A spin on the South African hertzoggie, this Hertzoggie Cake consists of a light coconut sponge cake with crunchy coconut meringue topping and is layered with whipped cream and apricot jam.
Do you know what a hertzoggie is? It’s one of the bakes us South Africans are immensely proud of. Like koeksisters, malva pudding, and peppermint crisp tart (there are loads more but these are my favourites!). Hertzoggies are little tarts with a crisp, shortcrust pastry bottom filled with apricot jam and then topped with crispy coconut meringue. It’s a heavenly combination that is only made better with a cup of rooibos tea! This Hertzoggie cake is inspired by those little tarts.
When the team over at Stork Bake challenged me to make a Mother’s Day bake for their Mmmmzansi campaign (such a cute name!), I immediately knew which cake I wanted to make. On page 51 of my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book, there’s a recipe for ‘Stork Sponge Cake’. The recipe is dated back to 1967 – she wrote it down over 50 years ago! It’s one of my favourite recipes for a reason; all the ingredients get added to a bowl and mixed for 3 minutes. It has never failed me.
Although the cake batter is very easy, the golden rule of baking applies specifically to this recipe. All your ingredients MUST be at room temperature – particularly the Stork Bake. If not, your cake batter will curdle and won’t be as light and fluffy as it should be. My grandmother probably didn’t know it at the time, but using Stork Bake is the secret to getting a better rise on your cakes – and that’s something even Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood preach about!
Apart from the very special recipe, there are some other rather special features to this cake. The coconut meringue topping is baked onto the cake batter so it really is as crispy and crunchy as the hertzoggies it’s named after! Then lastly, make sure you use the best apricot jam you can find – or make your own – no storebought jam here, please!
My hertzoggie cake is slathered with a thick layer of Tannie Anita Boonzaaier’s Appelkooskonfyt (apricot jam). My friend Lehan’s mom makes THE BEST apricot jam and each year I get a jar which I am pedantic about using. This cake? It deserved the entire jar because it is THAT good.
- 120g (125ml or ½ cup) STORK Bake, softened
- 400g (375ml or 1 ½ cups) castor sugar
- 360g (875ml or 3 ½ cups) cake flour
- 22 ml (1 ½ tbsp) baking powder
- 40g (140ml or 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) desiccated coconut
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 260ml (1 cup + 2 tsp) coconut milk, at room temperature
- 100ml milk (1/3 cup + 4 tsp), at room temperature
- 170g (125ml or ½ cup) smooth apricot jam, plus extra for spreading
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 230g (250ml or 1 cup) castor sugar
- 155g (500ml or 2 cups) dessicated coconut
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 500ml (2 cups) cold cream, whipped
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced) and line 3 x 20cm springform cake tins with baking paper.
- Place the STORK Bake, castor sugar, flour, baking powder, coconut and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix together on a low speed until a sandy texture forms.
- Whisk the eggs, coconut milk and milk together in a jug then slowly add to the dry ingredients while the mixer is running, to form a batter. Don’t overmix.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared tins. Bake the cakes for 20 minutes.In the meantime, prepare the coconut meringue topping. Whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage then beat in the castor sugar until thick and glossy. Fold in the coconut.Remove one of the cakes from the oven and working quickly, drizzle over ⅓ of the apricot jam and spread the coconut meringue mixture over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a cake rack. Trim the cooled cake layers (without the meringue on) by levelling the tops then place one cake layer on a serving plate. Sandwich the cake layers with apricot jam and whipped cream finishing with the coconut-topped layer. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.