Moist Chocolate and Coconut Cake


Ping (Ping’s Pickings) has recently had some difficult moments and since chocolate is a well known infallible mood improver, I thought I would try to cheer her up a bit showing how I have transformed her extraordinary coconut cake recipe into an irresistible coco-choco delight. First of all, those of you who have never seen (or forgotten) Ping’s Coconut Cake, must absolutely try it. This effortless cake is one of the most unusual sweet treats I have ever tasted. The first time I baked it, I did it two days in a row, so you can imagine how good it was… Since then I have prepared it (my version is slightly modified) at least dozen times and never got tired of it. Here is a quick reminder of what my modified version looks like:

I must emphasize here that this chocolate recipe is not an improvement because the original cake is perfect unchanged. It is simply a slightly different version, specially designed for chocolate addicts. As one of them, I have a habit of adding chocolate to various desserts, guided by the thought that one cannot have too many chocolate recipes. This cake could be considered as an alternative to the cooling Light Chocolate and Coconut Cream but maybe more suited for cold seasons that we are approaching, when richer desserts are welcome.

Here once more the mixture of chocolate and coconut hasn’t let me down. Just like its pure coconut version, this cake was moist and closer to a custard or pudding than to a floury cake. Thanks to the dark chocolate it was obviously richer and slightly heavier. I think that this richer version of Ping’s cake will keep me company throughout the hated cold autumn and winter evenings. Thank you so much, Ping, for one more inspiration. I will have a big slice of this cake as a toast to your health, wishing you a prompt recovery and a quick solution of the recent problem!

Click here to see Ping’s original Coconut Cake or here to see her banana version.

TIPS: Like Ping, I like moderately sweet desserts, but if you have a very sweet tooth, add 50% more sugar.

This cake improves after a night spent in the fridge and tastes definitely better when served very cold.

Preparation: 1 hour (+ not obligatory, but strongly advised one night in the fridge)

Ingredients (10 x 20 cm baking tin):

3 heaped tablespoons (about 1/4 cup) flour

100 g (1/2 cup) sugar

70 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut (+ some more to sprinkle over the cake)

2 eggs

60 g melted butter

100 g (about 3,4 oz) bitter, dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)

pinch of salt

125 ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk

125 ml (1/2 cup) cow cream (liquid, not crème fraîche)

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (in several short stages to control the melting process and avoid overcooking) or in a hot water bath (putting a metal bowl over a pan with hot water and stirring the chocolate constantly) or simply in a pan at very low heat (this is my favourite method, but quite risky: if the chocolate is overheated it can no longer be used.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Grease a baking tin or line it with baking paper.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 40-50 minutes.

The cake can be sprinkled with desiccated coconut before serving.

It can be served as soon as it cools down, but is definitely best refrigerated overnight.

55 Replies to “Moist Chocolate and Coconut Cake”

  1. You are so sweet…Ha! pun intended 🙂 So nice to share some chocolate delights with Ping! I am also like the two of you and like less sweet desserts, so I am happy that you have a version with less sugar and I will know it will turn out. I love coconut and chocolate…alone or together! YUM!

  2. I bet this was nice. I also tried the original coconut cake and that was awesome. Looks like its in between a fondant and a ‘normal’ cake. Night in a fridge might be difficult unless you make a very big batch…

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. My trick is to prepare cakes which need a night in the fridge at night. I take a slice just after the dinner but it’s still hot/warm so not that good…then I put it into the fridge before going to bed (sometimes I admit it’s the only way to save the poor cake!).

  3. Hi Sissi, I’m so glad you reminded me of Ping’s coconut cake… I went back and had a look and you’re absolutely right, it could not be easier. I can’t believe I haven’t made it yet! You’ve put a fabulous spin on her version Sissi (I know it would cheer me up ;-)), and I have to say, your picture turned really well too – the cake pieces look so delightfully moist and the sprinkle of coconut on top is just perfect… not a hard sell for an avowed chocolate lover like moi! :). Just one question… I wonder whether your version and Ping’s version would work with 1/2 cup cow’s milk and 1/2 cup coconut milk (as opposed to cream) or do you think the cream really makes it here? I’m all in if it does – was just curious because I have plenty of cow’s milk/coconut milk on hand but not cream.

    1. Thank you very much, Kelly. I’m glad you like the coconut cake idea. It has one of these textures I really loved (I prefer custard-like or creamy cakes). As you might have noticed Ping uses coconut cream and normal milk and I do the other way round (coconut cream is not as easy to find as coconut milk). I have never tried with two milks, but why not? The only thing you risk is maybe that it will be less silky and less greasy 😉 If you use full fat milk it should be ok. Please let me know how it tasted! (On the other hand I never use the fattest cream, but the 15 or 18% fat maximum, it’s called half and half I believe).

      1. OMG, I couldn’t wait! I made Ping’s version last night at 9 pm 🙂 (and you know I’ll be making the chocolate one soon enough ;-0).

        The boys and I had planned a cozy doubleheader tv night – yup, these things requires planning in our house – anyway, the first thing I’ll say is that it smelled of heavenly goodness while it was baking (wafts of vanilla and coconut filling the air). It tasted DELICIOUS – like seriously delicious and dangerously so ;-0). I tried it with 1/2 cup (2% fat) milk and 1/2 cup coconut milk. I also reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup (that’s just a weirdism of mine – I like just a touch of sweet). The taste was outstanding. The texture was more like a pudding than a cake which I was fine with but…. being the curious type, and having devoured the first round last night, I decided to make it again today with 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup 2 % milk and 1/2 cup coconut milk – it was slightly firmer and equally delicious. Interesting was that in both cases, the top of the cake was warped (not flat). I’ll have to try the cream version to compare – I simply must ;-). Now here’s a question, Ping calls for a square pie dish – I don’t actually know what that is. You call for a tin – is it a loaf pan you are using? It looks that way from your photos but please specify. Thanks Sissi!

        1. Dear Kelly, thank you so much for your message. I’m thrilled to learn you have liked the cake. I loved waking up today (yes, I have just woken up!) and reading about your two experiments! I have practically forgotten about the awful rainy weather 🙂 You have made my very happy.
          I suppose Ping meant a normal square baking dish. I have baked it in a 20cm x 10 cm baking tin (I thought that it’s called “tin” when it’s metal…) but baked in glass or ceramic pan would be perfect. The tin I have used is the one I would use to bake a pound cake or banana bread (if I liked banana bread 😉 ).
          I don’t remember Ping’s version exactly, but I know I have used more desiccated coconut straight away (I’m such a coconut fan…), but I think this cake is so good, you can modify it slightly and every time it will be flavoursome. Cream will make it a bit… creamier 😉 I think the top of my cakes was also not exactly flat, but no big “holes”. I think that my big amount of coconut (the recipes are both the same on my blog, apart from 100g of chocolate) made it “stay together”.
          I’m happy to hear you have added even less sugar than us (who have made it already low-sugar compared to what most people bake)! Coconut is already so sweet itself… Good luck with your further experiments and write to me whenever you have questions or problems!

  4. Aaahhh, you chocolate coconut cake really look moist. Love the use of coconut milk on this cake and beautifully sprinkled on top with more coconut flakes. Really stylish there, Sissi! Have a good weekend!

  5. Oh my! This cake looks delicious and what a great treat for Ping! Every time you touch chocolate it comes out looking absolutely perfect and this is no exception! Even though I’m not a big cake person, this one looks like one I would definitely go for!

    1. MJ, you are so kind with your compliments… I’m really flattered. I don’t usually like cakes which are very floury, heavy etc., but I love moist, creamy ones that melt in one’s mouth… This one is like this (have you noticed there is only a tiny amount of flour?).

  6. I am so glad to be reminded of this Sissi, I have been meaning to make this coconut cake. I won’t make it with chocolate, we have chocolate way too often, granddaughter insists on chocolate. When I took that picture of her and my brown butter cake she was just posing, she had her chocolate confection on the table. But you know I am craving stuff not chocolaty and not overly sweet. Maybe that is why I NEVER bake with honey. So YES, coconut cake is on the agenda for the weekend. Yey!

    1. Zsuzsa, if you like coconut, you will become addicted to this coconut cake! (Here I have no problems convincing you because everyone seems to love it). The texture is soft and custardy (only a tiny amount of flour), hence the improvement in the fridge. In fact the eggs and desiccated coconut keep this cake together, not flour. It’s also ridiculously easy (5 minutes to prepare the batter). Good luck and please let me know if you liked it!

  7. Hi Sissi! Oh I am so glad you mentioned the coconut cake again, this variation must be heavenly also, can’t wait to make it soon! My home renovation is in the final stretch, it’s been a very long journey, though after cleaning and throwing lots of unnecessary crap that accumulated throughout the last 11 years, I can say our home is starting to take shape again. There is one big hiccup though, the shower will need to be rebuild, because the shower pane is old and leaking, but I am pushing that out of my mind for now.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno. I’m glad your renovation is almost finished. I should do the same: throw the unnecessary stuff that accumulates everywhere… I hope you can go back to cooking (and blogging!) soon. Have a lovely weekend too!

  8. Oh Sissi! You don’t know how big a grin I have right now! This is absolutely wonderful and thoughtful, thank you! … gosh, I’m having goose pimples just looking at that cake! also because I’d just made something chocolatey too! Do we know our feel-good cures or what?!
    I would certainly try out this choco-coco version. It looks so deliciously moist! What a great change to the recipe! I haven’t tried anything else besides the banana since I’ve still haven’t got bored with those. Haha! But, chocolate? Who can resist?

    1. Ping, I’m thrilled to learn you like this chocolate version. (And that you are not angry on me mentioning your small problems, but I thought that since you shared it with your visitors and since everyone who visits me know you…)
      Actually I have had this cake photo waiting for two months or more! It was just waiting for a good moment to be posted and when I went through the food photos the other day it made me think instantly of you. I thought I would have loved to be able to bring you this cake in person…

      1. I’d be thrilled to have this brought to me in person!
        Naw, I don’t mind you mentioning my problems. I’ve aired it out on my blog, got told off for it (I know it’s probably not good form to do that on a guest post … sorry, Mr T, but it came at the right moment and I had to explain and while doing so, I just let it all out) … felt good tho 🙂
        I’m very touched by this, Sissi, don’t ever think I’ll be angry at something so thoughtful. *Sniff*

        1. You are so sweet, Ping 🙂 Thank you. (I also understand very well how good it feels to let one’s anger out).

        2. Ping, no problems that you mentioned your problems on the guest post. It wasn’t quite a problem, more like you sharing your experience/incident. It was good to know because in future we can make fun of your driving skills, or lack of it:) Doesn’t matter it wasn’t your fault, we will still make fun.

          1. Hardeeharhar, Mr T. I can’t believe I actually miss all that ribbing … think you need another hibernation …. kidding! I really missed the ribbing!
            Welcome back! 🙂 … Who’s “we”?

  9. I just love your photographs, Sissi; the chocolate and coconut cake looks like it would taste every bit as gorgeous as it looks. And that it only has 1/4 cup white flour makes me think I can probably use gluten free flour for my gluten intolerant girlfriend. I might even make a warm vanilla custard sauce for it, serving the cake as cold as can be (as you recommend) with the warm sauce sounds tantalizing.
    Now to check out Ping’s blog. Thank you!

    1. Eva, thank you for all the compliments (I was actually not very happy with the photo, but I sometimes lose the patience and want to eat the cake as soon as possible!). Since there are only 3 tablespoons of flour here, I am sure you can replace it with any neutral-tasting flour and it shouldn’t change much in the consistency or taste. The most important are coconut and chocolate (unless you prepare the one without chocolate). I must say that I once tried to skip the butter in the original (only coconut) recipe and it wasn’t as good.
      In general I feel that “custardy” or very soft cakes are best the day afterwards, served from the fridge. Warm sauce sounds like an excellent and elegant way to serve it. Good luck! (I hope you will like it!).

  10. I love chocolate and my husband loves coconut so I guess this cake would please us both at the same time! So nice of you to try and cheer up your blog friend!

  11. You are such a wonderful friend, Sissi. I saw Ping post too and I bet she’s really excited that you made this choco coco version! I’ve been eating way too much chocolate lately from stress that even a chocoholic felt I had enough (which I thought it’s impossible. haha). Have a great weekend! I’ll talk to you soon!

    1. Thank you very much, Nami. I am so sorry to hear you were stressed… Are these the changes you have mentioned in your recent email to subscribers? Now everything works perfectly well, I hope! (By the way, I rather eat chocolate when I’m sad. When I’m stressed I eat EVERYTHING! haha!). Hope to talk to you soon too!

  12. What a sweet dessert to make to cheer up our wonderful friend! I think I’ll love this one, too…it looks scrumptious!

  13. Oh my God, it looks so moist I thought it wasn’t actually baked, but then I saw it was even in the oven for 40-50 minutes… and yet it still looks like that at the end?! I’m deeply impressed Sissi, and I know I would appreciate the gesture if I were in Ping’s shoes!

    You know, I still haven’t made your poppy-seed cake, despite it being on my list for months… sigh, I suppose this will also go onto my list. Let’s hope I can find the time to make it one day 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. If I can advise something, I would try to convince you to prepare the coconut cake first. It’s 100 times easier than the poppy seed one and practically effortless. It takes 5 minutes to prepare before the baking, no whipping, no kneading and you don’t even have to use a food processor (I love such cakes because some parts of the food processor have to be hand-washed, so I’m always glad when a spoon and a bowl are sufficient 😉 ). If you like coconut desserts, try first the “pure” coconut version.

  14. Oh my, that indeed looks very moist and thanks for posting this recipe and yes, I’m one of those that forgot about Ping’s version! I need to remember to make this!

    1. Thank you very much, Sylvia. I also often forget about even the most tempting recipes from friendly blogs. There are so many of them!

        1. Haha! I meant “not only YOUR weight” 😉 This cake is difficult to resist when you see it every time you open the fridge…

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