The month of April birthdays is finally coming to a close with the birthday of my very favourite person.
This guy has put up with a ton of pouts, weird and passionate monologues about random and (mostly) insignificant things, and my very demanding banana lifestyle. He's an incredibly patient human being, and makes my life infinitely better. He has created approximately 19,537 smiles since I've first met him, and I am very grateful for this and everything else wonderful that's gone with them.
Although he's more into the salty sector of dining, he loves coconut! So, for today's cake we are going coconut crazy and - believe me - it's a very wonderful sort of insanity!
Double chocolate coconut birthday cake - what you need:
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups golden cane sugar (or sub granulated sugar)
- 1 cup dried, shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg is equal to 1 tablespoon of flax meal + 3 tablespoons of water, mixed together and allowed to sit for 5 minutes. Sub in 2 eggs here if you're not making a vegan version.)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup hot and freshly brewed coffee (or sub hot water)
- 2/3 melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 100 grams of dark chocolate, finely chopped (optional, but recommended !)
Double chocolate coconut birthday cake - what you do:
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius (320F).
This cake makes two 23-cm/9-in layer cakes. Prepare your cake pans by greasing them with (vegan) butter and dusting them with flour.
In a large bowl stir together all of the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, and salt.
Add in the liquid ingredients (vinegar, flax eggs, coconut milk, coffee, and oil) except for the vanilla to the dry mixture.
Beat well until the batter is totally combined. Beat in the vanilla. Then, finally fold in the chocolate pieces.
Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the pans slightly (5-10 minutes), then flip out the cakes on a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Chocolate coconut frosting - what you need:
- 100 grams of dark chocolate
- 1 cup (225 grams) vegan butter or butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/1 vanilla pod/your favourite extra flavour
- 1 - 2 tablespoons coconut milk, as needed
+ decorations: shaved chocolate, shredded coconut, sprinkles, etc.
Chocolate coconut frosting - what you do:
Over a double boiler (or in a microwave) melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar, beating after each addition. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time to get everything mixed together well. Add the melted chocolate, and beat until blended.
At this point, blend in the vanilla extract or whatever extra touch you would like to use. I think a splash of bourbon could be interesting. I, however, got in touch with my tropical side since we were going coco-crazy with this cake and used about a teaspoon of grated tonka bean! I ADORE tonka bean... it has a bourbon/cinnamon/vanilla-ish flavour that is so unique and so delicious.
Add the coconut milk as needed until you reach a creamy, smooth, and spreadable consistency.
This frosting recipe is adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.
The frosting is SO EASY TO SPREAD. Like - OMGEE- easy. I'm really happy and impressed with this recipe. I think it's going to be a keeper, and I can't wait to try it with a white chocolate!
To frost the cakes:
Place the bottom cake on a large plate or cake stand. Slap a huge dollop of frosting on and spread it out evenly. Add the second cake and repeat with the frosting on top. There will probably be a bit extra frosting along the top side of the cake. Use this to make a thin layer around the sides of the cake. Take a bit of extra frosting if needed to make this thin layer. This is the crumb coat! Pop the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, and after it will be super simple to frost up.
I used some extra shredded coconut to decorate the cake (and then a minor sprinkle session happened afterwards...). Other good ideas would be grated or shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles!
If you're looking for a fudge-y and chocolate packed cake, this is the one for you! The coconut adds a slight nutty background and a really interesting texture, while the chocolate flavour shines through. The little pieces of chopped chocolate are great! I actually forgot that I added them in until I got a bite. I was so pleasantly surprised! The addition makes for a slightly decadent cake, but shucks... if it's for a birthday - why not?
This cake was shared amongst a lovely group of people, most of whom didn't know that I was into vegan baking ... so it was a surprise for some that this cake was actually vegan! You don't miss the eggs at all here.
The frosting was super light and was a great match for the cake. The tiny addition of tonka bean was subtle but really appreciated for the overall tying together of the flavours. I adore chocolate, coffee, and tonka together, and this trio paired wonderfully with the coconut. This recipe is definitely one for the archives.
Baking soundtrack - tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I asked the birthday boy for a baking tune, and he suggested this one... I think it's just perfect!