Coconut Cake with Chocolate Coconut Buttercream

Coconut Chocolate Cake – tender and flavorful coconut cake layers with a chocolate coconut buttercream.

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Coconut Chocolate Cake

Hello cake lovers! I’m excited to share not one, but two new recipes with you this week! The first cake recipe is my Chocolate Coconut Cake, made up of tender and flavorful coconut cake layers and a silky smooth chocolate coconut buttercream. The second will be a Red Velvet Bundt Cake with a cream cheese icing. You’ll see that here tomorrow!

I think you’ll not only love this recipe for how delicious it is, but also for how simple it is to make. We’ve just got cake layers and buttercream to whip up. Easy peasy!

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How to Make Coconut Cake

For the cake layers, remember to follow my tips for getting an even rise and great texture:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. 
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.

This cake is tender and moist, but not overly fluffy.

How to Make Chocolate Coconut Buttercream

For the buttercream, you’ll be using dark chocolate chips. I recommend using a quality brand like Guittard or Callebuet. You’ll also be adding coconut emulsion. If you can’t get emulsion, you can also use the same amount called for in the recipe of coconut extract.

To ensure a silky smooth buttercream, make sure you heat the cream called for in the recipe, pour it over the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Making a ganache before adding it to the buttercream ensures you don’t get any chocolate hardening as it hits the cold butter.

You may also want to review the steps in my post How to Make the Best Buttercream. Here’s a summary:

  • Use slightly cold butter
  • Beat the butter to soften it
  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use heavy cream
  • Beat for about 5 minutes with a paddle attachment
  • Use a spatula or wooden spoon at the end to push out air pockets.
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Textured Scrapers

Want this cute texture on your cake? Snag my textured scraper set on You’ll also see the spatulas, acrylic disk and original scraper set that I use – all of which I designed to make cake decorating easier for you.

How to Turn My Chocolate Coconut Cake Into a Sheet Cake or Cupcakes

Sheet Cake

If you’re looking to simplify the cake-making process, you can always turn any of my cakes into sheet cakes or cupcakes. For the sheet cake option, you’ll want to bake the cake in a glass or light metal 9″x13″ rectangular pan. Keep the temperature at 325 degrees F, but bake for longer. On average, sheet cakes like this will take about 15 minutes longer than the suggested bake time. However, like with all cakes, you still need to keep your eye on the cake toward the end of baking. All of our ovens are different and that means the bake time might vary a little for each of us. Just make sure that when you insert a toothpick in the center of the cake, a few moist crumbs come out on it. That’s when you know it’s done and ready to cool at room temperature.


For cupcakes, you’ll stick with the same temperature but you’ll bake for less time. Each of my recipes will make about 20-24 cupcakes, depending on the size. I usually bake two cupcake pans at a time and the bake time ends up being closer to 15 to 20 minutes total. You can use the same toothpick trick to set your cupcakes.

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More Recipes You May Like

Happy baking!
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Coconut Chocolate Cake

Coconut cake layers with chocolate coconut buttercream
5 from 6 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Servings 20 people



  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (339 g) cake flour
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (231 g) canned coconut milk just use the cream separated from the liquid


  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 8 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe will make enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you'll want to make an extra ¼ to ½ batch



  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 6-inch pans (or two 8-inch pans) with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together on medium-high speed for two minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the egg whites and whole eggs, making sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl between additions. Mix on medium-high for 2 minutes after all the eggs are added.
  • Add the coconut emulsion and vanilla extract.
  • Turn the mixer on low speed and alternately add the flour mixture and the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Evenly distribute the batter in your pans.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Remember, the cake continues to bake in the pan for about 5 minutes while it's cooling.
  • Let cool in pans for 15 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.


  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • While the butter is mixing, heat the cream in the microwave for about a minute. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  • With the mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add the chocolate ganache. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the butter and chocolate are incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the emulsion and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir out air bubbles.


  • Place your first cake layer, right-side up, on a cake plate or cake board. Cover the cake layer with about 2/3 cup frosting for 6-inch layers and 1 cup if you're using 8-inch cake layers.
  • Place the second cake layer on top and apply frosting. The last cake layer will go on top, bottom-side up.
  • Lightly coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the frosting.
  • Finish frosting and decorating the cake with the remaining frosting.
Keyword Chocolate Coconut Buttercream, Chocolate Coconut Cake, Coconut Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Thank You so much for the recipe, the cake looks delicious. Can I substitute the cake flour with gluten free flour ?

  2. Do you not add the whole cup of coconut milk? Recipe says to just use the cream part but that’s not a whole cup so I’m confused.

    1. You’ll use more than one can if you don’t get enough from a single can or you can mix in some of the liquid (mix well with cream) and measure.