Chocolate Coconut Dream Cake

Chocolate Coconut Dream Cake

It’s that time again for another Hawaiian styled, local dessert – yum!

I had mentioned in a previous post that my family was starting to have themed dinners of local food from Hawaii and I planned on baking through favorite island desserts to match. I am happy to report that we successfully completed round number two and that I was able to bake a cake I only had vague memories of.

Chocolate Coconut Dream Cake

The Chocolate Dream Cake. I’m sure I’ve eaten it on numerous occasions while in Hawaii, but I just didn’t know it. There are just too many whipped cream topped delights from the islands to keep track of! Be it chiffon, one of my personal loves, or a dream cake, they are all incredibly tasty and I would never ever say no to a slice.

Chocolate Coconut Dream Cake

I wish I could elaborate more on the origins of the dream cake; however I can liken it to a cake from the Asian pastry shops due to the lighter consistency. The cake and the whipped cream frosting are only lightly sweetened and are not nearly as heavy as their buttercream counterpart. The addition of coconut made this piece of Hawaii full-fledged tropical and put big smiles on the faces of my family.

Here’s a piece of Aloha from me to you!

Chocolate Coconut Dream Cake
Inspired by the What Hawaii Likes to Eat cookbook
Makes: about 12 servings, Difficulty: Intermediate


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 6 ounces vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm water

Frosting & Topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • flaked coconut for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and dust a 9×13-inch baking pan with cocoa powder and set aside.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer. Place bowl in mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, beat in oil, buttermilk, coconut extract, eggs, and hot water one at a time blending well after each addition. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack completely.

Once cooled, cut the cake into thirds (each layer will be approximately 4.25×9-inches) width wise and remove carefully from the pan. On a clean surface or on a piece of parchment paper, trim the top of the cake with a serrated knife or blade to create even layers for stacking the cake.

Make the whipped cream: With a stand or hand mixer, beat the heavy cream on high-speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and coconut extract and beat until stiff peaks form.

Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate with the edges lined with parchment or waxed paper (this will help keep the plate clean). Spread whipped topping on top to form a layer about 1/2-inch thick; repeat with remaining layers of cake and whipped topping. Be sure to save enough to frost sides and top of cake. Once completely frosted, sprinkle the top and sides with the flaked coconut. Remove the parchment or waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.



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