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

Chocolate Coconut Cake

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


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.



  • 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


  • 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 shredded coconut


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.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 988
  • Sugar: 103.8 g
  • Sodium: 405.7 mg
  • Fat: 55.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 121.9 g
  • Protein: 4.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 72.1 mg

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

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  1. Kitty

    Due to a wheat allergy, I’m replacing coconut flour for the all purpose flour; that’s the most substantial change but how would that affect the recipe?

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t really use coconut flour, but in my limited experience with flour alternatives, they tend to be pretty different and require other adjustments.

  2. Bri Robinson

    I was questioning using the shortening and vegetable oil and should have trusted my instincts. My boyfriend randomly picked this recipe was excited to try it based on the reviews. I didnt want to rain on his parade so I went with it. The final product was not worth the effort or calories, in my opinion. The cake was moist and the frosting was a great texture but the flavor was not there. I believe if some of the ingredients were swapped for other things, like butter instead of shortening, it would be good. I’d suggest a better quality chocolate and finding good coconut extract.

  3. Naomi

    Recipe looks great ! I will be making it for a co-workers birthday but using 2 9″ pans instead of 3 8″- how long should I bake for ?

  4. Jacqueline Gibney

    Delicious cake. I can’t eat refined carbs so I altered the recipe. I love how bob red mills oat flour works in baking a bit more then whole wheat flour. I use unrefined coconut palm sugar for sugar. I use virgin coconut oil in place of vegetable oil (adds extra coconut flavor to it, plus It’s unrefined) i also use cacao powder instead of cocoa as it adds an even richer flavor I find. For the frosting I don’t use shortening and I used coconut palm sugar. Didn’t have coconut extract but i didn’t need it. I used vanilla and it worked fine. Baking I find however with oat flour has a slightly different texture. It’s more goey, which I personally love. It tasted like coconut lava cake as I’d call it. Should have let it sit a bit longer to cool down completely so it’s a bit of a messy cake as it almost fell apart on me. I was too impatient to try it. That’s ok. I wasn’t going for looks. It is the best cake ever.

  5. Kelly

    I’ve been making this recipe (chocolate coconut cake) for the past couple years as a tradition for my husband’s birthday every year. It’s both of our favorites! Previously I was making the recipe you had posted that included melting marshmallows for the icing. Can you send me the older version of this recipe so I can make it again this year?

    1. Lindsay

      This recipe has not been updated. The frosting never included melted marshmallows. I have a s’mores cake that uses melted marshmallows in the frosting.

  6. Jordan

    This is my favorite chocolate cake ever! (And everyone that has tried it!) I actually have made it about 3 times, just changing the frosting sometimes! Thanks for this amazing recipe!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29