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Dragon Fruit Cake

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"Dragon fruit won't win any awards for what it looks like on the outside, but the inside is a beauty. The magenta flesh is dotted with tiny black seeds. Some varieties have white flesh with black seeds. It's not very sweet, but has a nice texture. Dragon fruit, also called pitaya, is a cactus species. I used the juice to make a puree to swirl into the cake batter. Then I used more of it to make icing for the cake."
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1 h 20 m servings 934
Original recipe yields 10 servings


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  1. Place dragon fruit flesh in a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer puree to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
  3. Sift cake flour, all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  4. Cream 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time; beat until yolks disappear.
  5. Combine milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract together in a cup and set aside.
  6. Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture, beating until just combined. Add 1/2 the milk mixture. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add remaining milk mixture and stir until mixed thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup dragon fruit puree and very lightly swirl into the cake batter.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  9. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes; turn out onto wax-paper lined racks and cool 5 minutes more. Brush tops and sides of cakes with simple syrup.
  10. While cakes are cooling completely, beat cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar slowly and beat 3 minutes more. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons dragon fruit puree, beating until combined and puree is completely incorporated.
  11. Place one cake layer top-side up on a serving plate; place strips of waxed paper under the edges of the cake to keep the plate clean. Spread approximately 1/2 the vanilla buttercream frosting on top. Top with the second layer, bottom-side up, and lightly frost the top and sides with remaining vanilla buttercream frosting.
  12. Apply dragon fruit cream cheese icing to the top and sides of the cake, leaving some of the vanilla buttercream frosting showing through.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Try to find pink-fleshed dragon fruit. White is more common, but the pink one gives the frosting the nice pink hue.
  • Simple syrup is an equal mixture of sugar and water, cooked over high heat until it comes to a boil.
  • Leftover dragon fruit puree keeps well in the refrigerator for up to five days and can be used as a topping for ice cream or oatmeal or to make smoothies.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 934 calories; 34.8 150.2 7.7 134 923 Full nutrition

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