Chocolate cake with coconut cream filling, marshmallow buttercream frosting and toasted coconut is the perfect cake recipe for birthdays, holidays, parties and more! This 3-layer cake is packed with flavor and irresistible!
I think I’ve probably made two dozen cakes since the beginning of this year. I’ve officially been designated as the go-to cake baker by some people so my calendar is always full of special requests. With plenty of requests for cakes, I have a lot of time to test recipes and hear feedback from everyone. Out of all of the cakes I recently made, this chocolate cake with coconut cream and marshmallow buttercream frosting received raved reviews. It is also my absolute favorite cake that I have ever made. Since I made this cake for the first time, I’ve had four different requests to make it again. In fact, I already have two orders of this cake for a birthday and Easter.
Chocolate cake with coconut cream filling, marshmallow buttercream frosting and toasted coconut combines some of my favorite flavors into one impressive cake. This is the cake you need to make for Easter, birthdays, bridal showers and everything in between. It is a 3 layer cake packed with flavor.
Some cakes are complicated and require multiple steps with detailed instructions. For a homemade cake, this one is pretty simple. With three layers, it is full of chocolate, coconut and marshmallow flavor. I use one of my favorite recipes for the cake layer. The filling is a thick creamy consistency. It complements the chocolate cake and whipped buttercream frosting perfectly.
I highly recommend investing in a rotating cake stand. I’ve been using an Ateco one for the past year or so and it makes decorating cakes so much easier. I also purchased some plastic disposable cake trays. They are recyclable and I actually reuse them often. They are perfect for transporting cakes or giving away to friends and family too. I find that they are more sturdy than a cardboard cake box and because they are reusable I don’t have to buy as many.
Chocolate Cake with Coconut Cream and Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
For the cake:
- 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pans
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder*
- 1½ cups boiling water
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 5.4 ounce can coconut cream
- 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
- 7 ounce jar Marshmallow fluff
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded coconut, lightly toasted
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.
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My filling is runny. I added more powdered sugar still runny. I was sure not to ass any of the coconut water. What went wrong?
Hi Susan! I’m not sure what happened but the filling should not be runny. It’s a pretty small amount of thick coconut cream and cream cheese so there isn’t really anything that would cause it to be runny. Be sure to use a whisk attachment and keep whisking. You can add more powdered sugar but 1 3/4 cups should be plenty.
Question-I am not sure if we need to use coconut cream or coconut milk. Both words seem to be used in the recipe. One is much more expensive and harder to find. I now have both -Leche de coco 13.5 oz. and Thai Kitchen coconut cream 13.66 oz. Please let me know. Thank you
The recipe calls for pure coconut cream which is typically available in your local grocery store. Coconut milk contains coconut water and coconut cream. The thick part that settles in the bottom of a can of coconut milk is the coconut cream. So if you use coconut milk, be sure to allow the cream to settle and then only scoop out the thick coconut cream. Discard any coconut water. You do not want to use any of the liquid or else the frosting will not have the right consistency. Enjoy!
I have now bought 4 different things to use as “coconut cream”. I couldn’t find exactly what you recommended. I found a box of Ocho Rios pure coconut cream, it is 5 ounces. Should I use most of that? The forth item I bought was Savoy Coconut Cream but it is 14 ounces. Could you please let me know how much to scoop out of that one or should I the “cream in a box”. I hope to finish it today. Thank you
Hi, Kelly! I would use the Ochos Rios Pure Coconut Cream. I’ve used that brand before and it works great. Enjoy!
Why should there be imperfections in the frosting??? Marshmallow cream is smooth! Butter needs to be room temperature ! Butter and confection sugar must be well incorporated! Make sure the sugar is air rated a little before measuring!
I hope to make this cake Friday. My kids don’t care for the texture of coconut flakes, so I was going to omit the extra outside. Any thoughts on adding coloring to the frosting? Does it frost smooth or is it a sticky mess, thus needing the coconut flakes to hide imperfections?
This cake needs the coconut flakes to hide the imperfections in the frosting due to the marshmallow. The frosting isn’t really a smooth consistency so I would suggest using a different frosting if you prefer to do without the coconut flakes. Enjoy!