When life gives you feijoas, make jam, chutney, crumble, and cake! With five feijoa trees in our backyard, plus bags from my Dad’s earlier crop, I can see green in the fruit bowl for months.
Even with the children having regular “feijoa sessions” at the kitchen bench – cut, scoop, eat, repeat – I still have buckets of fruit to process.
I have lost count of the number of times I have made the cake I share today. It is incredibly adaptable, sometimes I sweeten with autumn-scented honey from our neighbour’s beehives, other times golden sugar.
I have made it gluten-free on occasion, topped with a tart nut-based icing. And then again, drizzled with chocolate for my daughter’s birthday.
I have included some of these variations in the recipe, including two icing options. The lemon and macadamia icing is something a little different. However, you do need a relatively powerful food processor to create smooth(ish) icing. The second option, good old ganache, matches rather beautifully with herbaceous feijoa.
If you fancy taking this to the next level into the layer cake realm – double the recipe and bake two cakes, sandwich with 200g mascarpone, sweetened with honey and vanilla to taste. Finish with ganache dripping down the sides. This was my daughter’s exact request for her birthday cake recently.
Serves 8 – 10
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
This recipe was inspired by a simple feijoa cake my friend Nadia makes every autumn. It is quick to prepare and a great way to use up feijoa that have surpassed their best. If you don’t have these little green flavour bombs flowing nearby, use 1 cup chopped ripe pear plus lemon zest for extra zing. Not quite the same, but still delicious.
100g room temperature butter, cubed
⅓ cup sugar or 4 tablespoons honey
2 free-range eggs
½ cup yoghurt
1 cup scooped feijoa flesh
1 ¼ cups white flour (gluten-free: use 1 cup rice flour and ¼ cup tapioca flour)
½ cup desiccated coconut or extra flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
Place the butter, sugar or honey, eggs, yoghurt and feijoa flesh into a food processor and blend to combine. Add the flour, coconut, and baking powder and soda. Pulse half a dozen times until just combined. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack. See below for icing options.
This cake is wonderfully moist and will keep for up to three days stored in an airtight container in the pantry.
LEMON AND MACADAMIA ICING
There is a stall at the local market that I search out every autumn for their freshly cracked macadamias. A favourite treat for my littlest, so I have to be quick to save some for this icing.
½ cup macadamia or cashews
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon hot water
Combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blitz into a smooth-ish icing. Depending on the machine, this can take 1-3 minutes, scrape down the sides often and add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to loosen if needed. Pour on to the cooled cake, spreading out to the edges. Decorate with desiccated coconut.
¼ cup (60ml) cream
100g dark chocolate, broken into squares
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until bubbles appear on the surface. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Sit for 30 seconds then use a spatula to stir until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake, using a knife to spread evenly, letting some drip down the sides of the cake.