Chocolate Coconut Cake

A delicious Chocolate Coconut Cake worthy of a celebration or a simple afternoon tea.

chocolate coconut cake slice

Chocolate Coconut Cake

“Why another recipe for chocolate cake?”, you might ask.

For nearly a decade now, I thought I had found THE chocolate cake recipe, namely Nigella Lawson’s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, which has been my faithful go-to chocolate cake recipe for every occasion from birthday parties to moments where I simply felt that chocolate cake was the answer (like on Friday nights when I like to be slumped on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of the Good Wife).

But I think this Chocolate Coconut Cake might be my new favourite cake …

chocolate coconut cake on plate with fork

Chocolate Coconut Cake Recipe

This Chocolate Coconut Cake recipe comes from Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann, a book which evokes both comfort at the mere sight of the cover and comfort from within, courtesy of a comprehensive selection of Scandinavian recipes for cakes, pastries and breads.

What I love about this Chocolate Coconut Cake is how tender and chocolatey it is, probably owing to the cream content in the batter, and how simple and understated it is to both make and look at.

Although there is coconut in the batter, you can’t really taste the coconut in the cake itself. But the coconut sprinkled on top of the chocolate icing (which is simply melted chocolate with a knob of butter) brings life to this plain cake, reminiscent of the cosiness of fresh snow on a cold winter’s day.

But anyone who is a fan of Bounty bars would not need any persuasion on the comforting combination of milk chocolate and coconut.

If you want a simple, no-fuss chocolate cake with a tender crumb and full of chocolate flavour, this is the cake to try.

Tips for Making Chocolate Coconut Cake

The original recipe calls for a 28 cm cake pan (11 inches), which would produce a rather huge cake, but nonetheless fitting for celebrations such as birthdays or large afternoon tea parties.

My largest round cake pan is 24 cm (9.5 inches) and I still ended up with a rather large and high cake, but it was so delicious that neither my husband nor I complained about having to help ourselves to multiple servings over several days.

chocolate coconut cake

Chocolate Coconut Cake

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
  • Category: Cakes, Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Swedish

A delicious Chocolate Coconut Cake worthy of a celebration or a simple afternoon tea.


For the Chocolate Coconut Cake

For the Frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Line the base of a 24 cm (9.5 inch) cake pan with baking paper and lightly grease the sides.
  3. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a bain marie (or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water) and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy, and stir through the chocolate mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and dessicated coconut.
  6. Fold the flour mixture into the batter alternatively with the double cream (heavy whipping cream).
  7. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff.
  8. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, one-third at a time.
  9. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
  10. Bake the cake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Leave the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  12. Make the frosting by melting the dark chocolate in a small saucepan, and then whisk through the butter.
  13. Spread the frosting over the cake and let it run down the sides, and sprinkle over the dessicated coconut.

Kitchen Notes

As is the case for any cake where chocolate is the key flavour, you should use the best-quality chocolate you can afford. This cake works best with chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids, and the darkest, richest cocoa powder you can find.

The cake keeps well for several days under a covered cake stand or covered in clingfilm.

This recipe is adapted from Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: Serves 8 to 10
  • Calories: 550
  • Sugar: 28.6g
  • Sodium: 38.2mg
  • Fat: 40g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.4g
  • Fiber: 4.9g
  • Protein: 6.4g
  • Cholesterol: 110.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Such an easy cake! And it looks absolutely delicious. I love this idea!

    • Eat, Little Bird 11 June 2015

      Thanks, Katrina! Yes, it’s a really easy cake. I will probably make this one for my son’s next birthday 🙂

  2. Paula 12 June 2015

    Thanh!!! Saying you this, you’ll turn when you walk down the street, thinking that you have a crazy groupie chasing you, but I get excited every time you post! I love your photos so cute, that I feel good looking at them!!

    I will take a look at that book, it seems nice.

    The cake looks reallygood, I make one similar, but with coconut milk, and it’s delicious.

    PS: Please, Thanh, tell me that you have order nice weather this summer, not like last year. I’ve started the countdown!!

    • Eat, Little Bird 12 June 2015

      Hi Paula,
      Oh that’s so lovely to hear! I’m happy to know that there is someone who looks forward to seeing my new posts 🙂 I wish I could do so much more on the blog but I am a bit busy these days with two little kids …

      I’m intrigued about your chocolate cake with coconut milk. It sounds delicious!

      So far, we’ve had some lovely warm weather the past few weeks and even went for our first swim in the lake last weekend. I really hope it will be a nice summer in Switzerland this year. But no matter the weather, I hope you will still enjoy your holiday here 🙂

  3. Ashima 17 June 2015

    so beautiful and easy! 🙂
    I love the way you describe it as “coziness of fresh snow on a cold winter’s day”!


    • Eat, Little Bird 18 June 2015

      Thank you! I first made this cake in winter and that’s what this cake reminds me of now – fresh snow falling outside 🙂

  4. Helen 31 March 2016

    Could you use milk instead of double cream and if so how much?

    • Eat, Little Bird 31 March 2016

      Hello, I think it would be perfectly fine to substitute the cream for milk in this recipe. Just use the same quantity. Hope you will enjoy this recipe!

  5. Madeleine 24 March 2018

    This is such a delicious recipe! It makes a pretty large cake but it keeps really well too. Thank you!

  6. Julia 13 April 2018

    I want to try this CHOCOLATE COCONUT CAKE immediately! Looks incredibly delicious!

  7. Gemma Roe 1 September 2019

    Great recipe. The shine on the chocolate is incredible, I used 74% cocoa chocolate. I’ve not tasted it yet but it smells amazing.

    • Eat, Little Bird 5 September 2019

      Thanks, Gemma! You can’t go wrong with good dark chocolate 🙂