The Secret Behind Tom Cruise's Favourite Cake: Doan's Bakery Cruise Coconut Cake

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

Doan's Bakery's coconut and white chocolate bundt cake is legendary in Hollywood circles. It is the cake that Tom Cruise sends around to his nearest and dearest associates every year. This is a delicious version of the coconut bundt cake inspired by the Doan's Bakery "Cruise Coconut Cake". With white chocolate and sour cream to keep it moist and a dreamy cream cheese frosting and lashings of shredded coconut it's the cake that inspired an obsession!

A friend sent me an article on this cake a few weeks ago and it immediately intrigued me. I fell down a wormhole of information about this cake. Each year Tom Cruise's people apparently purchase around 200 or 300 of these cakes from Doan's Bakery. Doan's is owned by Karen Doan and is located on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. Some of the famous past recipients of this coconut cake are Henry Cavill, Rosie O'Donnell, Jimmy Fallon, Angela Bassett, John Hamm, Graham Norton and Kirsten Dunst. Kirsten Dunst calls it one of the best cakes she has ever had while Tom Hanks said, "This cake is so great you can really only have it once a year," on an episode of Mythical Kitchen.

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

Apparently his plane delivers these across the Atlantic to recipients in the UK and Europe each Christmas. One Guardian journalist made it his mission to receive one of these cakes. He succeeded actually snagging two and while we can't all get on Tom Cruise's cake list, you can buy it from Doan's Bakery for $50 or for $125 from Goldbelly, a delivery service for popular American foods. Apparently this "Cruise coconut cake" helps keep the small bakery in business. And you can bet next time I go to Los Angeles I am buying myself one of these cakes and probably eating the whole thing in my hotel room.

In the meantime as Goldbelly doesn't ship overseas (and even if they did I'm sure I could not afford the shipping) this is a coconut white chocolate bundt cake modelled on the Doan's Coconut Bundt Cake. Obviously the recipe is a closely guarded secret although a quick look at the photos and the ingredients suggests that there is sour cream in this cake which makes sense to keep it so moist. The Doan's Bakery cake is actually white in colour which is hard to achieve with eggs and butter. I used a white food colouring powder that colours food white.

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

There was much excitement in the house when it came to baking day. I had told Mr NQN about the Tom Cruise cake and the story behind it and he loves a good story as much as anyone else. We were both intrigued to try it. And it turned out nobody was more excited than little Milo Elliott.

The night before I took the eggs and butter out of the fridge to come to temperature. That morning after he had eaten his breakfast (and he gets fed well but try reasoning with a dog about their rations!) while we were both upstairs sipping our morning cup of tea, Milo was suspiciously quiet. "Where is Milo?" Mr NQN said and I looked around. Milo is usually either suctioned to one of us or just outside for a quick minute doing his morning pee. He is never far away and we hadn't seen him for a good 15 minutes.

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

Mr NQN went downstairs to the kitchen and called up to me. "What's the thing in the gold foil?" he said eyeing an empty gold foil wrapper on Milo's bed. It turned out that our little boy had somehow grabbed the butter that I had set out for this bundt cake off the top of the kitchen island. This is no small feat as he is very small and the island is very tall. In his stealthy fashion, it was all done in silence. It had not come crashing to the ground like it should have and our tiny 5kg boy had eaten around 100g of salted butter! I called the vet straight away and they told us to watch and wait and see if he was vomiting or had an upset tummy (TMI but he regurgitated it during his walk that afternoon along with his breakfast). And you can bet that when this cake was pulled out of the oven, it was put far away from the edge of the kitchen island and covered well so that any theft would come with a lot of noise!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever heard of this Tom Cruise Coconut Cake? Do you like bundt cakes?

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

Serves: 8-10

  • 450g/1lb plain all purpose flour
  • 50g/1.7ozs. cornflour or fine cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 300ml/10.6flozs sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavouring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white food colouring powder
  • 250g/8.8ozs butter, very soft but not melted*
  • 660g/23ozs. caster or superfine sugar
  • 100g/3.5ozs white chocolate, very finely chopped

For Frosting

  • 250g/8.8ozs cream cheese, room temp

  • 65g/2.3ozs. butter, softened*

  • 500g/1.1lbs icing or powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavouring
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon white food colour powder (you can find this at cake decorating stores)
  • 120g/4ozs. moist coconut flakes

*The butter should be very soft, like if you pushed a butter knife through it it wouldn't have any resistance.

** If you don't have white colouring you can make it without it, it just won't have that white colour to it.

Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 160C/320F. Make a slurry of 2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to flour your large 12 cup bundt tin. You do not want your bundt cake to stick to your tin at all.

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

Step 2 - In a bowl sift the flour, cornflour and add the salt, bicarb soda and white colouring and whisk to combine dry ingredients well. Whisk the eggs with the sour cream, vinegar, coconut flavouring and vanilla extract and set aside. With an electric mixer fitted with a beater attachment beat the softened butter and sugar for 5 minutes on high until white. Add in the flour in two lots. Then add in the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Lastly stir through the white chocolate. Scoop into the prepared tin and sit to rest on the counter for 10 minutes (to relax the glutens). Then bake for 1 hour and 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake section comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes and then trim the base if needed and loosen all around the edges and turn out onto a wire rack.

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake
Placing the cake stand on a tray to catch coconut

Step 3 - To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until soft and smooth on medium high speed. Then on slow speed beat the icing sugar until combined. Add the vanilla, coconut, lemon juice, salt and white colour powder (start with 1/4 teaspoon and see how it goes, I added about 1/2 teaspoon of it). Beat until smooth. Then spread frosting all over the cake. Place the serving stand on a tray to catch any coconut that falls. Press the coconut flakes onto the frosting to stick. This cake needs to be stored in the fridge because of the cream cheese frosting.

Coconut White Chocolate Bundt Cake

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