Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family

ANZAC Poke Cake

It appears that I may have a little Casanova on my hands!!

6yo S has found himself in the middle of a love triangle. He has a crush (his words! I have no idea where he learned it from) on a friendly little girl named D. She is lovely and bubbly (MIL approved!) and apparently has a crush on him too. The trouble is, there’s another girl involved. 6yo S has caught the eye of another girl in his class, P.

But alas, 6yo S’s heart truly belongs to his kinder crush M. Whist he hasn’t seen M in 5 months he still pines for her. It’s straight out of a G rated Danielle Steele novel. He is constantly drawing love hearts with her name on it and I even found a drawing under his desk of the two of them. It’s hard to tell him off for drawing on the furniture when it’s for true love. Last night we has looking through the Book Club catalogue and found books with heart shaped necklaces, which he announced he wanted to get to give to M.

Whilst it all sounds and looks super cutesy it has raised a few interesting topics for discussion.

“Mum, what does like like mean?”

“What do you think it means S”

“That you want to marry someone”

“Ummm…maybe. I think it means that you think that someone is extra nice and is a special friend”  

Whilst I am not encouraging his pursuit of these girls, the fact that he has made friends and is so well liked is such a relief. 6 yo S starting school this year weighed on me for a long time. Would he fit in? Would he do as he was asked? Would the other kids like him? Would he be happy? The results so far have been a great; he likes going to school and gives everyone a high 5 at the start of the day. Sure, he stands begrudgingly at the back of the group when they have to sing with his arms folded and mouth closed but he does it and that’s where my barometer for success lies; really really low in the ‘well at least his not screaming in the corner’ zone.

As a parent we often over analyse, over think and over worry about the outcomes. Why? Because that’s our job. We are motivator, coach, protector, mediator and water boy for our kids. Being a parent is a balance between letting them live their own lives and protecting them the harsh realities of the world.  We encourage, but not to seem pushy; we protect, but not too seem like we are sheltering them from life experiences; and we hold their hands (and their bags and drink bottles) as we take them into each new phase of their life. It’s scarey and daunting but most of the time it’s a joy to be able to have these experiences. And in our house we celebrate everything with cake.

This ANZAC Poke Cake is a super easy dessert for this Wednesday (aka ANZAC Day if you’ve forgotten). It’s made from poking holes in a Coconut Sponge Cake and spreading ANZAC Caramel all over the top. On top of the ANZAC Caramel is the Coconut Cream Frosting and a sprinkle of desiccated Coconut and, if you have any left overs, ANZAC biscuits. It’s all the flavours you’d expect in a ANZAC biscuit just in a Poke Cake (because I am seriously addicted to making them!!).

I normally like my frosting piled high on a Poke Cake (like this one) but I’ve been having so many problems with my Coconut Cream thickening. I blame the prolonged and never-ending summer, but the cream is just not thickening like it should and, as with this ANZAC Poke Cake, I was left with a runny cream. As it turned out the lesser amount of cream was a good thing as it allowed the ANZAC Caramel to be the winner in this ANZAC Poke Cake. It also tasted lighter and fresher for not having a heavy frosting on top. If you’d prefer a thicker frosting just double the cream recipe and remember you can add bloomed and dissolved gelatine to your frosting to make it more stable if your Coconut Cream is being a b#@ch (sorry, there is no other word for the wasted cans of cream I’ve gone through lately!

Remember if you are in need of ANZAC Day treats I have you covered!!

ANZAC Poke Cake

Coconut and Golden Syrup give this ANZAC Poke Cake a traditional ANZAC flavour. The soft Coconut Cake oozes golden caramel and a light layer of Coconut Cream rounds out the flavour.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Servings: 16



    ANZAC Poke Cake

    • 9 Eggs
    • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup or Golden Syrup or a combination of 2
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    • 1 Cup plus 1/4 Cup Milk of choice
    • 5 teaspoon Baking Powder
    • 3/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
    • 1/2 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot
    • 2/3 Cup desicatted Coconut

    ANZAC Caramel

    • 1 1/2 Cups thickened Coconut Cream place an opened can of coconut cream/milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop off the thickened cream and discard the watery remains
    • 1/2 Cup Golden Syrup this can be swapped for Maple Syrup
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    • Dash of Salt

    Cream Frosting

    • Double if you like a thicker frosting or want to pipe/decorate the top
    • 1 Cup thickened Coconut Cream place an opened can/s of coconut cream/milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop off the thickened cream and discard the watery remains
    • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract



      ANZAC Poke Cake

      • Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Take an 8 inch (20cm) Square cake tin and line it with baking paper. Make sure the paper is long on 2 of the sides to help remove the cake once the sauce has been added.
      • Place the eggs into the clean bowl of a kitchen stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg on high for 5 minutes.
      • Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk until large peaks have formed. Continue whisking on medium/high and add the milk.
      • In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the dry ingredients together. Ensure that the coconut flour has no lumps in it.
      • Turn the whisk to low and add the flour mixture. (If you keep it on high then you will most likely end up wearing the flour).
      • Pour the batter into the tin and smooth out the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
      • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes.
      • After 30 minutes take the end of a wooden spoon and 'poke' holes in the cake at regular intervals (I did 4 or 5 rows of 5 holes; so 16-20 'pokes'). Do not make the holes too close together and do not push too far down; about 1/2 way is right.
      • Reserve a tablespoon or 2 of ANZAC Caramel and pour the rest over the Cake and spread it over the top and into the holes. Allow the cake to sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
      • Remove the cake from the tin using the longer edges of baking paper and place on a serving tray.
      • Spread the Cream frosting over the top of the cake. Top with coconut, ANZAC biscuits and the extra ANZAC Caramel.
      • Serve and devour!
      • The cake needs to be kept in the fridge.

      ANZAC Caramel

      • Place the coconut cream, golden syrup and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium/high heat.
      • Simmer over medium heat for approximately 15-30 minutes, or until darkened and the mixture has halved in volume.
      • Remove from the heat and stir in the salt.

      Cream Frosting

      • In a bowl of a kitchen stand with a whisk attachment, add the thickened coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk on high until thick.
      • Place the cream in the fridge and allow to thicken before using (allow 4 hours)

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