This Coconut Chocolate Cake tastes like Bounty candy. Soft and moist chocolate cake layers frosted with super creamy coconut frosting. Detailed step-by-step tutorial provided. Made from scratch.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST COCONUT CHOCOLATE CAKE FROM SCRATCH
This super delicious Coconut Chocolat Cake recipe is made of moist and soft chocolate cake layers frosted with super creamy coconut frosting. Both are made from scratch, and I show you how to make it in a step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures and a video. In the video, you see the whole process of making Coconut Chocolate Cake in just 83 seconds.
For decoration, you can choose toppings of your choice. I topped mine with silky chocolate ganache, coconut flakes and whipping cream which is partly mixed with cocoa powder to get that marbled look. Here is a recipe for my chocolate ganache, if you want to make it too.
How can I describe the flavor of the cake? It strongly reminds on the taste of Coconut Bounty candy bars. It's just awesome, and I can't wait for you to start.
START WITH THE CHOCOLATE CAKE
FIRST, COMBINE ALL DRY INGREDIENTS
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. These are flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Although the espresso powder is optional, I highly recommend it. It’s just 1 teaspoon, and it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. You won’t taste the coffee. But if you don’t like it, leave it out. There is no substitution required.
SECOND, MIX ALL WET INGREDIENTS
In a large bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, combine all wet ingredients on medium-low speed. These are oil, eggs, coconut milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir just until combined.
If your coconut milk is not smooth and creamy but very thin coconut water is in the bottom of your can with firm coconut pulp and fat on top, then do the following:
Transfer the whole inside of the can (coconut pulp, fat, water) to a heat-proof bowl. Then microwave for about 20-30 seconds until you see the fat melting down. Do not overheat. It should not be hot. Stop when you see that it started melting. Then blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Voilá. You have smooth and creamy coconut milk.
In this case, you make sure that your cake doesn't turn out too dense or dry because you use all parts of the coconut milk can, the pulp, the fat, and the water, equally. Do the same for the frosting later on that it doesn't turn out either too liquid nor too firm or fat. If you have coconut milk which is already smooth and creamy, then you can use it right away.
THIRD, COMBINE DRY AND WET INGREDIENTS
Add dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed just until combined. The batter will be very thick as you can see in the picture below.
FOURTH, ADD HOT WATER
Slowly mix in hot water and stir on low speed just until combined. The water should be hot boiling. Please take care that you don’t burn yourself. The chocolate cake batter will be very thin in the end. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one time before you stop mixing.
FILL CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER INTO BAKING PANS AND BAKE
Line the bottom and the sides of two 8″ (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Therefore cut out circles for the bottoms and stripes for the sides. Spray a bit of baking spray underneath the stripes that it sticks to the sides of the pan. I found out that lining the sides with parchment makes it super easy to remove the cake from the pan without adding any additional fat or moisture to the cake because of the baking spray.
Then fill the cake batter into the two baking pans equally. Use a kitchen scale for the most accurate results. If you measure the batter, you can be sure that your cake layers will be equal in size and texture.
Bake at 350°F / 175°C for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick centered in the middle should come out clean with a few cake crumbs on it. I bake mine for exact 22 minutes.
After baking and cooling, cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Then cut each cake layer in half horizontally.
LET'S MAKE THE COCONUT FROSTING
For the coconut frosting, you need unsalted butter, mascarpone, powdered sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla.
FIRST, MIX THE BUTTER
Mix butter with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until very creamy. About 1-2 minutes. The butter should be room temperature because cold butter doesn’t mix that well, and you need to mix significant longer to make it creamy.
SECOND, ADD THE MASCARPONE
Please make sure that you use full-fat mascarpone and no low-light or substitute product. Also, don't interchange it with ricotta. Ricotta does not work with this recipe. Mascarpone should not be room temperature when using it but cold and straight out of the fridge.
The mascarpone must be thick and firm straight out of the container. See picture below. I buy mascarpone which is from Italy, and it is smooth, thick and firm. 100g of my mascarpone contains 42g fat, and it is made of cream and citric acid. The wrong mascarpone can break your frosting and it will never get firm.
Before you buy mascarpone maybe you research on the internet, with which mascarpone brand the people had troubles like their Tiramisu didn't set etc. Here is a post about the 11 best Mascarpone cheeses for Tiramisu.
Add mascarpone to the butter and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes just until combined.
That is how it looks like after about 30-45 seconds of mixing.
This is how it looks like after 1-2 minutes of mixing. I don't need to mix longer because the mascarpone is already thick and firm straight out of the container and the butter is smooth and creamy and combines fast with the mascarpone.
THIRD, ADD COCONUT MILK AND VANILLA
Then add the coconut milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes until smooth and combined. Read my recommendations about the coconut milk above (in the chocolate cake section). Do not use coconut water instead.
It comes together very quickly, after about 30 seconds.
This is how the coconut frosting looks like in the end. It's creamy and firm enough to frost the cake. If your frosting is too firm, you can add 1-2 tablespoon of coconut milk. If it is too soft, add more powdered sugar. In case it is too firm, it also helps to chill the frosting for 30 minutes before you frost the cake.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner, or serving plate. Spread ¼ of the frosting over the cake. Repeat two more times.
Place last cake layer on top and lightly frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
Then decorate to your preference.
HOW TO STORE COCONUT CHOCOLATE CAKE AND HOW LONG DOES IT LAST
I recommend storing the cake in the fridge, and it lasts up to 4 days. I do not recommend to store the cake at room temperature. If it is too warm and humid in your climate zone, the frosting could get too soft, greasy, and bad.
The following substitutions are possible:
DUTCH-PROCESSED COCOA POWDER
This chocolate cake calls for dutch-processed cocoa powder and baking powder. If you want to substitute with natural unsweetened cocoa powder, then substitute the dutch-processed cocoa powder 1:1. Instead of 1 tablespoon of baking powder, use 1+½ teaspoon baking powder and 1+½ teaspoon of baking soda. Natural cocoa powder needs baking soda to react, and dutch-processed cocoa powder needs baking powder.
I added 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the cake batter to enhance the chocolate flavor. No worries, you won’t taste the coffee. But if you really don’t want to add the espresso powder, then just leave it out.
For gluten-free chocolate cake, I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1.
HOW TO FREEZE COCONUT CHOCOLATE CAKE
OPTION ONE: THE WHOLE CAKE
After chilling for 4 hours, place the Coconut Chocolate Cake (without decoration) in the freezer until it is firm, for about 2 hours. Remove the cake from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic foil twice. Make sure that everything is covered. Then wrap two layers of tin foil around until completely covered. It freezes well up to 2 months.
Unwrap the cake and thaw in an airtight container the fridge overnight. Then decorate your cake to your preference. Eat within 2 days.
OPTION TWO: SINGLE SLICES
Place single slices in the freezer for about 1 hour. Single slices are possible to freeze with decoration. Then remove from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic foil twice, until fully covered. Place in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. It freezes well up to 2 months.
For thawing, unwrap the cake and place on the kitchen counter for 1-2 hours. Eat within 1 day.
OPTION THREE: JUST THE CHOCOLATE CAKE LAYERS
After baking the chocolate cake layers, remove the paper and let cool completely. Then tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic foil twice. Place in freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. Freeze up to 1 month.
For thawing, unwrap the cake layers and let sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Once it is room temperature, make the frosting and assemble the cake as described.
If you make this Coconut Chocolate Cake recipe, leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #alsothecrumbsplease on Instagram! Would love to see your snap!
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Coconut Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (240g)
- ¾ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned and leveled (65g)
- 1+½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ½ cup mild flavored vegetable oil (120ml)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup coconut milk (120ml)
- ½ tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 cup boiling hot water (240ml)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
- 2 cups cold full-fat mascarpone (445g)
- 1+½ cups powdered sugar, sifted (180g)
- ½ cup coconut milk (120ml)
- 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat oil, eggs, coconut milk, vinegar, and vanilla* just until combined. Stir in dry ingredients to combine. The batter will be very thick. Slowly mix in hot water until combined. The batter will be very thin.
- Divide batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake. I baked mine for 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes. Then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add mascarpone and stir on medium-high speed until creamy and combined, about 1-2 minutes.
- Sift in powdered sugar and mix until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add coconut milk and vanilla* and stir to combine.
Assemble the Cake
- Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Then cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner or serving plate. Spread ¼ of the frosting over the cake. Repeat two more times.
- Place last cake layer on top and lightly frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight.
- Decorate the cake to your preference and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Read the blog post for additional information on how to make Coconut Chocolate Cake, how to store and freeze the cake, substitutions, etc.
- Watch step-by-step photos to see the required consistency at every step.
- Watch the 83 seconds video to see the whole process of making Coconut Chocolate Cake.