New This Month

Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting


A chocolate cake enjoys an exalted presence when frosted with an irresistibly sweet, buttery spread. A garnish of shaved coconut takes the cake from diner counter to dinner-party finale.

  • Servings: 10

Photography: Kenji Toma

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2007


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • Coconut-Pecan Frosting
  • 1 cup unsweetened shaved or flaked coconut, lightly toasted, for decorating
  • 15 pecan halves, toasted, for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, and coat with cooking spray. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat in chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top.

  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan, peel off parchment, and let cool completely on rack. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour (or overnight) to make it easier to slice.

  4. Using a serrated knife, slice cake horizontally into 3 layers. Spread 1/3 of the frosting over bottom layer. Repeat, layering cake and frosting, finishing with frosting. Mound coconut in center, and arrange pecan halves around edge.

Reviews Add a comment

  • karbatt
    11 JAN, 2011
    I was really pleased with how this cake turned out. The frosting was especially delicious, and for the ease of assembly, it looked beautiful!
  • facosta
    1 AUG, 2010
    Yo lo hice es una delicia
  • facosta
    1 AUG, 2010
    Es una delicia, yo lo hice en tres moldes diferentes y queda mucho mejor. Realmente me qued?ɬ? como el de Martha.
  • RyouriBaka
    19 JUL, 2010
    To HullaGirl: I don't really know either, but if you don't have cake flour in your area, I suppose you could give it a try!
  • HullaGirl
    23 FEB, 2010
    Would it make a huge difference if I added regular flour instead of cake flour? We don't have those here where I live.
  • DessertFanatic
    17 MAY, 2008
    I have finally made this recipe for a 2nd time, and this time I made it in 3 cake pans. It worked so much better. I didn't even have to worry about leveling the cakes since the tops didn't "dome-up" on top. It was a much faster assembly process. I rotated the pans after 15 minutes, and they baked for a total of 20 minutes. My only complaint for this recipe is when cutting each piece, the slices want to fall apart since the frosting doesn't surround the entire cake. It's still very delish!
  • DessertFanatic
    26 FEB, 2008
    I've noticed that the cake has gotten more moist after it has sat around a couple days. So Delicious!! I highly recommend this recipe.
  • DessertFanatic
    24 FEB, 2008
    This cake was very delicious. I had 2 problems though. 1) The cake sunk in the middle. I don't know if that's because I live at high altitudes, or what. 2) The cake was difficult to cut into layers. The next time I make this, I'm going to try baking it in 3 separate cake pans, which would solve both problems. The cake could've been a tad more moist. The frosting was DELISH! And the toasted coconut for a garnish really gave it a nice crunch and flavor.