Chefs' Recipes

Jaclyn Koludrovic's gluten-free pistachio, lime and coconut cream cake with melon, apple and mint

Talk about a showstopper cake.

By Jaclyn Koludrovic
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 45 mins cooking (plus setting, chilling)
  • Serves 8 - 10
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"I love the flavour of melon, apple and mint, and I really wanted to make something using the combination," says Jaclyn Koludrovic. "This is a showstopper!" The cake and coconut cream can be made up to two days ahead and stored separately.
This cake is gluten-free and dairy-free.


  • 335 gm pure icing sugar
  • 50 gm gluten-free plain flour
  • ¾ tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 135 gm almond meal
  • 110 gm pistachio nuts, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp extra to serve
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
  • ½ honeydew melon, deseeded, peeled
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • ½ cup small mint leaves
Coconut cream
  • 900 ml coconut cream
  • 30 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 4 gold-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 3-5 minutes


  • 1
    For coconut cream, bring coconut cream, sugar, vanilla and half the lime zest to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Squeeze excess water from gelatine and whisk into coconut mixture to combine. Strain into a bowl and refrigerate to chill (4 hours or overnight). Whisk chilled coconut cream in an electric mixer until smooth, then refrigerate.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22cm springform tin with baking paper (see note). Sift icing sugar, flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir in almond meal, pistachio and ½ tsp sea salt flakes. Whisk eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer until frothy, then gradually sprinkle in sugar, whisking continuously until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick and glossy. Gently fold in flour mixture. Spoon a third of the mixture into prepared tin, smooth top and bake until a smooth golden crust forms (the inside will still be chewy; 12-15 minutes). Set aside to cool (10 minutes), then remove cake from tin and cool on a wire rack. Repeat twice more with remaining mixture to make 3 cakes.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, slice the melon and apple into 3mm slices on a mandolin or with a peeler. Toss apple with remaining lime zest and the juice in a bowl to combine.
  • 4
    To assemble, whisk coconut cream until smooth, then spread one third over 1 cake. Top with a third of the melon, apple and mint. Place another cake on top and repeat with another third of the cream, melon, apple and mint. Place remaining cake on top and spread with remaining cream. Cover cake and refrigerate to firm (1-2 hours).
  • 5
    To serve, top cake with remaining melon, apple and mint, and scatter with extra chopped pistachio.


If you have multiple tins, bake two cakes at a time, swapping tins between shelves halfway through baking.