kisses, to serve (optional) 

Passionfruit Curd 
- 3 large egg yolks 
- 90g caster sugar 
- 45g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped 
- Pulp of 3-4 passionfruit (60ml) 
- Zest of 1/2 large lemon (2-3 tsp) 
- Juice of most of 1 large lemon (70-90ml) 
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt 

Raspberry Rose Icing 
- 125g icing sugar, sifted 
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice 
- Pinch of fine sea salt 
- 20g fresh raspberries 
- 1 1/2 tsp rosewater 


Lemon Sponge Cake 
1. Preheat oven to 175ºC conventional heat, grease two 15cm (6”) cake tins, lining bases with baking paper. 
2. Cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a freestanding mixer for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. 
3. Lightly whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then gradually add to the creamed ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition until pale and creamy. Sprinkle over with rosewater if using. 
4. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom in a bowl, then gently fold into the creamed ingredients with a large metal spoon, adding just enough milk to bring the cake batter to a reluctant dropping consistency. 
5. Divide batter between cake tins, weighing tins to ensure equal volume. Bake in lower third of the oven for 20 minutes, or until cakes are lightly golden and spongy to the touch. 
6. Remove cakes from oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes in cake tins, then gently remove (use a palette knife to help release the cakes from the sides if needed) and transfer to a cooling rack to allow to cool completely. 

Passionfruit Curd 
1. Lightly whisk egg yolks and sugar together in large clean bowl until pale and thick but not frothy. 
2. Juice and strain your large lemon, reserving 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice for the icing. 
3. Melt butter, passionfruit, zest, remaining lemon juice and salt together in a medium saucepan over low heat. 
4. Add egg yolk and sugar mixture to saucepan and stir constantly over low-medium heat until in turns a deep yellow colour and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (approximately 5-10 minutes). 
5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. If not using immediately, pour cooled curd into sterilised jar and keep refrigerated. 
6. Note this curd recipe makes approximately 300ml and only 75-100ml is required for the cake. The remaining curd can be served as a condiment with the cake or enjoyed with another dessert. 

Raspberry Rose Icing 
1. Place sifted icing sugar, lemon juice and salt together in a large bowl, along with one teaspoon of rosewater. 
2. Press raspberries through a sieve. Add one teaspoon of raspberry puree to the bowl. 
3. Mix ingredients well, adding a little more raspberry puree or rosewater as needed to achieve a pale pink delicately floral flavoured lemon icing with an easy pouring consistency. If icing is too thick, add a few drops of water or extra lemon juice. If too thin, add a little more icing sugar. 

Image and recipe by Salma Sabdia @thepolkadotter
Image and recipe by Salma Sabdia @thepolkadotter

To Serve

1. Gently whisk cream and icing sugar in a bowl by hand to soft peaks. 
2. Place one cake layer on serving plate and spread with cream, then carefully pour one quarter of the passionfruit curd over the cream, allowing a little to drip down the sides. Add a few extra tablespoons of curd if needed. 
3. Place the second cake layer on top and carefully drizzle with raspberry rose icing, again allowing a little to drip down the sides. 
4. Decorate with meringue kisses if using, slice with a sharp knife, and serve in your favourite Marimekko Unikko cake plates. 

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