cake for the keikis.

tropical tricolour cake

god bless betty shimabukuro. whenever i get a bee in my bonnet to make a hawaiian dish, i know i can usually turn to her food column, "by request", in the honolulu star bulletin, for a fairly reliable recipe. i've tried her recipe for ichigo daifuku, her anpan recipe, and a few others i eventually hope to write about.

so when i saw delicious sarah's photos of king's bakery's paradise cake, i knew i had to make one. i have never actually eaten the paradise cake, which is a fluffy soft confection of layered pink guava, orange-yellow lilikoi (passionfruit), and greeny lime chiffon cake covered in whipped cream; however, i've had more than enough encounters with leonard's and dee-lite bakery's guava, lilikoi, and lime chiffons. just not altogether. (why? i don't know.) so despite my sudden bitterness at misspent youth eating single layers of sheet cake (whyyyyy? i could've had it all!), i knew exactly what i was looking for in terms of taste and texture, and i knew i could turn to betty for the recipe.

tropical tricolour cake, sliced

she did not disappoint. her recipe for guava chiffon cake is the kind of fluffy, silky soft chiffon with delicate taste that is almost hawaiian bakery perfect. to make the other layers, i simply switched out the frozen guava juice concentrate with same amounts of frozen lime and lilikoi juice concentrate. the lilikoi layer was fine as is, but i added the zest and juice of one fresh lime, and a few drops of green food colouring for the lime layer. i wish i had something to add to the guava layer, as it just wasn't as flavourful as the other layers (has anyone ever seen a guava extract anywhere?). maybe next time i'll brush the cake with some guava jelly, but it really was sweet enough as it was.

i used a stabilized whipped cream for the frosting. i am not very good at making stabilized whipped creams. it is basically a combination of unflavoured gelatin and whipped cream that should hold up better in warmer weather or at room temperature than regular whipped cream, but i cannot get the proportions right--it either comes out too soft or almost marshmallow bouncy. this recipe is the one i prefer the most, but i am still tweaking the proportions to get it perfect for our island humidity. still, i'm closing in on it.

the only thing that really disappointed me about the cake was the colours; they aren't anywhere as lurid as the king's bakery version. i do think it is a rather pretty cake, all pastelly and springish, but i don't really associate these colours with the islands. when i think of the islands, i think of bombastic blues, garish greens, shocking pinks, and iris-burning reds.

'biscus in the bush

oh well. i guess i'll just leave those colours to nature.





you BAKED a paradise cake?!?!?

you are incredible.

i started reading and was like...aw, she went out and got a paradise cake...and then i find out you MADE it. LOL! incredible.

I had heard of the guava cake...but not a paradise cake with three layers! It looks so pretty - but I like pastels, so I guess you might need some of that food coloring to get those tropical hues!
Makes me wish I was in the islands instead of freezing here!

Oh God, i'm dying.....Dee-lite Bakery, Leonard's, Guava Chiffon cake mentioned in a single post......arrggh
I can't believe you actually made a paradise cake yourself!

It's too early in the morning for such naughty food porn! This looks absolutely luscious. I think I found the closest thing to guava extract...it is guava flavoring...check it out:


Seriously, your photos are beautiful.

aesthetically, i think this begs for an accompanying slice of spumoni!
it looks bee-utiful

sigh. it's so lovely.

santos... i am still drooling over this cake you made. it looks so delicious and fluffy. i am in need of layer cake of any kind at the moment! i like the idea of gauva jelly/jam spread on the pink layer... i think that would work!

p.s. i am so glad you decided to eat it rather than drive over it. i may have cried now that I see your masterpiece :)

It's gorgeous - I love the colors just as they are.

it's a beautiful cake, whether it's pastel or neon bright. like a bunch of my little ponies! (obviously without the nasty plastic taste.)

A-MAZING!!! You're unbelievable Santos... =D

sugoi keiki Santos san

Chiffon is the quintessential japanese cake. Is there any difference between sponge cake and chiffon cake or is it just a language thingy?

Love the Paul Weller story on the right BTW

delicious lifer, i had to. i can get guava chiffon here, but no chance of lime nor lilikoi. baking bastards!

miss anita, i hadn't either! where've i been, and like, i've spend a heckuvalota time in hawaii, too. stay warm!

kirkyoso, it was actually quite easy. i'll definitely do it again, only maybe layer the cakes with haupia for more of island feel.

tokyoastrogirl, thanks for the tip--i'm definitely going to try that.

tg, that's exactly what i was thinking. i thought of the wedding scene in the novel of "the godfather"; this would be the cake that connie gets all greedy over, and scoops up all the cream frosting. i would really like to redo this cake with cherry, pistachio and amaretto, i think it would be super delicious.

bowb, it's springy fresh!

saff, i am glad i didn't run over it either. i would have, but there's construction going on across the street. i'm sure the workers would not approve of wasted food.

my little cathy, i do too. now. after staring at it for a long while.

shukumei, and without the evil stares! my little ponies stare at me and scare me.

ana, when people say that they are usually angry at me :P

aaaanthony, chiffon and sponge are both known as foam cakes, but depending on the recipe

1. sponge has butter or oil, and chiffon does not


2. sponge uses eggs that are beaten whole and chiffon uses separated eggs


3. a combination of 1. and 2.


4. they are the same.

i tend to use butter for sponge cakes and separate the eggs, and i end up with a dry, bouncy mess. i think i am going to make a vanilla version of this chiffon cake recipe and just call it a sponge cake if someone wants a sponge cake.


I think I like 4 but I have much to learn. It wasn't that long ago I thought chiffon was the material they used for bridesmaid's dresses.

>It wasn't that long ago I thought chiffon was the material they used for bridesmaid's dresses.

no, that would be sponge.

Of course

I never thought I'd say this, but this cake really takes the cake, Santos. Paradise cake flavored with guava, lime, and lilikoi - I can't even begin to imagine what it tastes like; it's far too fabulous for me to fathom! Incidentally, seeing how I'm not sure where to get lilikoi flavoring here in the Philippines, would mango be a suitable substitute for it?

midge, mango sounds like it would be delicious. i think pineapple would be a good substitute as well.

i am in love with ur cake stand. weird i know, but its such a beautiful design. and ur cake is impressive. never seen one of those before. looks nice and light. glued together with just the right amount of cream

hi santos, incredible...i think it's perfectly pretty the way it is; besides, lurid is so shop-bought ;)

paradise cake eh maybe i should find a boat that cruises yr area so i can spend my day offs with you feeding me haha

never had this santos. at least my imagination running whats the taste like

am off to Nice france then to Italy if its a concrete yes on my part we will be cruising the usual run st trop, cannes, portofino, sardignia then june sicily.

july aug greece
sept turkey
then back to italy..

Hello Santos,

In case you are not aware, Betty Shimabukuro and The Honolulu Star Bulletin have put out a cookbook.


Yummy-looking cake, I would love to try it, eating not baking (hehehe). Just like what Midge said, I don't know where I can find lilikoi here in Pinas.

Lovely looking cake, Santos. Did you know that the red hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia? Have a good weekend! :-)

Oh my gosh! That looks gorgeous! Too gorgeous to eat!!!!!!! But I'm certain it tastes divine. The colors are perfect, dear!

wowsy! i can only imagine how good that tastes. for now i'll just dream on ...

i do believe i just died and went to heaven when i saw these photographs, and that cake.

oh my. it looks delicious and yummy. but it's also a visual delight.

maybe this is a link that might interest you as well.

www.botanicalark.com which is a project that a friend of mine supports. he photographed and helped publish their book, with all proceeds going to support the botanical ark.

if you view the link to "books", you'll get a sneak preview. and from there, one can scroll down and get an idea of some of the recipes they have in there as well...

passionfruit cake and salads with exotic fruits. my mouth melts everytime i just look at it!

so glad that i discovered this blog!


amie, i like the cakestand too--simple, yet a little different with the glass and chrome.

j--i am so attracted to shop bought sometimes. must be the 10-year old girl trapped in me.

sha--take me with you!

anon--i knew she had a book, but for some reason i thought it was old and didn't think it was still in print. thanks for the link.

lani, i used a passionfruit concentrate from the philippines; it's from a small family company called kablon farms based in tupi, south cotabato. i find their products in different places--sometimes in the tiangge at greenhills, but mostly at food fairs. i'm still trying to find their guava concentrate!

skyjuice, i had no idea--thanks for the information :)

toni, the more i look at it, the more i am content with the colours :)

pasion, you should try it, it's quite easy to do! maybe just one or two layers if you don't want so much cake on your hands. or in your belly :)

hello angela, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, i appreciate it!

Gosh that cake looks like it could waltz! Yummmmmy!

bee, what a delightful description!

dea santos
could i substitute guava conc wit guava juice.not sure if i can find it here in Singapore.Also, as u did the other layers,using the same recipe again,didn't u have a lot of mix? or should i half the recipe?there is only 3 people in my house.not sure they can take a cake og gigantic proportions.wat can i use to substitute salad oil?normal oil?olive oil?sorry for the many,many questions.but i just have to make that tropical cake.yummm

hello linq! no worries about the questions. yes, this recipe makes a lot of cake, so you would want to use half. for salad oil, you can use any vegetable or nut oil, but olive oil will be too heavy. you can use guava juice, but the taste won't be as strong.

please let me know how it works for you!

I would like to replicate this gorgeous cake for a family function. Would you mind telling what size pans did you use for the three layers.

hi karen! i used six 8-inch round pans to make two 3-layer cakes. i think betty shimabukuro's recipe calls for 1 11-by-13-inch rectagular pan, which might work better for a large gathering.

Hi Santos,
Thanks for your help.
The large cake would be better for a large crowd, but looking at Betty S's recipe it isn't a triple colour/flavour cake, is it? or maybe I'm looking at the wrong pic and recipe.

hi karen! that's the correct recipe. for the guava (pink) layer, i used the exact recipe, for the passionfruit (yellow) layer, i used the same recipe, only substituted passionfruit juice concentrate for the guava, and for the lime (green) layer, i substituted limeame concentrate for the guava. it makes A LOT of cake :)

That is a lot of cake.
Well worth making for the effect though. I also do morning teas for a company so I can use it for them as well as the family do.
Can't wait to try it.
Thanks again, Karen

hi santos,

its linq again here.tks for the answers to my question.just to clarify matters.when u said u used half of the mixture,does it mean that using half of the mixture, u separated it into 3 flavours? or use the whole amount n divide that into 3 flavours?

Anyway,am going out tomorrow to buy the necessary requisites.Have to go to baking supplies shop. I have decided to use the guava,mango n lime juices n taking ur advice into consideration,will be buying the corresponding fruis extracts to 'up' the flavour quota.Thanks again for the inspiration n the beautiful pictures.I wouldn't have even thought of the out of the world possibilities if it wasn't for ur blog. Food lovers everywhere unite!!Thanks again.

I had emailed king hawaiian for the recipe but they said they only have it for 60-80 layers at a time. Then I found this website! I will definately try this recipes because all I can think about is my trip to CA and eating that yummy cake!!

hi linq! i didn't realize you had left a comment here, i'm sorry it has taken so long to respond. what i meant was that you can make half the recipe for each layer of cake; you'd be making three separate half-recipes for three separate flavours. does that make sense? i don't know how to divide the batter and add the separate flavours, but if you can figure it out, it would mean you'd make far less cake! which is a good thing, because making three full batches of this recipe is really crazy if you don't need that much cake.

hi anon! i haven't actually eaten a king's paradise cake, but i have had chiffon cakes from other hawaiian bakeries. this one really reminds me of the cakes at dee-lite bakery in honolulu. hopefully it will be close to what you are looking for.

If you haven't found any guava flavoring, Lorann's Oils sells it. The cake looks great. I've been looking for a guava recipe.

hi dee! thanks for the tip, i think i really need it to boost the flavour.

This comment has been removed by the author.

I fall in love at my first sight looking at the pic here. So I decide it to make one somedays.
And I just did ! Check out mine here :

I live in Indonesia a place where I can get lime, lilikoi and guava everywhere!

But I've never read nor seen any cake like the one you made here!

I've been to Honolulu Hawaii 14 yrs ago.. as my extended honeymoon.. So this cake reminds me to my honeymoon ^_^

Thanks for the recipe, it's suburb!
I add fresh lilikoi juice, fresh lime juice and fresg guava juice ...!

Hoping that someday I'll visit King's Bakery and taste it's famous Paradise Cake ... ;)

Lukie - Pekanbaru - Riau - Indonesia

Hi! The link to the StarBulletin recipe that you mentioned no longer exists! I've been desparately scouring the net for this recipe, but everyone just links to the same page. Do you happen to have the recipe still? Thanks-- your help is greatly appreciated!

hi carol, the recipe was a basic chiffon cake that replaced guava juice concentrate for the water in the recipe, plus some food colouring. i don't have the recipe on hand; however, this one seems to be very much like the one i remember baking. if i come across the recipe, i'll post it in this comments section.

good luck!