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  • For the cake:
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder*
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 (5.4 ounce) can coconut cream (about 2/3 cup)**
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar Marshmallow fluff
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut, lightly toasted



Step 1


To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out 3 8-inch round pieces of parchment paper and place them in the bottom of 3 8-inch round cake pans. Butter the sides of the pans and dust with cocoa powder, shaking out the excess.
In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder, and boiling water. Whisk until smooth; set aside to cool for 2 minutes. When cooled down, whisk in the sour cream and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually blend in the sugar and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Blend in the eggs one at a time. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; whisk to blend.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream mixture, beating each addition just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cake layers for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through to ensure even baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pans at least 30 minutes before inverting onto the rack to cool completely.
To make the filling, using a spoon, carefully scoop out the thick layer of coconut cream from the can. (You will not need any of the coconut water that has settled to the bottom of the can.) Add the cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar and mix well on high speed until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly fold in the shredded coconut.
To make the buttercream frosting, add butter to the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add marshmallow fluff, heavy cream and salt; beat for an additional minute.
To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving platter. Spread half of the coconut cream filling over the top of the cake. Top with a second layer and the remaining filling. Place the final cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting. Coat the frosting with the toasted coconut flakes. Refrigerate the cake until just before serving.

*You can omit the instant espresso or coffee powder, but I highly recommend it because it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. **Refrigerating the coconut cream beforehand will help the filling to thicken. If the filling is too runny, refrigerate until it firms up enough to spread it.

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