Chocolate Coconut Cake

This intensely rich chocolate layer cake is filled with creamy chocolate buttercream and sweet desiccated coconut. A simple yet indulgent chocolate cake!

chocolate coconut 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 moist, and has a deep chocolate flavour. You’re welcome chocolate lovers!

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.

chocolate coconut cake

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.

sliced cake with slice of cake in front

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.

view from above of decorated cake

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!

slice of chocolate cake

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.

(If you love coconut, check out my White Chocolate Coconut Truffles and my Lemon Coconut Muffins too!)

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!

chocolate coconut cake

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:

More cake recipes to try:

chocolate coconut cake

Chocolate Coconut Cake

This intensely rich chocolate layer cake is filled with creamy chocolate buttercream and sweet dessicated coconut. A truly indulgent chocolate cake!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 slices


Chocolate Cakes

  • 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

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 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


Chocolate Cakes

  • 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.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 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.


If you’ve tried this recipe, tag @bakerjoblog on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and/or use #bakerjoblog!
Keyword cake, chocolate, coconut, easter

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