Easy Yeast Cake with Apricots and Coconut Crumble

This yeast fruit cake is made using mayonnaise, milk, flour, sugar and dry yeast as the main ingredients for the dough. The apricots give the cake a nice tangy taste and moisture while coconut crumble adds the sweetness.

Easy Yeast Cake with Apricots and Coconut Crumble

This yeast fruit cake is made using mayonnaise, milk, flour, sugar and dry yeast as the main ingredients for the dough. The apricots give the cake a nice tangy taste and moisture while coconut crumble adds the sweetness.
Yeast fruit cake with apricots
Yeast cake with apricots
Yeast dough cake with fruit and coconut crumble
  • Prep Time2 hr 40 min
  • Cook Time25 min
  • Total Time3 hr 5 min
  • Yield20 pcs


Yeast Dough

  • 400 g plain flour
  • 150 g mayonnaise (room temperature)
  • 300 ml of milk (room temperature)
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 80 g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar (yeast starter)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour (yeast starter)

Fruit Topping

  • around 650 g of apricots or other fruit like nectarines or peaches cut in quarters
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (to sprinkle over the fruit)

Coconut Crumble

  • 90 g caster sugar
  • 100 g butter (chilled from the fridge and chopped into small chunks)
  • 90 g flour
  • 60 g desiccated coconut

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Make the yeast starter


Warm-up 1/2 of the milk so it’s lukewarm, not hot.


Add in 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp of plain flour and dry yeast. Stir all ingredients. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.

(This way you will activate the yeast, the yeast is alive when you see foamy bubbles floating on top of the milk).

dry yeast starter

Make the dough


Mix the remaining milk and mayonnaise.


Combine flour, sugar and salt.


Pour all liquid ingredients (yeast and mayonnaise) into a well in the dry mix. Start combining all with a whisk as the mix is very runny at first. 

Combine all wet and dry ingredients.
Combining ingredients for a yeast cake with a whisk.

Once thicker, continue kneading with a wooden spoon or a spatula for 2 – 3 minutes. Make sure all dry and wet ingredients are nicely incorporated.

Mixing a yeast cake dough with a wooden spoon.

Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough prove. Proving usually takes 45 – 60 minutes or until the dough expands twice its size. It all depends on a room and ingredients temperature. 

Proving the yeast cake dough.
Yeast cake dough doubled its size.

In the next step, press the air and gasses out of the dough (don’t worry, it will rise again).


Cover the bowl and let it prove for the 2nd time until the dough expands twice its size.


Press the air and gasses out of the dough for the last time.


Line a big tray with baking paper and tip the dough onto it.


Spread and stretch the dough over the bottom of the tray by pressing it down with your fingers. To be able to work with a sticky dough make your fingers wet every time the dough starts sticking to them.

Stretching a yeast cake dough with wet hands.
Yeast cake dough in the baking tray.

Cover the tray with a cloth and let the dough prove for the last time for approx 20 – 30 minutes.


In the meantime, clean and stone fruit and cut it either in halves or quarters. 


Make the crumble


Combine all ingredients (flour, sugar, coconut and butter) with your fingertips in a bowl until you have a crumbly mix consisting of smaller and bigger clumps.

Making coconut crumble topping.
coconut crumble topping

Finishing the cake


Preheat the oven to 180 C.


After the last prove, spread the fruit evenly over the top (skin down), sprinkle with some caster sugar and top up with coconut crumble.

Yeast cake topped with fruit and crumble before baking.

Bake in the oven on 180 C for 20 – 25 minutes or until the edges of the cake are golden brown (test the middle of the cake by inserting a skewer or toothpick, if it comes out clean the cake is done).


Let it cool down before cutting.

Yeast cake with Apricots and Coconut Crumble

This is another recipe from my Czech collection. I remember my granny made it every summer topping it with all sorts of fruit. So if you can’t get hold of apricots, choose different fruits without any worries. We’ve successfully tested peaches, nectarines, plums and even redcurrants and blackcurrants.

I like the fact that I can make a cake even if I run out of butter and eggs.  This recipe simply uses mayonnaise instead. It is a perfect substitute for both ingredients.

Usually, with yeast dough, it’s helpful to have a food processor that can do the hard work of kneading for you however this recipe doesn’t require a long kneading time. It’s simple to properly combine dry and wet ingredients by hand because of the dough high level of moisture.

If you follow the recipe you’ll see that the cake comes out of the oven soft, spongy. And it doesn’t dry out quickly as some yeast cakes often do so you can enjoy a lovely moist cake even a few days later if you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.

I always make this cake on the biggest tray I have. The big tray is ideal as once the cake is done it has a perfect thickness, the right amount of fruit and just enough sweet coconut crumble. If you wish to have the sponge slightly taller simply use a smaller tray.

My tips on how to make this recipe for fruit yeast cake successful every single time

  • Wake the yeast up in warm milk with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of flour
  • Make sure milk and mayo are not cold as it would slow down rising process
  • Prove the dough 3 times in a warm room or proofing cupboard. (I found that putting the bowl in the oven with just the oven light on is what my dough likes)
  • Don’t let the dough over prove (every room has a different temperature and the rising time will vary so the size of the risen dough is the best indicator. When it doubles its size it’s ready for the next step, leave it longer and you are risking that the gasses trapped in the dough will kill the yeast)
  • Always push trapped gas out between rises.

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