Unbelievably Good – Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks & Coconut Drizzle

OK…here is a New Year’s riddle for you. What do you get when you cross coconut and chocolate? Answer: one of the best cakes I have ever tasted! It was so moist and so tasty…I could go on and on and on. However, I think the ingredients and the pictures speak for themselves.

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks and Coconut Drizzle
from Bon Apetit, January 2010

I should also note that I can take absolutely no credit for this beautiful creation…all props go to my lovely mother who came to visit us over the holidays. She is the master baker…not I.


  • 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (I prefer fine sea salt)
  • 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (packed) finely grated orange peel
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c. canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate bars (do not exceed 61% cacao), broken into small-ish chunks, divided
  • 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Drizzle

  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (you may need a bit more)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter and flour a 9″ cake pan with 2″ sides.

2) In a medium blow, sift together 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in unsweetened shredded coconut and set aside.

3) Whip out your electric mixer and beat the sugar, butter, and orange peel together (use a large bowl for this).

4) Add in your eggs, 1 at a time making sure to give everything a really good mix after each. Add in the vanilla.

5) You are now going to add the flour mixture to the sugar/butter/egg mixture in thirds, alternating with the coconut milk. So, add 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the coconut milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 coconut milk and finish up with the remaining flour. Again, make sure everything gets a good mix after each addition.

6) Using a spatula, fold in half of the chocolate.

7) Spread your batter into your cake pan…try to even it out using your spatula. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over batter, and then follow up with the flaked coconut.

8) Bake cake until the top is golden and a tester(toothpicks work especially well) inserted into centre comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. It was our experience that this cake took the whole 70 minutes. If you see that the top of the cake is browning too quickly, tent it with some foil.

9) When your cake is done, transfer it to a rack and allow it to cool completely.

Coconut Drizzle
1) In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk, and vanilla. You can add more coconut milk by 1/2 teaspoonfuls until mixture is thin enough to drizzle over cake.

2) Now here comes the tricky part (it’s not so tricky but I am a bit of a clutz). Take a small knife and carefully run it around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a plate (not the one you intend to serve it on). It should be upside down now. Invert it again onto the platter you will serve it on, now right side up.

3) Drizzle the coconut drizzle over the cake in whatever decorative pattern suits you. Cool the cake completely before serving.

Enjoy (how could you not?)!


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