Monday, August 29, 2011

In Remembrance: Princess Diana's Cake

It is really hard to believe that it has been nearly 14 years since the death of Princess Diana.  Her life of royalty started out as a fairy tale wedding when she was 21.  Thereafter, she was constantly in the spotlight of the press and was having difficulties with Britain's Royal Family.    As time went on, her relationship with Prince Charles started deteriorating due to infidelity.  However, she accomplished great works of charity and was dubbed the "people's princess" and the "queen of hearts".
I think of how young she was to have the burden of the press in her life as well as death on August 31, 1997.  Had she lived longer, I am sure she would have went on to do many more great things.  When I heard about the press putting something out there called "Diane at age 50", I assumed that was what was going to be the focus.  However, I was shocked to find out that it was mostly related to pictures that aged her appearance.

There is a recipe that claims to be Princes Diane's Wedding Cake.  After doing some research, I have found it to be similar, but not exact.  The actual wedding cake had fruit soaked in brandy and had a different type of icing.  I am not sure how this version came about, so that is why I did not title it as her wedding cake.  Also, it does not have the elegance of a wedding cake.  However, perhaps the simple, homemade appearance of the cake is more fitting for Diana.  I feel that she was more down to earth, rather than the type of person that put on airs due her relationship with Prince Charles.

The recipe is very similar to Hummingbird Cake, but it has the extra ingredients of coconut and apples. If you like the Hummingbird cake, you will enjoy this.

Princess Diana's Cake
courtesy of

3/4 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup coconut
1 cup chopped apples
1 1/2 cups chopped bananas
8 oz crushed pineapple with juice
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs (beaten with mixer)
1 3/4 cups of sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups powdered sugar
8 oz package of cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the insides of a 9X13 pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Grease the top side of the parchment paper.  The parchment is only if you want to cut & frost the cake outside of the pan. Should you want to leave it in the pan, eliminate the parchment paper. Dust the inside of the pan with flour.

In a small bowl, sift together the cinnamon, baking soda and flour.  Set aside.

Add the beaten eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 1/4 cup of oil to a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until all is blended.  Fold in the flour mixture until no dry streaks remain.  Then stir in the coconut, crushed pineapple, bananas, apples and nuts.

Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 48 minutes or until tester comes out clean. 

Cool completely in pan prior to serving. If you used parchment paper, cool in pan 20 minutes and then invert onto rack.  Invert again and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, mix the remaining 1/4 cup of oil with the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  then beat in the softened cream cheese.  Once blended, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat for 30 seconds.  Continue to add the powdered sugar in increments, beating after each addition.  After all has been mixed in, frost cooled cake as desired.

Time is too slow for those who wait       
  to swift for those who fear
To long for those who grieve
  to short for those who rejoice
But for those who love, time is eternity
          -------read by Lady Jane Fellows at the funeral of Diana