Daisy Cake

by | Feb 9, 2012 | 30 comments


This gorgeous cake oozes retro charm. It tells me what old fashioned cakes would be all about. Mind you, I am not that old. But this is how I imagine cakes in an old kitchen with yellow countertops and lace doilies to be like. Simple, unpretentious, golden and crumbly. Textural, pretty and brave enough on its own without needing the support of icing or fancy trimmings.


"There was always a cake in the oven on Sunday mornings!" waxes Margaret Dunn in her cookbook Mrs. Harvey's Sister-In-Law And Other Tasty Dishes (read cookbook review). She later goes on to wonder in amazement how a cake managed to get in the oven on a Sunday amidst a flurry of roasts, vegetables and puddings that were also cooked in there. I would like to think that ours is one of those households where there is a cake in the oven every Sunday morning. Nothing beats the smell of a cake warming up and swelling beautifully in a hot oven.


Daisy Cake features in this beautiful cookbook. It gets its name from the combination of white and yellow. Just like a daisy, the top is white and the insides are yellow. It is a very pretty cake. It is what home-made cakes are supposed to be. It is what I bake every other Sunday come rain or shine. It is lovely if topped with warm butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. It is even better unadorned - simple.




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Recipe adapted from Margaret Dunn’s Mrs. Harvey’s Sister-In-Law And Other Tasty Dishes
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Author: Sneh
Course // Baking, Cake, Sweet
Cuisine // Australian, Modern Australian, Nut Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 extra tablespoon caster sugar, for topping
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, for topping


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease and dust with flour an 8-inch round springform tin.
  • Beat the butter and raw sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat for a minute. Add the flour, milk, vanilla, rind and juice. Beat until combined and smooth. Spoon batter into prepared tin.
  • Beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth. Add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and beat again until foamy. Fold through the coconut. Spread this mixture over the top of the cake batter and bake for approximately 45 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic



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I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    Sneh I'm in love with this cake. I love old fashioned simple unadorned cakes and this one looks so good. Can't wait to try!

  2. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    What a gorgeous cake!!! Reminds me of the cakes my Grandmother used to make from her CWA cookbook!

  3. chinmayie @ love food eat

    How beautiful! I love the rustic styling here...

  4. Glamorous Glutton

    Great looking cake, the mix of sponge and coconut must be really delicious. Thinking about it there's usually a cake in the oven on Sundays here too. But it is a juggle with the Sunday roast. GG

  5. thelittleloaf

    This looks absolutely beautiful. It's so easy to get caught up in piles of fancy decoration and too-thick icing...sometimes the most delicious cakes are the simplest 🙂

  6. Coco

    Our li'l Daisy's first birthday's coming up and this is just the cake to celebrate! Thanks for writing it up in cups. Cheers!

  7. Helen T

    Sounds delicious, looks lovely and moist too. Definitely a proper tea time cake.

  8. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Simple, delicious and absolutely one of my favorite cakes! My mom used to make it a lot, while we were growing up 🙂

  9. la domestique

    Wouldn't we all like to live in a house where there was always a cake in the oven on Sundays? Wonderful! It looks delicious and I love the pretty flowered plate too.

  10. Nic@diningwithastud

    Delicious 🙂

  11. Jill Mant~a SaucyCook

    Lovely cake...I just want to take a small bite. I also don;t believe you have to be old to be retro!

  12. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I love these simple and satisfying old world recipe cakes, looks wonderful.

  13. Miri

    when add the coconut?

    • Sneh

      I have fixed the recipe. The coconut goes in the topping with the egg whites.

  14. Sonia

    Simple yet gorgeous cake. I loved the 1st pic. Your recipe and cookbook taste are different and unique.

  15. Poornima

    Love the crumb!! Looks aweosome!!

  16. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I just love simple rustic cakes like this, so perfect on a lazy weekend afternoon with a cup of tea.

  17. Patricia Scarpin

    It looks like the cakes my mom used to make when I as a kid. Lovely!

  18. Sara

    It looks really delicious.. great photos too... very pro!

  19. Malcolm Currie

    I got my youngest daughter of 13 years to make this Daisy Cake and it was not only easy for her to bake, but tasted absolutley great too, especially with a cup of tea.

    • Sneh

      Thank you for dropping by and letting me know how it went. That is lovely! I am glad she enjoyed the fruit of her labour 🙂

  20. Rose of Magpie's Recipes

    How beautiful are every picture of yours! I am sure eating through that meringue to that crumbly cake underneath would be sheer bliss!

  21. Robyn

    Yum! I found this recipe last night and made it this afternoon. I added a layer of grated apple between the cake and the topping. It's absolutely delish. Many thanks for another favourite.

  22. Tina Giuffre'

    SNEH: instead of oranges can you put in lemons ???

    • snehroy

      Tina yes that will work too! Taste will be slightly different but absolutely works 🙂

  23. Angeline Rayner

    Hi Sneh. Baked this daisy cake tonight. Flavour full on but only problem was half cup butter equivalent to 113gramms and cake was too buttery and flat and did not rise. I would like to retry this cake. Could you kindly tell me where I have gone wrong? Thanks for sharing.

    • snehroy

      Angeline how was the texture? I only ask because this is a small cake that also tends to be quite flat (see pictures for reference). As long as it was fluffy and had a good crumb, it doesn't matter if it was flat. It doesn't rise because of the egg white and coconut layer on top that almost bakes as a soft meringue. In fact, the entire cake tends to sink a bit in the middle (again see pictures). If you like your cakes a bit higher, try baking in a smaller but taller pan. The butter quantity sounds right, in fact the typical Aussie 1/2 cup would yield approx 125g butter. Is it possible that you over mixed it? Over mixed cakes tend to go flatter and denser.

  24. Angeline Rayner

    Hi Sneh. Thanks for your speedy response! I think I did over mixed the batter for too long. I will try again and keep you posted of the success of this delicious cake. Thanks again.

  25. Angeline Rayner

    Hi Sneh. Thanks for your speedy response! The texture of the cake was dense and gluey. I think I did over mixed the batter for too long. I will try again and keep you posted of the success of this delicious cake. Thanks again.

  26. Angeline Rayner

    Hi Sneh. Retried making the daisy cake tonight with great success. This is a really a beautiful and also an absolutely delicious cake. Thanks again.



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