Three Layer Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

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I don’t preface any of my recipes but this one really needs some notes. I generally avoid recipes that require me to do anything overnight. (This is why I have never made vegan ice cream yet. Boo! I’m telling you all, I’m the laziest vegan there is!)  This was for someone’s birthday so I figured I’d plan a little bit. Here’s what you need to do in advance:

  1. Buy several cans of FULL FAT coconut cream and keep them in the fridge. Just keep them there. Seriously. I used to buy a bunch and keep them in the pantry but then I’d see a recipe that would require me to cool a can and I instantly regretted just not sticking them in there to begin with. So, do that. And, no, you can’t get away with sticking it in the fridge at 5:00pm and expecting it to be ready by 8:00pm when you’re done baking. Put the cans of coconut cream in the fridge the night before you plan on baking this! 
  2. Okay, that’s one night.  The next thing is that I would really recommend baking the cakes and making the frosting the day before you actually need it (we’ve now spent two days on cake…). It could possibly come together if you assemble it and then serve immediately but the chilling of the cake is super important, I think.
  3. This is not the type of cake that you bring somewhere and let it sit out. It must always be refrigerated! Please don’t make this then bring it a picnic in August. In Arizona.
  4. It freezes well, FYI  😉

Now, let’s make a cake!

*Makes three 8” round cake

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm coffee
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bags of coconut shreds (set aside)

Cake Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, coconut oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the three pans, give each a little shake to smooth out and bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cakes cool slightly before removing them from the pans, THEN remove from pans and transfer to cooling wire racks to let cool completely. Please don’t try to take them out immediately!!!

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Frosting Directions

  1. Remove the can of coconut cream from the fridge and scoop the cream into a large bowl, for mixing.  (The fat from the milk will rise to the top. Leave any watery juice behind (you can save this or just discard it).)
  2. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat on high until stiff. This takes a while… It won’t be super thick like a traditional buttercream, hence why I stress the need to chill.
  3. Taste and adjust accordingly. Refrigerate coconut whipped cream overnight.

*I actually used two cans for mine but I think it was too much. I had a LOT left over (it goes great on coffee, oatmeal, ice cream…fyi lol) so if you feel that it doesn’t seem like enough, you’ll be glad I made you put that extra can in there. Frosting goes a long way, though, so one should be fine.

Cake Assembly

  1. Place parchment paper around the edge of a nice cake plate, so that you can put one cake layer on top and easily slide out the paper. This will allow for you to just pull out the paper and make for easy clean up with the frosting.
  2. Place one layer of cake on the plate. If there is a hump on the top of the cake, trim it off with a long serrated knife to make it flat.
  3. Frost the top with an even layer of the coconut cream and add a lot of coconut shreds to cover the frosting.
  4. Be sure to flatten the top of the second layer of cake BEFORE adding it to the cake on the plate. Once it’s flat, stack the layers  and repeat with the frosting and coconut.
  5. Add the final cake layer and you can leave this layer nice and rounded at the top. Frost the top and sides, adding coconut as desired (this will be messy).
  6. Frosting might very well be dripping everywhere and it’s probably soft and gooey and this is why I think it should be placed baked in the refrigerator and chilled until it’s time to serve.

This isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made but it’s certainly one of the best tasting. It’s messy but delicious. I’m sure you can do this with cupcakes, too.

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2 thoughts on “Three Layer Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

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