Dragon Fruit Layer Cake With Chocolate Frosting

Posted on by on September 15th, 2011 | 65 Comments »

Dragon fruit is the most beautiful fruit. Ever. I dare you to try and find something more beautiful then this. It’s so pretty that you may not even want to eat it because you would rather just stare at it instead. The outrageous pink outside leads way to the more outrageous magenta flesh inside spekled with tiny black seeds. Its like mother nature was on acid when she created this flamboyant fruit.  It makes people stop and point and say “what is that?”.

Well it made me stop and point and say “what is that?”. It was last year, only my second time visiting the shuk here in Be’er Sheva. I was with my friend Nadia and we were shopping for ingredients to make a back to school brunch for our husbands and their new classmates starting their medical school journey. While gathering beautiful fruits for a fruit salad we spied this crazy looking hot pink fruit with what looked like flames coming out of it. I have seen photos of dragon fruit before but never had the pleasure of holding one, buying one, eating one. Until now. I didn’t care what it tasted like, I wanted it. Our jaws dropped to the floor when we cut into it. I wanted to bottle the color and paint a wall in my house with it. All the pictures I have seen of dragon fruit have a beautiful white inside but the ones we had bought had the most vibrant magenta coloring. I was in love.

The taste of this neon fruit isn’t as dramatic as you would think. I was expecting a burst of fruity magenta flavor but instead got a mildly sweet juicy burst instead (think mild kiwi crossed with watermelon). For most people it’s a bit of a let down from what they are expecting, but I quite enjoyed it. It was refreshing and was perfect mixed into a fruit salad. After my frist experience with my new lovely dragon fruit, I was excited to be able to have it regularly and try new things with it. However, like most things in Israel, it is seasonal and that unfortunately was it for me and dragon fruit last year. But this is a whole new year and a whole new dragon fruit season and Im being smart about it and stocking up.

I wanted to do something amazing with dragon fruit, something special, but was totally failing at finding anything online other then dragon fruit granita or sorbet. After watching the Masterchef episode where the contestants battled it out in the pressure test round by baking beautiful layer cakes, I knew what direction dragon fruit and I were heading. I was hoping for a bright magenta batter and was excited to get that as I mixed the dragon fruit in, but when baking the color completely disappeared. Boo. But the addition of dragon fruit made the cake sweet and unbelievable moist. I never made a layer cake with more then just 2 layers before and was beyond excited when I cut into this one to see how beautiful it was. I was on the phone with my mom and completely stopped our conversation to brag about the awesome cake I just made. She asked if it tasted good and I replied quickly with, “who cares what it tastes like?! Its soooo pretty!”. By the way, it was pretty delicious. I totally would have been saved in that pressure test kitchen.


For Cake Batter

2 sticks butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pans
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1 dragon fruit, pureed

For Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For Decorating and Filling

1 dragon fruit, half sliced thin and half cut into cubes


For Cake (makes two 9 inch cakes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess, set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt,  set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and the milk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour and beat until combined after each addition.
Beat in the dragon fruit until combined.
Fill prepared pan with half of the batter.
Bake cakes for 35-40 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely.

For Icing

In a mixing bowl cream the butter with an electric mixer.
Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together and gradually add to the butter, beating well after each addition.
Add the cream and vanilla and beat until well blended and fluffy.

To Assemble Cake

Cut the two 9 inch cakes in half horizontally and set each piece next to each other.
Place first layer of cake on cake plate and add a thin layer of frosting to top.
add a few pieces of sliced dragon fruit.
Place next layer of cake on top and add a thin layer of frosting and dragon fruit slices.
Repeat with the following cake layers.
Once the last layer of cake is placed, frost the cake with remaining frosting and top with cubed dragon fruit.



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  1. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    I never saw dragon fruits before… but they are absolutely gorgeous!! Their color is so vibrant! 🙂
    And the cake… ah, the cake! Is there a slice for me?! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-15-2011

      Thanks Giulia!! Yes, there is a slice for you, just come to Israel and I will have it waiting!

  2. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Dragon fruit is a real eye catcher, not to mention its wonderful taste. I imagine the cake just as delicious, especially with the fruit pureed in there. Well done!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-16-2011

      Thanks Tina! Dragon fruit really is an eye catcher, so beautiful!

  3. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Wow Beth that cake is stunning!!! I am so impressed (as much for the awesome use of dragon fruit as for making a successful cake in Be’er Sheva, where for some reason cakes love to fail). Anyway, I bet it tasted amazing and it looks gorgeous.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-16-2011

      Thanks Katherine! I didnt save you a piece cause I needed to get it away from me so I sent left overs home with the boys haha. One cake baked perfect, the other in good old Beer Sheva fashion took double the time to cook through!!

  4. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    I’ve seen dragon fruit before but never tasted before! It looks so pretty 🙂 As does your cake! So delicious!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-16-2011

      Thank you!! If you ever have the opportunity definitely try it!

  5. Imma
    Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Beth, I don’t know what this cake tastes like, but it is BEAUTIFUL to look at!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-16-2011

      Thanks Imma! As beautiful as it is to look at its even more wonderful to eat it!

  6. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    Gorgeous cake. The recipe looks so good and the dragon fruit certainly gains respect for itself.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-16-2011

      Thanks Joanne!

  7. Posted on: 9-15-2011

    How pretty is that?!?! I will be on the lookout for them.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-16-2011

      Thanks Sandra! Hope you will be able to spot them!

  8. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    That’s one of the most beautiful cakes I have ever seen! No kidding! That dragon fruit on the top makes it look even classier! Great job! Buzzed!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Aw thanks Manu!! Its one of the most beautiful cakes I ever made!!!

  9. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    What a spectacular cake. I had dragon fruit while we were in Thailand but have not been able to find it here at home. More’s the pity. You made a beautiful cake and I’m sure those who were fortunate to have a slice were enchanted. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thank you so much Mary! I never had dragon fruit until I moved to Israel. I never even saw them back in NY!

  10. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    You know, I’ve never had dragon fruit before! I’ve always wanted to try it because of its beautiful and vibrant color! This cake looks amazing!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Stephanie!! Ive never had it either until I got to Israel!

  11. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    This is divine!!!!
    What a luscious cake and such pretty color……….
    Really beautiful..
    Can i have a slice plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Reem!! You can have a slice! Just let me know if youre ever in Israel, Ill have one waiting!!

  12. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    I dont know what to say, this is just stunning!!!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Sasha! I was pretty speechless when I first cut into it!!

  13. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    “Its like mother nature was on acid when she created this flamboyant fruit.”


    I love looking at them, as well. It’s just so eye popping. I only know the ones with white pulp, though. These here take it to the extreme! The taste… yeah, it’s alright I guess. But I love what you did with them! Brown and that deep magenta go so well together!


    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Tobias! The hot pink ones are a bit more flavorful then the white flesh ones, but still they are very mild. Paired with cake and chocolate however, they are just perfect!! But then again whats not perfect when paired with cake and chocolate?!

  14. Posted on: 9-16-2011

    colourful delicious cake looks wonderful

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thank you so much!!

  15. Posted on: 9-17-2011

    This looks absolutely stunning!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Clarkie!! I did brag a little bit about how stunning it was when I saw the finished result!!

  16. Posted on: 9-17-2011

    That’s mmmlicious! I love the purple color of the dragon fruit, it adds up flavor from the cake making it irresistible.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Dont you just love the color?? Its amazing!

  17. Posted on: 9-17-2011

    Dragonfruit is not something you can find here but I have had it a couple of times when I was in Asia. I totally love the look of that fruit and you’re right; it’s one of the prettiest fruits out there. But I did feel a little let down when I tasted it the first time. You simply expect more if you look at the outside, but having said that; I do like the fruit a lot as it’s interesting and different and used in the right way it’s also brilliant. Love your cake recipe with those vibrant colors. Just beautiful!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Simone. You definitely expect more from the taste when you look at it, though I love it and baked into a cake you cant go wrong!!!

  18. Posted on: 9-17-2011

    Really, REALLY stunning! I’ve seen the dragon fruit that is magenta on the outside and WHITE on the inside with black seeds….I’ve never tried it before. Thank you SO much for describing the taste!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Ann!! I have never seen the magenta flesh ones wither until I got here. They are just amazing.

  19. Posted on: 9-17-2011

    Very very beautiful Beth, and so tasty looking! I would love one -or two pieces right now:)))) Thanks for sharing sweetie, and have a wonderful Weekend!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks so much Sandra!!! Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Though this cake Im sure would make it even better 🙂

  20. Posted on: 9-17-2011

    This cake is beautiful… I love the dragon fruit inside it add such a nice pop of color not to mention I am sure it taste amazing.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-17-2011

      Thanks Susie!!! I just love the little pops of color in this cake from the dragon fruit and it did taste amazinggggg

  21. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    hi bet michelle, we have locally grown dragon fruits of white and reddish purple (what u referred as magenta)
    i had a juice and smoothie recipe published on this, besides eating them raw.
    now i am amazed that you make a cake out of this! wow, sure must try this out.. great fantastic idea. bookmarked with thankjs

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thank you!! A juice and smoothie recipe is a great use for this as well!

  22. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Well this is just completely stunning- the fruit, the cake, the pictures…well done!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thank you so much Sarah!!

  23. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Dragon fruit is a family favourite. This cake is just gorgeous!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Kelly! If it is a family favorite you should totally make this cake, they will love it!

  24. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    It is gorgeous, I love all tropical fruits, but Dragon fruit is especially dainty like despite its name = ) This sounds just delish.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Madison! You would think that with a name like dragon fruit it wouldnt be so dainty huh?!

  25. Betsy
    Posted on: 9-19-2011

    Simply beautiful! I’ve seen dragon fruit around and always wondered what it tastes like, but I was wondering, how do you pick one? I’ve no clue what the ripe signs are for this fruit. Any tips on picking a good one?

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Betsy! I was told to look for a fruit with bright even coloring. If the edges of the “flames” are brown then the dragon fruit is over ripe. Also if you squeeze it with your thumb it shouldn’t be too mushy or too firm. Somewhere in the feel of a ripe kiwi. Hope this helps!

  26. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    It is a beautiful fruit and what a gorgeous cake you have made from it. We sometimes get dragon fruit here so in will want out for it.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Alli! Hope you are able to find some by you!

  27. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever seen. I’ve eaten dragon fruits in Southeast Asia and loved it. It’s such a great idea to make the cake filling with this. It’s so pretty… the vivid purple color goes so well with chocolate brown!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-20-2011

      Thanks Nami!! I also love the color of the dragon fruit against the chocolate brown frosting! So pretty!

  28. Posted on: 9-20-2011

    I’ve never tried dragon fruit. Beautiful colors.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-20-2011

      Thank you Christine! If you ever get a chance to try them you should, they are lovely!!

  29. Posted on: 9-21-2011

    What a gorgeous cake! Love that color. 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-21-2011

      Thank you Sara! Dragon fruit is so beautiful! Makes anything gorgeous.

  30. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    Posted on: 9-21-2011

    I LOVE dragonfruits and have plenty of recipes using these hot pink-fleshed ones on my blog. So glad you got to try these pretty babies out, as I’m also looking out for more varied recipes using them (so tired of seeing the same ones and inventing my own!). Your use of dragonfruit in this cake makes the whole dessert look glorious. I’m definitely making this for my party this weekend!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-22-2011

      Thanks Maya! I am going to head over to your blog now and look at all your dragon fruit recipes!! Hope you enjoy the cake as much as we did!

  31. Debbie
    Posted on: 9-25-2012

    Wow, I have been hunting the internet for a cake recipe. My mom has brought me some dragon fruit from south Texas. A man there sells the fruit claims he brought over his plant from Asia. I don’t know but anyways your cake looks scrumptious and I can’t wait to try to do it tonight. Thank you for the recipe!!!

  32. christine ballone
    Posted on: 9-15-2014

    Just bought some dragon fruit(white) , I really like the taste of it, not too sweet and from what I understand it’s very good for you, now I have to try the red one, it supposedly has a bit more cancer fighting properties, I love baking and will definitely try to make the cake for my next family get together (Thanks Giving)
    You are right, it’s the most beautiful fruit!

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