This intensely rich chocolate layer cake is filled with creamy chocolate buttercream and sweet desiccated coconut. A simple yet indulgent chocolate cake!
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As I decided to publish this Chocolate Coconut Cake just before Easter, decoration with eggs was absolutely necessary!
This cake is not your typical fluffy chocolate cake. It’s denser but
The coconut flavour is more subtle, giving a slight sweetness and texture from the desiccated coconut. Therefore if you don’t like coconut this works as a great chocolate cake in its own right.
Hot coffee in chocolate cake to enhance flavour
As well as using good quality cocoa powder, my recipe uses hot coffee to really bring out the chocolate flavour. Don’t panic, I promise you won’t taste the coffee at all. It’s just a great trick to enhance the chocolate flavour!
And as if that wasn’t enough, the buttercream is also deliciously chocolatey and creamy. More on that later.
Moist chocolate layer cake recipe
As you may notice from my other cake recipes such as my Vanilla Layer Cake, Lemon Raspberry Cream Cake and my Hummingbird Muffins, my top priority in recipe testing is keeping things moist! In those recipes, I use buttermilk to bring the moisture, but for this recipe, I opted for sour cream.
I’d personally never made a cake using sour cream before. But after reading up on its qualities and what it can bring to a cake, I decided to give it a try here! As well as keeping the cake moist, it also activates the bicarbonate of soda, helping the cake to rise.
Simple, Smooth Chocolate Buttercream recipe
I’ve tasted a lot of buttercream in my time, and too many times I’ve been disappointed in how heavy or overly sweet it is. Considering I bake a lot of sweet things, I’m actually more of a savoury person would you believe! Therefore my buttercream recipe gives a sweet, creamy flavour without being overly sweet.
My trick to getting the buttercream as light and fluffy as possible is to beat it on a relatively high speed for a full five minutes. The final result is almost like whipped cream!
The subtle coconut flavour just comes from the desiccated coconut sprinkled between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. I just love how it finishes off the appearance of this cake beautifully.
This Chocolate Coconut cake would be the perfect Easter showstopper as a delicious post-Easter dinner dessert. It would also be really fun to decorate with children, adding the eggs and sprinkling the coconut on top!
You’ll need two 20cm sandwich tins for this recipe. My pans have a loose base to make it easier to remove cakes. Click the image below to see a selection of suitable pans!
If you try this recipe I’d love to see! You can show me by tagging me @bakerjoblog or using #bakerjoblog!
More chocolate recipes to try:
- Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Chip Muffins
- White Chocolate Blondies
- No-Churn Oreo Ice Cream
- White Chocolate Coconut Truffles
- Nutella Brownies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- No-Bake Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
- Cocoa Dusted Chocolate Truffles
- Peanut Butter Brownies
- Chewy Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
- Chewy Homemade Brownies
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Banoffee Brownies
- Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies
More cake recipes to try:
- Vanilla Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- Carrot Loaf Cake
- Hummingbird Muffins
- Gingerbread Latte Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake
- Lemon Coconut Muffins
- Carrot Cake Swiss Roll
- Blueberry Nut Muffins
- Lemon Raspberry Cream Cake with Meringue Kisses
Chocolate Coconut Cake
- 220 g plain flour
- 70 g cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 250 g caster sugar
- 200 g butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 medium eggs room temperature
- 150 ml sour cream room temperature
- 120 ml hot coffee heaped tsp instant coffee granules mixed into 120ml hot water
- 60 g desiccated coconut for filling and decoration
- 200 g butter softened
- 340 g icing sugar sifted
- 60 g cocoa powder sifted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp milk
- Preheat your oven to 170°C/150°C Fan. Grease the base and sides of two 20cm sandwich tins and line the base with baking/parchment paper. Set aside.
- To a large bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand whisk) beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds to soften.
- Next add the vanilla extract, eggs one at a time until incorporated (around 10 seconds between each egg addition) and then the sour cream. Mix until just combined.
- Add half of your dry ingredients into this bowl and mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat with the remaining half of dry ingredients.
- Finally, add the hot coffee to this bowl and mix carefully on low speed (to avoid it splashing out of the bowl!) until just combined. The final mixture will be smooth and quite pourable.
- Pour and spread the mixture evenly between the two cake tins.
- Bake on the same shelf (or bake separately if they won’t both fit) for 30 minutes. They will be baked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and they’ve slightly shrunken away from the sides of the tin. The cakes will be slightly cracked and domed when baked, though the dome will sink down as they cool.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer) beat the softened butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute to soften.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the icing sugar and cocoa powder a tablespoon at a time, until all incorporated.
- Add the salt, vanilla extract and milk, and then turn the mixer to medium-high speed for a full 5 minutes. This is essential to make the icing as light and fluffy as possible!
Assembling the Cake
- Place the first cake layer onto your chosen serving plate so that the top of the cake is touching the plate as shown.
- Add just under 1/4 of the chocolate buttercream and spread evenly. Sprinkle 30g of the desiccated coconut evenly on top of the buttercream as shown.
- Add the next cake layer top side down onto the icing, the give a flat surface to the top of the cake. Alternatively, you could level the cake by cutting the top off, but I’m not great at doing this!
- Use the rest of the buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake, and keep enough to put into a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe swirls around the top of the cake as I’ve done (perfect for adding mini eggs/any other pretty decorations!)
- Sprinkle and press the coconut onto the sides of the cake (this does get messy but be patient, the effect and taste is worth it!). Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top of the cake.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days.