Makes three 6-inch rounds or two 8-inch rounds

If you like Almond Joy candy bars, this cake is your happy
place. It is a rich, mouthwatering, chocolate-covered
experience. We start off with my dense dark chocolate cake
studded with mini pockets of chocolate chips and layered with
a thick coconut filling. We cover everything with a gorgeous
almond coconut buttercream before enveloping the entire cake
in thick, soft chocolate ganache. Yep, the entire cake is covered
in ganache, not just a little drip this time. To add a warm nutty
flavor, toast the coconut before adding it to the coconut filling!

DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. Mexican vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut emulsion
  • ¼–½ cup dark chocolate cocoa
  • 1 box Duncan Hines “Dark Chocolate Fudge” cake mix
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup flour (for high altitudes)

ALMOND COCONUT BUTTERCREAM

  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut emulsion
  • 1 Tbsp. Mexican vanilla
  • ¼ cup coconut cream (or heavy cream)
  • pinch of salt
  • 5–6 cups powdered sugar

COCONUT FILLING

  • ¼ cup Almond Coconut Buttercream (recipe above)
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut

CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream

GARNISH

  • sliced almonds

Dark Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep cake rounds with a wipe
    of shortening and dust of flour. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream,
    buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and coconut emulsion until
    thoroughly combined. Sift in the cocoa and cake mix (and
    flour if high altitude) and toss in chocolate chips. Stir until
    just combined. Split cake batter evenly between prepared
    cake rounds. Don’t overmix.
  3. Bake for 25–27 minutes or until the center is fully baked. Do
    not overbake. Remove rounds from the oven, let them cool
    in the pan for 5 minutes, and then flip onto wire rack to cool
    to room temperature.

Almond Coconut Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment,
    whip up butter until it’s light and fluffy.
  2. Add in almond extract, coconut emulsion, vanilla, coconut
    cream, and pinch of salt.
  3. Slowly, about a half cup at a time, add in powdered sugar
    on medium speed. Add in more coconut cream for a thinner
    frosting and more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.
    Reserve ¼ cup of buttercream for the coconut filling.

Coconut Filling

  1. In a separate bowl, stir together the reserved buttercream,
    sweetened condensed milk, and shredded coconut. It will
    be thick, but not too thick. Add more buttercream if it’s still not a little bit soft.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  1. In a medium glass bowl, stir together the chocolate chips
    and heavy cream. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir with a
    small whisk until chocolate ganache has zero lumps and is
    thick and smooth.

Assembly

  1. On a cake turntable, tape a 6-inch cardboard round on top
    of an 8-inch cardboard round. Top with a small amount of
    buttercream and spread it around to act like “glue” for
    holding the cake onto the board.
  2. Place on first cake round, add on about ½ cup of
    buttercream (thin) and spread it flat with an offset cake
    spatula. Pipe a dam around the outer rim, then pipe or
    spoon on about ½ cup of coconut filling. Add on the next
    layer and repeat with the remaining two layers.
  3. Carefully crumb coat the cake, place in the fridge to set for
    about 10 minutes, and then add on final coat of
    buttercream.
  4. Next, add a thick layer of chocolate ganache (the closer it is
    to a medium-cool temperature is best; you want it to be
    thick enough to spread, but warm enough to spread easily).
    Use a cake scraper for clean edges.
  5. While the ganache is still wet, press almond pieces along
    the bottom rim of the cake. Refrigerate until serving.