Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Emily Dickinson by Nicole DeClerck

I have a poem coming out in the spring in the American journal Prairie Schooner. It's called 'Miss Emily Dickinson's Coconut Cake' and is based on Dickinson's recipe and a little on her life. I've been a fan since I was very young. When I workshopped the poem at my writing group, I made the cake for our tea break. I've made it again today, so here is the recipe.

Emily Dickinson's Coconut Cake

This makes a lovely, simple, light cake. The recipe was adapted by some ED fans to suit modern weights/measures etc. I decided to use the American measurements as I own a set of measuring cups and am leaving them that way here. If you don't have measuring cups, be careful with the weights/volume. There's a conversion chart here.

1 cup dessicated coconut
2 cups flour (I used half self-raising, half wholemeal spelt)
1 cup sugar (I used light brown muscovado)
½ cup butter (I used Pure marg)
½ cup milk
2 eggs
½ tsp bread soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 180C
Line an 8" square cake tin on the bottom, grease the sides
Mix butter and sugar
Add beaten eggs and milk
Sieve the flour, bread soda and cream of tartar and mix
Add the coconut and mix
Bake for 30 minutes
Cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out

I have also made this cake with raspberries. If you want to do this add in 150g of frozen raspberries with the coconut.

Coconut Cake with Raspberries


Emily said...

YUM YUM. Looks just delicious! Am really going to have to get myself some measuring cups...


Yes, Ems, too much palaver with conversions. I've made a mess of it before.