Tom Cruise’s Christmas tradition is as sweet as it is lavish — and that is exactly what we expect when we think of A-lister lifestyles. Every year on Christmas, the Mission Impossible star sends out a glorious white chocolate coconut bundt cake to his famous friends around the world — in his private plane.
Henry Cavill, Graham Norton, Jimmy Fallon, Kirsten Dunst and some 300 people receive a coconut gateau from Cruise’s favourite bakery — a modest family-run label from California’s Woodland Hills called Doan’s Bakery (which, surprisingly, only has around 3,000 followers on Instagram). Besides the sweet white chocolate and coconut base, the cake also has a layer of rich cream cheese frosting and a rich dusting of toasted coconut flakes.
Cruise reportedly has his private plane fly 5,500 miles on a round-trip to drop off 300 cakes from LA to the UK. Cruise’s team reportedly takes each cake to a secondary location to be gift-wrapped before the cakes are packed up on the plane.
(Left) The coconut cake received by Cruise’s ‘Mission Impossible 7’ co-star Hayley Atwell; (right) a closer look at the delicious sponge
And this begs the question — is this cake really worth it? It’s obviously a lavish coconut gateau and Cruise’s friends have all testified that the cake is absolutely gorgeous. But is the unusual coconut and white chocolate pairing really as Christmassy as it gets? It’s possible that Cruise opted for a travel-friendly cake that also fits the description of a winter wonderland. But can we really bring something as bold and polarising as a coconut cake to a Christmas party, knowing that it may not be everyone’s favourite?
Vanita Tandon, who runs the artisanal label Brown’s, makes a variety of coconut bakes year-round like a pina colada coconut cake and a coconut Bounty-inspired bar. However, the baker shares coconut is not exactly a sought-after flavour in the city, especially during year-ender festivities.
“People in the city are still somewhat traditional when it comes to their desserts, people who want a coconut cake are specific about it and they know exactly what they want. But they don’t usually opt for a coconut cake when they have other options,” says Tandon.
If someone does want to follow Cruise and go for the white chocolate and coconut cake, it’s best to go with something quirky like a Rafaello cake, inspired by the beloved Ferrero Rocher confection. “Our Rafaello cake has coconut, white chocolate and almonds. I’m also a fan of the dark chocolate and coconut pairing. It works so well!” Tandon adds.
Ashoo Tibrewal, who runs the baking studio Bonn Tonn with her daughter Tanya, sells speciality white coconut bundt cakes, Bounty coconut cakes and Malibu coconut choc truffles. Tibrewal finds the coconut to be a versatile and nostalgic base flavour. “Coconut reminds me of Bengal! It’s such a coastal staple, so many people love it in the city, which is why we’ve received a really good response on our coconut bundt cake that uses a classic vanilla sponge. Even people who are hesitant about the flavour have ended up loving it,” Tibrewal tells us.
Pritika Sen, who runs the artisanal label Caramelle from her Ballygunge home, just introduced Australian Lamington cakes to her menu, which are made with butter or sponge cake squares that are coated in a layer of chocolate ganache and rolled in desiccated coconut. “Coconut and white chocolate is such an unusual combination, it also lets us experiment. I think bakers are constantly looking to work with new flavours such as these. And coconut is something that sells throughout the year and many people love it,” Sen shares.
Though the baker doesn’t have a coconut and white chocolate number on her menu, customers can customise their own flavours when they order. Sen also confirms that coconut cakes are convenient to transport — with or without a private jet.
“Coconut cakes like Lamingtons are usually travel-friendly and make for good gifts. They have butter cake as the base so they stay moist for long. Bakers who understand the technicalities of using coconut and have some experience with it love using it as an ingredient,” Sen reveals.
Party hack: If you’re unsure about bringing a coconut and white chocolate dessert to a Christmas party, steer clear of full-sized cakes and go for smaller bakes that are easier to sample like a coconut-chocolate macaron or a coconut rum ball.