Indulge in the Sweet and Tangy Lilikoi Cake

If you’re anything like me, your heart beats a little faster at the mere mention of a delicious dessert. And let me tell you, this lilikoi passionfruit curd cake is the dessert of your dreams.

But what makes this cake so special? Well, it all starts with the passion fruit puree that gives the curd filling its tart tangy flavor, perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the cake. The lilikoi (Hawaiian for passionfruit) gives this cake an exotic twist that’s simply irresistible.

I have to say, when I first stumbled upon this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, I was skeptical. But once I took my first bite, I knew I found a winner. It’s moist and bouncy, with just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Whether you’re in need of a showstopping dessert for a special occasion or simply looking to indulge in something sweet, look no further than this lilikoi passionfruit curd cake. Trust me on this – your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake
Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake

Hello, my fellow baking enthusiasts! Do you crave something that will ignite your taste buds with a perfect balance of sweet and tangy? Then look no further because this Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe is the answer to your dessert dreams!

Get ready to experience the tantalizing burst of sweet and tart flavors with every bite of this heavenly cake. The texture is soft and moist in the middle, making every slice perfectly delectable, and it can make you crave for more.

Do you love passion fruit like I do? Then, prepare yourself for a new addiction. This recipe takes the classic yellow cake mix that we all know and loves, giving it a modern touch by adding a tropical twist. The exotic passion fruit puree used in this recipe adds an unexpected fruity flavor that harmonizes deliciously with the curd filling swirled throughout the cake.

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can serve it as a light dessert for sophisticated dinner parties or as an indulgent treat at casual family gatherings. Dress it up with white chocolate curls or pair it with a dollop of whipped cream for extra decadence.

But we all know the real reason why you’ll love this Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe. It’s perfect for any season, bringing you that tropical feeling no matter where you are. You can enjoy it during winter months as an escape from the cold, or during summer months as a reminder of those warm beach days. So whether you’re longing for summer vibes or just looking to experiment with new flavors in the kitchen, this cake has got you covered.

I promise that once you taste this Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe, you will fall in love with its divine flavor and become a loyal fan forever. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you later!

Ingredient List

 A slice of this cake is like taking a tropical vacation in just one bite!
A slice of this cake is like taking a tropical vacation in just one bite!

Let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need for this lilikoi passionfruit curd cake recipe. Don’t worry, these are all easy-to-find ingredients that you may already have in your pantry!

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all-purpose flour)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup passionfruit curd
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit puree

Purchasing fresh lilikoi or passion fruit may be difficult in some areas. Passion fruit puree is an excellent substitute for fresh passion fruit pulp. You can find some passionfruit puree online or at your local specialty food store.

Passionfruit Curd

The star ingredient of this cake is the passionfruit curd. It’s what gives this cake its tropical flavor! You’ll need egg yolks, butter, sugar, passion fruit pulp, lemon juice, and vanilla bean to make it from [scratch]. If you’re short on time or don’t want to make it yourself, you can buy pre-made curd from your local supermarket or online.

I recommend making the curd a day in advance so that it has time to cool and thicken in the fridge.

Lilikoi Passionfruit Topping

For the fruit drizzle on top of the cake, you’ll need a mixture of passion fruit puree and powdered sugar. Fresh lilikoi pulp (also known as “passionfruit”) is ideal but if not available, you can use frozen pulp, canned pulp or bottled juice.

You can adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet/tart you like your sauce.

Overall, this recipe calls for simple ingredients but they work together beautifully to create a deliciously tropical and flavorful cake!

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors in every layer.
The perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors in every layer.

Now that we’ve covered the introduction and reasons why you’ll love the Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake recipe, let’s dive into the how-to.

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

First things first, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grab a medium mixing bowl, and whisk together 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, and stir until everything is well combined.

Mixing the Wet Ingredients

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together 2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup) with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 3/4 cup of sweet Hawaiian brown sugar. Keep mixing for about 5 minutes until everything is well-creamed before adding in 4 room-temperature large eggs, one at a time. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Next, stir in 1/2 cup of passion fruit puree, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and pulp from a whole vanilla bean. Stir until just combined

Mixing the Wet & Dry Ingredients Together

With your mixer on low speed or doing it manually, add in gradually the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix them together but avoid overmixing.

Adding the Curd Filling

Pour half of the batter into a greased loaf pan or bundt cake pan, then spoon over half of your passionfruit curd filling. Swirl curd carefully into batter using a fork to create pockets throughout[^1]. Pour remaining batter into pan and repeat process with remaining curd.

Baking Time

Place your cake on the center rack of your oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.


Once your cake has completely cooled for about fifteen minutes use a fork to gently poke some holes on top[²]. Take half a cup of lilikoi juice mixed with ¼ cup granulated sugar and drizzle it over the holes and allow it to seep into the cake.

Now that you know how to make this yummy Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake recipe with clear instructions, it’s time for you to make it yourself!

Substitutions and Variations

 Trust me, your taste buds will dance to the beat of this fruity cake!
Trust me, your taste buds will dance to the beat of this fruity cake!

Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake recipe is a tropical dessert that bursts with fruit flavors. However, there are times when you may not have all the ingredients, or you want to customize the recipe to your liking. In this section, I’ll share some substitutions and variations to make the recipe more versatile and adaptable.

Instead of passion fruit juice, you can use other fruit purees such as mango, pineapple, or even strawberry to give a different flavor profile to the cake. Just make sure to adjust the sugar levels accordingly as different fruits have different sweetness levels.

For a vegan variation of this recipe, use a vegan butter substitute and egg replacer such as applesauce or flaxseed meal. You can also try using tofu or aquafaba whipped into a meringue-like consistency for a vegan version of the passionfruit curd.

If you’re looking for a different texture for your cake, replace the unbleached all-purpose flour with almond flour or gluten-free flour for an alternative take on this tropical dessert.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding white chocolate chips to the batter or topping the cake with coconut flakes or chopped macadamia nuts to give this luscious dessert even more depth of flavor and texture.

For those who loves frosting, use passionfruit curd as a filling in-between layers of a chiffon or vanilla sponge cake, cover them with whipped cream and top them off with fresh berries for an elegant birthday cake.

As an alternative pairing, serve Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake topped with ice cream or alongside coconut pineapple. The tart tangy flavor of the cake combines perfectly with the sweetness from ice cream and the tropical flavors from pineapple.

Overall, this recipe does well as is — but don’t be afraid to experiment with some of these substitutions and alterations to take advantage of seasonally available fruits or expand your culinary horizons.

Serving and Pairing

 The lilikoi and passionfruit curd add a dreamy, creamy texture to every slice.
The lilikoi and passionfruit curd add a dreamy, creamy texture to every slice.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about combining fruity cakes with the right drink. It just seems like a match made in heaven.

When it comes to serving and pairing this lilikoi passionfruit curd cake recipe, I have a few suggestions up my sleeve. First and foremost, I’d recommend enjoying this sweet treat as a dessert or snack alongside a hot cup of tea or coffee. The warm flavors will pair beautifully with the sweet-tart nature of the cake.

If you prefer consuming sweets in a non-caffeinated form, you might want to give fruit juice or even wine a try. White wine is particularly excellent when served chilled while enjoying a slice of this scrumptious lilikoi passionfruit curd cake. Alternatively, you can pair it with a cold glass of lemonade for some zesty refreshment.

Another idea is serving the cake for breakfast or brunch alongside some fresh fruit salad or a dollop of yogurt. The creamy yogurt works wonders with the light and fluffy texture of the cake, adding another dimension to what’s already a flavorful experience.

Last but not least, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous try making an ice cream float. Simply pour some vanilla bean ice cream into a glass, pour and fill with some beverage that pairs well with passionfruit (Soda Water/Lemon Soda/Citrus-flavored soda) before topping it off with lilikoi passionfruit curd cake slices. The end result is an indulgent treat that tastes like a sweet Hawaiian dream.

In conclusion, the options for serving and pairing this lilikoi passionfruit curd cake recipe are endless! Choosing from the variety of drinks and snacks can add another layer of enjoyment to what’s already an incredibly delicious baking creation.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be fooled by the simple exterior - this cake is packed with tropical flavors and vibrant colors.
Don’t be fooled by the simple exterior – this cake is packed with tropical flavors and vibrant colors.

Now that you’ve baked your delicious Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake, you may be wondering how to store it properly. Fortunately, this cake keeps well for a few days when stored correctly. Here are my top tips for making ahead, storing, and reheating this luscious concoction.


The Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake is great for making ahead of time if you have a busy schedule. You have two options for freezing the cake: freeze the whole cake or freeze individual slices wrapped in plastic wrap.

To freeze the whole cake, let it cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap. Next, wrap it with aluminum foil and place it into a freezer bag or container. With this method, the cake can be frozen for up to three months.

To freeze individual slices of cake, wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place them into a container or freezer bag. Frozen, individual slices can be thawed at room temperature or inside the refrigerator.


If you plan to enjoy your Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake within two days of baking it, you may want to store it at room temperature. Cover the cake with a dome cake stand or with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. If storing in the refrigerator, remove any fresh fruit topping first and cover with plastic wrap as well.


If you prefer enjoying your cake warmed up or if you have leftover refrigerated slices, you can simply reheat them using your oven or microwave. To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 350°F (175°C), remove any fresh fruit toppings first and bake for about 10-15 minutes until heated through. To rewarm in the microwave, use low power setting for 20 second increments until warmed through.

Remember that this delicate cake contains passionfruit curd filling which can make the bottom moist after being refrigerated. It’s recommended that you only refrigerate half of the cake after slicing to avoid ruining its quality. And whatever way you choose to reheat this golden beauty before devouring it – one thing is guaranteed: your taste buds will rejoice!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Let the golden yellow filling do all the talking in this stunning cake.
Let the golden yellow filling do all the talking in this stunning cake.

As a seasoned baker, I’ve learned through experience that attention to detail is everything when it comes to creating perfect desserts. Here are some tips that will help you achieve the best possible results for your Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake.

Firstly, ensure that all your ingredients are at room temperature before you start baking. This allows them to mix together more easily, resulting in a smoother and more evenly textured cake. Also, make sure to sift the flour and baking powder together to ensure even leavening and avoid lumps in the batter.

Next, use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients accurately. Measuring cups can produce inconsistent measurements, especially with flour which can compress in the cup over time. Using a scale ensures that each ingredient is added in the correct quantity for optimal results.

When making the lilikoi passionfruit curd, use fresh passion fruit pulp or puree to create a bright and flavorful filling. Additionally, be patient when cooking the curd over low heat to prevent scrambling the eggs and yield a smooth and creamy texture.

For best results, bake your cake at 350°F for about 35-40 minutes on the center rack of your oven. Avoid opening the oven door during baking as this can cause the cake to collapse due to changes in temperature.

Finally, let your cake cool completely before slicing or adding any toppings or drizzles. This ensures that each slice holds its shape and makes for an attractive presentation. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for a sweet indulgence.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with a moist, sliceable and delicious Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake every time!


Now, let’s discuss some frequently asked questions about this Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe. As with any recipe, there may be some issues that arise during the baking process or confusion regarding ingredient substitutions. Therefore, I’ve gathered a few common concerns and provided some helpful tips to ease your worries and ensure your cake turns out flawlessly. Let’s get right into it!

What is the difference between Lilikoi and passion fruit?

Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa, commonly known as Yellow Passion Fruit, shares the same identity as lilikoi. In Hawaiian, lilikoi is the term used for passionfruit, and it sounds like the blend of the name Lilly with the massive Japanese goldfish, Koi. This information was published on August 31, 2019.

How do you add passion fruit to a cake?

Right before the cake is ready to come out of the oven, it’s time to whip up the tangy drizzle topping. Combine the passion fruit puree, lime juice and caster sugar together to make the delicious glaze. Once the cake finishes baking, use a skewer to make holes all over the top and then pour on the passion fruit drizzle while it’s still warm. This allows the flavors to meld together and truly enhance each other. It’ll be hard to resist licking the spoon!

How do you thicken passion fruit puree?

Firstly, halve the passion fruits and remove the pulp into a small saucepan. Then, put the pan on the stove and set the heat to low or medium. Let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the sugar is dissolved, and the juice thickens. Note that the duration may vary depending on the heat level, so keep a close eye on it.

What is a passion cake made of?

This recipe calls for simple ingredients that you might already have in your pantry: self-raising flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and milk. The star of the show, of course, is the passion fruit pulp that adds a burst of tangy flavor to the cake. The frosting is a creamy mixture of mascarpone (or cream cheese), heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste. For an extra punch of passion fruit flavor, you can fold in some fresh pulp or homemade passion fruit jam. Trust me, it takes the recipe to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Bottom Line

This Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe is the ultimate tropical delight that everyone should try at least once. With its moist and fluffy texture, heavenly flavor, and tropical aroma, this cake surpasses all expectations.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a sweet escape, this cake recipe will take you on a journey to the islands with every bite. Its combination of tart and sweet flavors make it the perfect ending to any meal or the perfect addition to your brunch table.

And if you’re hesitant because of the lengthy ingredient list or what seems like complicated technique, don’t be – with our simple step-by-step guide and tips for perfect results, you’ll find that this recipe is not only easy but foolproof.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a try and prepare yourself to be transported to a tropical paradise. Once you do, you’ll be hooked on this Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe forever.

Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake

Lilikoi Passionfruit Curd Cake Recipe

This is a recipe that I found on the 101 Cookbooks site. It uses Lilikoi Li Hing Mui curd by a company named Planted By the River. Check out their website for awesome (and affordable) exotic fruit curds from Hawai'i!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Breads, Dessert, Easy
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 277.4kcal


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lilikoi curds (or curd flavor of your preference, lemon, raspberry, etc)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and make sure one of your racks is on the middle level.
  • Choose your cake pan(s) and butter (and flour) generously.
  • Combine your dry ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small/medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  • Combine your wet ingredients: In a separate medium-sized bowl (or mixer) beat the butter with the whisk or paddle attachment for about three solid minutes.
  • You want the butter to be smooth and creamy before you add any of the rest of the ingredients.
  • Now add the sugar(s) and beat some more - another three minutes minimum.
  • Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice during the process so you end up with a nice, even, creamy butter/ sugar blend.
  • Add the eggs one at a time: After you add each egg, mix until the egg is fully incorporated and the batter is smooth and creamy - scrape down the sides of the bowl now and then along the way. (If you don't beat well enough at this stage you'll end up with little butter/sugar flecks throughout your batter in the end).
  • After the eggs are well incorporated stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients: Dump the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and gently fold in the flour.
  • You don't want to over mix the batter at this point, so continue to fold the flour in until the last of the flour just barely disappears.
  • Get ready to bake: Scoop half of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • It is pretty thick, so you may need to spread it around a bit with the back of a spoon.
  • Now take about 1/2 of your curd and cover the batter, staying clear of the sides of the pan if possible.
  • Add the rest of the cake batter and smooth out the top until it is level if you need to. Now you are going to finish off the top of the cake with some curd swirls.
  • Plop big spoonfuls of the remaining lilikoi curd and plop them on top of the cake (again staying clear of the sides of the pan if possible).
  • Drag a butter knife through the curd in a loop-de-loop motion so the cake batter swirls with the curd and you get a marble effect.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes (depending on pan
  • shape/size), or until the cake bounces back a bit when you push the top of it with your finger - it will be very moist (see picture), so don't overcook - trust your eyes, nose, and instinct.
  • Let cool and serve at room temperature dusted with a bit of powdered sugar (I bet ginger-kissed, loosely whipped cream would also go well with this).

Your Own Notes


Serving: 892g | Calories: 277.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.7g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 13.3g | Saturated Fat: 7.9g | Cholesterol: 84.3mg | Sodium: 235.7mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 25.2g

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