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Home • Recipe • Cake • Jam & Coconut School Cake
Published by Amy
Another take on our now-famous school cake recipe… This time we’ve gone for the jam and coconut school cake version. Just as delicious, with or without the pink custard accompaniment!
Let’s flash it back to summer 2020. We’re mid pandemic but between lockdowns in the UK. Baking with Granny has sky-rocketed in the online world (everyone being off work and baking will have that affect!) and I’m looking for a new recipe to share. Everyone is hankering back to their childhoods – easier times! And the thing I keep thinking back to was one cake I would eat as child… School Cake.
I’ve mentioned before that as a kid, growing up with Granny baking all day, everyday, that I wasn’t really a fan of home baking. Too much of a good thing you could say! But the one cake I would always look forward to was the school dinner cake, “lovingly” prepared by our school dinner ladies. The plainest sponge you could get, topped with white icing and sprinkles. Often served with custard (although not for me, thank you) and a favourite with all generations. It’s no wonder that the one cake I always remember loving as a kid, is the long-standing favourite recipe here on Baking with Granny.
I could have never predicted just how crazy people would go for School Cake and the feedback for it has been amazing. One recurring question I get though is whether I could also do a recipe for the jam and coconut version. People pleasing is in my nature – as I think it is with most bakers – so your wish is my command!
This Jam and Coconut School cake recipe uses the same formula for success as our infamous sprinkle School Cake recipe. A simple, light & tasty sponge – in huge quantities! Topped with some tasty favourites. But instead of a white water icing and some rainbow sprinkles, we opt for some seedless jam and desiccated coconut. A different flavour combo but one that works so well.
For serving, custard is optional. I personally think this version of school dinner cake is better suited for a drowning in custard but it’s entirely your choice. As is whether the custard should indeed be pink!
MargarineSimilar to our Victoria Sponge recipe, we recommend using margarine over butter for your cake batter. Some believe butter gives a better flavour overall to a cake, but margarine does make a better textured and more predictable sponge. Plus, it’s pretty much guaranteed that any actual school cake would have been made using margarine – mostly because it’s more cost effective than butter.As with all ingredients when baking a sponge cake, ensure it is at room temperature before starting.
Caster SugarNo one has ever claimed a School Cake was healthy and the sweetness is probably why we all love it so! Caster sugar is the sugar of choice here and is preferable over granulated sugar, as it is finer and mixes better into the batter.
Free-range EggsFive eggs seems like a lot but this is a big cake! The size of the eggs doesn’t matter too much (I always use medium) but just be sure you’re using free-range eggs.As with all ingredients when baking a sponge cake, ensure they are at room temperature before starting.
Self-raising FlourAgain, flour is a must in a cake batter and self-raising is used here to allow it to rise. No additional raising agents are required but be sure to sift the flour – one, to get rid of lumps; two, to let some extra air into the flour.
JamThis is where the ingredient’s vary from our classic icing/sprinkle-clad school dinner cake. In terms of jam, it really comes down to personal preference. I am a raspberry jam girl, through and through. But strawberry is perfectly acceptable too, and probably what was used in most actual Jam and Coconut School Cakes. You can even go completely rouge and use a blackberry jam, or apricot jam.One thing I do recommend however is using a seedless jam. It’s not an essential but it does give your cake a better texture and allow the coconut to really shine through, without being lost in the texture of seeds.
CoconutDesiccated coconut is what you want to be using. I just use it straight from the packet but could could go a bit extra and toast yours first. But if we’re going for authentic school cake vibes, the heroes that are dinner ladies didn’t have time to be toasting coconut for kids who would wolf it down regardless!
• Bake your sponge the night before you require it. Leave it in it’s grease proof paper, on a wire rack and place into a air-tight bag once cool. Decorate with the icing and sprinkles in the morning. This will give your cake a better texture overall – trust me!
• Don’t be too concerned if your jam starts to pull crumbs along whilst spreading. By the time you add your coconut, no one will even notice.
What a treat ! Thank you.
I love your recipes and have tried many of them all will success. This one is no exception, the sponge has good rise and is lovely and light and moist. I made one tray and iced one side as per your other school cake recipe and the other with jam and coconut, both delicious.
Awesome memory’s luv em
What size pan do you use?
Says 9x12inch pan
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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.
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