Chocolate Coconut Cake

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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. 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.

  2. 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!!

  3. Cassidy

    I’ve made this cake a few times and it has become a family staple everyone begs for. Thank you!

    My question for you this time around (since we are trying to stick to New Years resolutions): 

    We are going to freeze 1/2 of the cake. How long do you think we could freeze it before thawing without losing quality? Any special way we should prep it for freezer? And lastly, how long would we that it? 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.

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