Happy Aloha Friday!! I am celebrating today with this incredibly delicious Hawaiian Guava Cake from Alana Kysar's cookbook: Aloha Kitchen - Recipes From Hawai'i. It is an incredible cookbook, one that everyone needs to own.
Alana's book came out last week and I have been cooking a ton of recipes since I got my hands on it. I have been looking forward to her book since she first announced it on her Instagram account. I love Hawaiian food and her book contains 85 amazing authentic Hawaiian recipes that she grew up with on Maui.
Recipes that her family made, her friend's made, some she's adapted to how she likes to make them and more. It's an amazing book.
As I flipped through the book I was in awe of everything from the history of Hawai'i and Hawaiian food at the beginning of the book, to the stunning photography of scenery of Hawaii, to all the recipes that I have had so many times in Hawaii and when I make my versions at home.
I wasn't sure what to make first since I wanted to make it all at once so I decided to do the Manapua ( Char Siu pork filled steamed buns), guava cake and a salad with the liliko'i dressing. I went for a full meal for my first go at the cookbook. Everything was amazing.
When I was deciding on what dessert to make first it was a toss up between the guava cake and the liliko'i chiffon pie. I have a recipe for the liliko'i chiffon pie on my blog already ( inspired by the same restaurant that Alana made hers from) so I decided to go with the guava cake.
I LOVE the liliko'i (passion fruit) chiffon pie, but I didn't feel like fussing with pie crust that day. I will make it soon though since I am sure hers is even more like Hamura Saimin's than mine is.
I love guava cake. Adore it. Guava and Liliko'i are two of my favorite Hawaiian fruits and are both amazing in baked goods. When we got married on Hawaii, one layer of our wedding cake was a vanilla bean cake with guava curd filling. It was amazing. And I want to make it for my blog one day. Maybe for our anniversary this year.
We spent our first anniversary in Hawaii and my sister in law got a guava cake for us to celebrate. It was the classic guava sheet cake with the whipped cream icing and guava gel on top. I knew I wanted to add in the guava gel to this cake as a nod to our anniversary cake. We have guava cake almost every year on our anniversary.
How do you make Hawaiian Guava Cake?
Guava cake has three components to it - the cake, the filling/frosting and the shiny gel topping. You need to have all three for an authentic Hawaiian bakery style guava cake
The cake is made with cake flour for a light and tender crumb. The frosting is made with guava as well as cream cheese. It sweet, tart and tropical. The guava gel is so easy to make and adds that extra layer of guava goodness to the cake.
Hawaiian guava cake is typically made in a sheet or half sheet pan. You could make it in a round cake pan if you like. It is usually one layer, but I decided to be fancy and make a filling layer. But you can keep it simple and just go with the cake, a layer of the frosting on top and then the gel. Up to you.
The photography in the cookbook is simply stunning. From the recipes to the scenery and lifestyle photos, it's all so well thought out and composed. Makes me want to book a ticket to Hawai'i right now. I love that Alana included a history of Hawai'i and Hawaiian food at the beginning of the book.
So informative on what exactly Hawaiian food is, where it came from, how it came to be. And, NO adding pineapple to a dish doesn't make it Hawaiian. Pineapples aren't even originally from Hawai'i. I love Hawaii and my blog name has pineapple in it, but even I don't add pineapple to recipes to make them Hawaiian.
Alana also goes into what Hawaiian food means to her, and a history of her family and how they came to Hawaii. I love cookbooks with history like this especially for a specialty cuisine that has so much more meaning to it than many people realize.
I was actually offered last year to write a cookbook, a Hawaiian/tiki-themed book and after careful consideration I turned it down. One of the reasons was because of Alana's book. I didn't want people to think I was copying her and with her having grown up there she is much more of an authority on Hawaiian food than I am.
I just love to share it and make recipes inspired by my many travels there. I will continue to share my Hawaiian recipes here on my blog, but no cookbook for me for the foreseeable future. I would prefer to photograph one instead of writing.
For now we celebrate Aloha Kitchen with this guava cake recipe, and all the amazing recipes in this book that are near and dear to my heart, and stomach!
Aloha Kitchen Hawaiian Guava Cake
- 2 ½ cups Cake Flour not all purpose (325 g)
- 2 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Butter unsalted at room temp (113g)
- 1 ¼ cups granulated Sugar 250g
- 6 Large Egg Whites
- ¼ cup neutral oil I used sunflower (62 ml)
- 1 cup whole milk 250ml
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Guava puree or concentrate I used Goya guava puree (250 ml)
- 3 squeezes of red gel coloring optional ( I used a natural food dye, wasn’t a very strong color)
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream 250ml
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese room temp (1 package/225g)
- ½ cup sugar 100 g
- pinch of Kosher Salt
- 2 squeezes red gel coloring optional
- ½ cup guava puree or concentrate 125ml
- 1 ½ cups Guava Juice/ concentrate or puree thawed if frozen (375 ml)
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- ¼ C Corn Starch 30g
- 2 tablespoon Water
Make the guava gel first:
- Make the guava gel first so it has time to set up. In a small saucepan combine the guava juice or concentrate with the sugar and heat until simmering and the sugar has dissolved. Mix the corn starch with water in a separate bowl until well mixed then add to the guava mixture in the pan. Bring to a boil stirring until thick. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until fully chilled.
Make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 Deg F. Line a 9x13” pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the long sides.
- In a bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt, whisking to combine. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add in the egg whites one at a time, mixing well in between each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. Add in the oil and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl combine milk, vanilla, guava puree and optional food coloring. On low speed alternated adding in the flour and milk mixtures until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Frosting:
Once the cake is cooled make the frosting:
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream until light and fluffy with soft peaks then transfer to a bowl. Add in the cream cheese to the mixing bowl ( no need to clean out after whipping the heavy cream) and whip until smooth. Add in the sugar and salted increase speed to high. Lower speed and color with optional food coloring. Pour in the guava puree in 4 additions, scraping down sides of bowl when needed.
- Fold in the whipped cream in three additions, incorporating completely after each addition.
Frost the cake:
- Spread frosting over cooled cake, reserving some of the frosting to pipe stars or rosettes around the edges. Spread the guava gel over the top of the cake almost all the way to the edges. Pipe rosettes or stars around the top edge with the remaining frosting.
- Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Cut into 24 pieces and serve.
Happy Aloha Friday. I am going to eat this piece of cake, sip some tea and look up the next recipes I want to make. My kids LOVE katsu chicken so I think that might be next!