Chocolate Coconut Cake

This Chocolate Coconut Cake is my favorite chocolate cake recipe – it’s moist for days and super chocolatey. And the coconut icing & toasted coconut topping compliment the cake perfectly.

Chocolate Coconut Cake slice on a plate

Chocolate Coconut Cake on a white plate

Chocolate Coconut Cake

If you saw my “Let’s Chill” post from Labor Day, this is the cake with a slice missing that was sitting in the cake carrier with ice packs taped to it. 🙂 I took it to the tailgate for the WVU vs. Alabama football game that weekend. It’s not necessarily football food, but I was tasked with bringing sweets and since I’d made this, it was one of the things I brought. Despite not being inherently football food, it ended up being a big hit. Like I said, it’s crazy moist and full of flavor. If you like chocolate and coconut together you will definitely love this cake!

Chocolate Coconut Cake slice on a plate Chocolate Coconut Cake slice on a plate

After the game, my sister in law took some home to the rest of the family, who didn’t come to the game. When my brother came by the next day, he made sure to come inside and get one more taste of this cake before it was gone. Just like everyone else, he couldn’t prevent himself from just one more bite. 🙂 One of my favorite things about this chocolate cake is that you only need to use one bowl. One less dish to wash is a win in my book! You’ll notice it’s a very dark cake and that’s because I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. It’s my fave and ever since I used it the first time, I’ve never bothered with any other. If you haven’t tried it, I totally recommend it. Of course, you could use regular cocoa if you prefer.

Chocolate Coconut Cake with a slice removed Chocolate Coconut Cake slice on a plate

It’s also a slow-bake cake, so it bakes at 300 degrees. Weird, right? But it works! The coconut icing is as coconut as it comes and I could just have eaten it by itself. The toasted coconut not only looks pretty, but adds more coconut flavor and a bit of texture. This cake is a totally win. I have a feeling it will be requested again. 🙂

Chocolate Coconut Cake on a white plate Chocolate Coconut Cake slice on a plate

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Chocolate Coconut Cake slice on white plate
Recipe

Chocolate Coconut Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Chocolate Coconut Cake is my favorite chocolate cake recipe – it’s moist for days and super chocolatey. And the coconut icing & toasted coconut topping compliment the cake perfectly.


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water

COCONUT ICING

  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 1 1/4 cups shortening
  • 910 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp coconut extract
  • 34 tbsp water or milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut

Instructions

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom, and grease the sides.
2. Add all dry ingredients for the cake to a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture. Mix well.
5. Pour into three 8 inch cakes pans and bake at 300 degrees for about 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
7. Make icing while cakes cool. Beat together butter and shortening until smooth.
8. Slowly add 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
9. Add coconut extract and 1-2 tbsp water or milk and mix until smooth.
10. Add another 4-5 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add more water or milk until the right consistency. Set icing aside.
12. Spread coconut onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
13. Once cakes are cool, remove cake domes from top with a large serrated knife.
14. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about 3/4 cup of icing on top in an even layer.
15. Add second layer of cake and add another 3/4 cup of icing on top in an even layer.
16. Add final layer of cake on top and ice the outside of the cake.
17. Press toasted coconut into the sides of the cake and sprinkle it on top.

Keywords: chocolate coconut cake, coconut cake recipe, best coconut cake recipe, easy coconut cake, best chocolate cake recipe, easy chocolate cake recipe, homemade chocolate cake, chocolate cake with coconut

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

67 Comments
  1. Henry Cruz

    Looked delicious so I made it but was dissapointed. The frosting’s sweetness overpower the dark chocolate cake. So there was no balance of flavors. The coconut turned out to be the best part as though the cake was not needed. I woyld balance frosting by using buttercream & creamcheese with coconut flavor instead of just butter and shortening. This change would allow the dark chocolate and other flavors to be enjoyed.

  2. Ellen

    I made 2 layers instead of 3 and while baking it was beautiful high.But when finished it was much flatter not completely. I cooked it on the right temp for the right time. Any idea why it would do this ty it smells great and will ice it soon hoping that will get it a little higher

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say for sure. If it rose well and then fell a lot after baking, it could be something to do with the baking soda. I’d make sure you didn’t use baking powder by mistake and that you used the right amount.

  3. Hanna

    I have made this cake hundreds of times. It is my go to cake and everyone loves it! 

    Could I use this batter for a bundt cake as well? 

    Thank you!!

  4. Jordan Busker

    I’ve made this cake twice already and it’s wonderful. I’d like to make it a smaller cake though as there are only 3 of us. I am going to use 6” rounds instead of 8” rounds. Would halving the recipe work well?

    1. Lindsay

      I really haven’t worked with 6 inch cakes much, so it’s hard for me to say. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  5. Kristin

    I am a chocolate coconut addict and this recipe is AMAZING. I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil for that subtle taste of coconut in the cake. Sooooo delicious!

  6. Ingrid

    This is THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER! I make this cake all the time. I have told many people about your blog and shared your recipe. It is so moist and delicious. I use a different cream cheese frosting recipe (without shortening)…but the chocolate cake is incredible. And I use unsweetened coconut which I toast. Frosting is sweet enough so it is great with unsweetened coconut.

  7. Kristen

    Hello! I’ve made this cake for two parties and everyone absolutely LOVED it! I was wondering if this recipe could be used for cupcakes?

  8. Mars

    This looks amazing! I’m from Europe and we don’t have shortening, can you tell me how to replace this in the icing? Thanks!

  9. Ingrid

    i made this chocolate cake for a party. it was the most MOIST delicious chocolate cake I have ever had…and ever made. It was a HUGE hit. And the next day – it was still amazing! I did use a different cream cheese frosting since I did not want shortening in my frosting. But this will be my go to cake recipe. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  10. Kym

    Just baked the cake and adjusted the recipe (added 25%) to accommodate  9″ rounds.  I’m very excited to see how this turns out!!! I’m not an accomplished cake baker and found this recipe pretty easy to follow. It’s the technical stuff -like icing it- that I’m worried about! Fingers crossed!!!

  11. Ranyah

    Hey Lindsey, this looks really good. Infact it looks devine cos it has my favorite thing in the world: Coconut! Will definitely be making this. I do have one question though. I live in the UK and I have tried to find the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa but I can’t get it not even on the UK Amazon site. The only one they have is Hershey’s Cocoa 100% Cacao Natural Unsweetened. Can I use this? And do you think it will still come out dark? Thank you so much.

  12. Jess

    Hi! I’m baking this now…so excited! How much did you fill up the tins. I filled them about about 2/3, have my oven set to 300, and they’ve been in about 40 minutes and still aren’t finished. Any thoughts?

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I don’t remember exactly how full they were, but the batter should be evenly split between the three 8 inch pans. It is a slow bake cake and ovens tend to be a little different so it’s possible they’d take a little longer. Did they end up turning out ok?

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  14. Tina Vlerebome

    I was fortunate to be at the tailgate to sample this delicious masterpiece!!! The cake melts in your mouth and the dark chocolate and coconut flavors are to die for!!! This one is a home run!!!

  15. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    Lindsay you should teach a cake making/decorating class. I would totes take it cuz your cakes are always gorgeous! And I love the chocolate coconut combo. 😀

  16. Heather @ Shards of Lavender

    Oh, goodness! The toasted coconut on top is just gorgeous! I absolutely love coconut and I think I’d need a chaperone when making the frosting other wise there might not be enough left to cover the cake. Pinned!

  17. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking

    Aww, thank you so much for mentioning my Pineapple Coconut Oatmeal Cookies Lindsay!! You’re just the sweetest. 🙂 I’ve never actually tailgated before, which is totally strange because I love sports so much. My parents even own season tickets to baseball games, and we still haven’t done that! (We’re a little too excited about getting into the stadium early for batting practice, I suppose…) But if I knew you and your incredible cake would be there, I’d tailgate in a heartbeat!! I can never get enough chocolate cake. Ever. 😉 Pinned!

  18. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    Ahh the infamous ice-box cake carrier cake! This looks amazing! I’m not sure who isn’t a fan of chocolate and coconut together, but I know I would love this cake!! Pinned!

  19. Erin @ Simple, Sweet & Savory

    Oh my heavens! This looks gorgeous and absolutely divine. I can’t wait to try it! I love the chocolate and coconut combo.

  20. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron

    My mom’s two very favorite ingredients – chocolate and coconut! I am making this for her birthday for sure! Gorgeous — everything about this Lindsay!!

  21. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    I love chocolate + coconut together!!! Big win in my book . . you are the cake baking queen! love this!

  22. holly waterfall

    oh my goodness – coconut is totally my jam, so I would be allll over this one! I kind of just want to make the coconut icing and just eat it with a spoon! so gorgeous Lindsay!

  23. Mir

    Man, this looks good. We all know how dangerous that “one more bite” is! I’d commit to at least two slices of this one and not pretend to be satisfied with a bite! Amazing…sigh.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12