Before POG was a game in the ’90s, it was an acronym for a juice blend invented in the ’70s on Maui. The tart yet sweet blend of passion fruit, orange, and guava juices is nostalgic for many — especially my Dad.
(Oddly enough, the game “pogs” is named after the juice — in ’91 a school teacher used POG juice caps to teach a modern version of a plantation-era game flipping ‘milk covas’ from the ’30s. My ’90s mind would have been blown!)
POG is relatively unknown on the mainland, and it is near impossible to find. I have only seen Aloha or Hawaiian Sun brands on the east coast, which are thick, syrupy, and lack freshness.
I asked baking kumu Amy if she would share her cupcake recipe so I could make it into a birthday cake for my Dad. Thankfully she obliged!
The POG cake was a hit (again!). Since I made cakes instead of cupcakes, the baking time was much longer (~40 minutes), but the cake was still incredibly moist and flavorful.
I also opted for 2 different fillings since there were 4 layers of cake. Filling 1 was a tropical fruit curd which consisted of: peach-passion fruit juice, palekaiko tea, ginger, orange puree, li hing powder. Filling 2 was the incredibly creamy and smooth liliko’i butter from Kahuku Farms that I recently lugged back from Hawai’i.
I covered the cake in toasted coconut because I didn’t want to make candied orange peel, but in hindsight it would probably be quicker to make the orange peel!
By October 7, 2018Published:
- Yield: 2 6-inch cakes (10 Servings)
- Prep: 60 mins
- Cook: 40 mins
- Ready In: 2 hrs 0 min
Adapted from Taste of Aloha
- 10 ounces all purpose flour
- 40 grams cornstarch
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup orange puree 7 ounce can, drained and pureed
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- ½ tablespoon orange extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup passion fruit reduction
- 1 teaspoon guava jelly
- 1 teaspoon guava flavoring
- 5 ounces unsalted butter
- 10 ounces cream cheese
- 7½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- ½ cup shredded coconut toasted, for garnish
- CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In your stand mixer, add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, corn starch, baking powder, salt) and mix together until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (oil, milk, orange puree, eggs, extracts) until just combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low, increasing to medium. Scrape the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula to ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Grease and flour 2 6-inch round cake tins. Line the bottom with parchment rounds. Fill with 2 cups of batter, tapping to remove large air bubbles. (Note: you will have enough batter to make a few extra cupcakes. Fill wells ¾ full and bake 18-20 minutes)
- Bake until cake tester comes out clean and tops are golden brown, 35-40 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 30 minutes before removing from tins.
- Cut the cake layers in half, yielding 4 layers total.
- Wrap layers in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to assemble. While chilling, start on the filling, frosting, and garnish.
- GARNISH: Preheat oven to 300°F. Place coconut flakes in heat safe dish in a single layer. Place in oven, stirring every few minutes to prevent over-browning. Once desired color is achieved (30-40 minutes), remove and allow to cool.
- FILLING: Add passion fruit juice to a pan and bring to boil, reserving some juice. Add cornstarch to reserved juice to make a slurry. Add slurry to heated juice to thicken. Allow to cool before using (can be placed in refrigerator).
- FROSTING: In the bowl of a mixer combine butter, jelly, and cream cheese until smooth. Add guava flavoring. Add powdered sugar and combine until smooth. If necessary, thin using milk.
- ASSEMBLY: Place first layer of chilled cake on plate or stand, adhering with a bit of frosting.
- Using a piping bag, pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake layer, leaving about a ½ inch margin between the frosting and the edge of the cake.
- Fill the inner circle with filling of choice (passion fruit reduction or liliko'i butter). (If baking cupcakes, fill using the cone method.)
- Place next layer of cake on top and repeat until all layers are complete.
- Apply a thin crumb coat of frosting around the sides and top using an offset spatula.
- Chill to allow crumb coat to set (at least 15 minutes).
- Apply a thicker layer of frosting to the now-chilled crumb coat.
- If garnishing with toasted coconut, press handfuls of coconut flakes into the side of the cake. Dust off excess.
- Cuisine: Hawaiian