Sunday, January 24, 2010

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks

There was a time when I would have turned up my nose at this baked treat, simply because it is a cake. Even the chocolate wouldn't have swayed me. Until quite recently, I just wasn't a fan of cakes. Or so I thought. I have now come to realize that I had never had a good cake, or at least not enough of them.

In the last year I have actually come to love cakes.

For reasons like this. And this. And this. (Please excuse the photos for those links, most are from very early in my blogging...)

Oh, and this.

I made this coconut cake for my aunt's birthday today. I find it rather amusing that I have upwards of 40 baking books, a handful of which are dedicated to cakes, all of which are under-used, and yet I turn to the internet when looking for a recipe. Ah well, when there are things this wonderful on the internet, what can you do?

I knew I wanted a coconut cake that contained both shredded coconut and coconut milk. As soon as I happened upon this recipe from Bon Appetit, I knew I had found the one. This time, it was the chocolate that swayed me.

This cake is amazingly fluffy, making it impossibly light without nearing the texture of an angel food cake. It is tender, slightly dense, and oh so moist. The level of sweetness is perfect, especially when paired with the chunks of semisweet chocolate. The coconut on top becomes chewy with crunchy edges in the oven, and forms a sort of macaroon topping for the cake. The only thing I will change when I make it again is the amount of chocolate. It needs more. Next time, I will add an additional 3 ounces of chocolate to the batter, bringing the total amount in the cake up to 9 ounces.

Everyone in my family loved this cake, and it was devoured in record time. Many people commented that it was the best cake they had ever eaten (though they did echo my sentiment about the slight chocolate deficiency).

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Chunks and Coconut Drizzle
adapted from Bon Appetit

For the Cake:
1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (or 9 ounces if you are a chocolate lover)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, or 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut tossed with 1 teaspoon agave until all coconut is coated and ever so slightly damp

For the Coconut Drizzle:
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9 inch spring-form cake pan. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in 1 cup coconut. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with coconut milk in 2 additions, mixing until just combined with each addition. Fold 3 ounces (or 6 ounces) of the chocolate chunks into batter using a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. Sprinkle remaining 3 ounces of chocolate as evenly as you can on top of the batter, top with 1/2 cup of coconut. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Check cake at around 40 minutes. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, place a foil tent over the pan. Remove cake from oven when a tester placed in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before cutting. (I wasn't able to wait that long, hence the slightly shaggy slices. I will say, it was rather delicious warm, as the chocolate was melty. If you don't mind shaggy slices, serve it warm by all means!)

Coconut Drizzle:
Whisk together sugar, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. Add more coconut milk as needed until mixture is pourable. I did this in a pyrex measuring cup, making drizzling very easy.


  1. Yum, this looks amazing Sarah! I love the combination of chocolate and coconut so this would be a definite winner for me I think.

  2. The combination sounds delightful :)

  3. I love the look of that cake, it looks perfectly moist!

  4. This looks absolutely incredible -- the cocounut/chocolate combination is one of my favorites.

  5. Yum, coconut and chocolate - sounds like a winner to me!

  6. What a delicious looking cake. Cake with chocolate and coconut - can't beat it.

  7. I never tried coconut cakes ever. This is something new for me. It sounds and looks delish.

  8. Looks yummy! Gotta give this a try! Thanks for sharing...


  9. We're not big, thick, heavy-on-the-frosting cake fans here either, but this looks fabulous!

  10. Look sinfully delicious! I simply love the toasty coconut and gluey chocolate on top!

  11. i didn't have a birthday cake last year, so i think i should bake this to make up for it! my two favorite flavors!

  12. I am so seriously making this cake very soon. I have some leftover coconut milk in my fridge that needs using up, and I happen to love coconut & chocolate. This is a must make!

  13. I am not a big fan of cakes, either, but I could make an exception for one with all that lovely coconut.

  14. This cake looks divine, I must come up with an excuse to try it. I just put myself on a cookbook buying hiatus since I don't use them as much as I should. In fact, I'm always seeing yummy things on the internet that come from books I own and had never noticed.

  15. I have this cake flagged to me in an issue of Bon Appetit and you just reminded me that I have to make it pronto!!!! It looks stunning Sarah.

  16. that's a seriously yummy looking cake! (and your photos are way better than the one on bon app, btw)

  17. Searching for a coconut bread recipe I found your blog and discovered fabulous recipes, thank you for sharing, your pictures and recipes look fantastic. Patty

  18. I notice no one actually posted after making this cake. I can tell you that I was truly impressed with the moist texture, the blend of flavors, and the light feeling after having eaten a slice. The cake did need foil on the top after 40 mins, but after 60 minutes of cooking I took it off and browned the remaining coconut. Wonderful recipe, thank u.


Related Posts with Thumbnails