Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Dulce De Leche and Cashews

Friday, 28 March 2014

A tremendous weight of guilt has been following me around this week because of how dormant mbakes has been recently. Mama and me have just moved into the most spacious flat to ever grace the industrial beast of Bexley known as Slade Green. Moving the contents of a three bedroom house into a flat is not easy, so this ugly cake (which carries with it the most indulgent pairings) was made for the woman who carried flat packs, heavy duty black bags and my ever growing and pointless collection of kitchen ‘bits’ to the second floor. 
And it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Waitrose, who offered to help me put together a cakey so and so for Mother’s Day. They’ve also put together a collection of lovely sweet recipes, Sophie literally turned their Victoria sponge into a berry tree and it was beautiful, I’m positive her mum would have been proud!
This was the last cake I made and shot beside a huge Victorian sized window (tear). The house itself was literally falling apart, unlike this squeaky clean and cream one. The photos oh here might be darker from now on, but behind it all, I think we’ll be much happier. 

If anyone has any tips for shooting in low light I’d be so grateful! 
I’ve had this hazelnut and dulce de leche quadruple layer chocolate cake indexed from the Aussy Delicious magazine for a good year now, but I was pretty sick of hazelnuts after baking this flourless chocolate cake for the fifth time. So I scattered in a good handful of sweet coconut and it added chewiness and taste to the cake likened to a Bounty bar. 
Yes it is just another chocolate cake, but it is positively spruced up with creamy cashews, generous spreads of dulce de leche and a very buttery chocolate icing. Just promise you’ll do a better job at decorating it for Mother’s Day. 

Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Dulce De Leche and Cashews 

For the cake
230g dark chocolate 
170g unsalted butter, softened 
350g light brown sugar 
3 eggs, separated
500ml buttermilk 
1 tsp vanilla extract

375g plain flour 
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
100g sweetened shredded coconut, plus extra for sprinkling on top

200g dark chocolate 
225g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar

170g dark chocolate
411g dulce de leche (1 ½ tins)
100g cashew nuts

Note: This recipe actually yields 4 cake layers, I may have muffed up the top layer (hence the slightly questionable appearance) so I had to chuck the top cake. Whatever you do, do not put the widest cake layer at the top because the chocolate will drip all over the place, not all seductively over each layer as it should. 

Make the cakes. Preheat oven to 170 C and line two 7” or 8" cake pans with baking paper, or 4 sandwich tins. Melt chocolate over double boiler and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until pale. Add the yolks one by one, then stir through melted chocolate. In a jug, pour vanilla into buttermilk and stir. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and fluff up with a fork. Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the chocolate mixture in thirds, alternating between the two.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, fold them into the chocolate mixture and divide the batter among the pans. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean or bake for 25 minutes if using sandwich tins. Let the cakes cool in their tins for 20 minutes then invert on to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make the icing. Melt 200g chocolate over double boiler. Beat butter and icing sugar in a freestanding mixture on high speed until light and fluffy. Pour the melted chocolate in whilst the mixer is still running and mix until fully incorporated. 

Melt the rest of the chocolate (170g) over a double boiler. 

Assemble the cake. Split the cakes horizontally using a serrated knife and brush away the crumbs. Place the first layer on a cake plate and spread a quarter of the chocolate icing on top, then spread a quarter of the dulce de leche over the icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat, then do the same with the third layer. Place the last cake on top and spread with the melted chocolate, letting it drip to the sides. Sprinkle with cashews and leftover coconut then serve. Lasts for 3 days if kept covered. 
Thank you to mum, Russell, aunties, uncle and cousins for helping us move.

What will you be baking on Mother's Day?
Love Em xx


  1. Mmm-mmmm. I'm especially loving the thick layers of drippy caramel. Caramel and chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combinations =)

  2. Waah! That is one of the most beautiful cakes I have ever seen! Lucky for me, my mum will be most happy with a box of chocolate :)

  3. It's beautiful. I'd love a slice now - for breakfast!

  4. That looks so delicious! And your photography is gorgeous. Happy Mother's Day!

  5. Hi! Oh no ... you just reminded me it's mother's day tomorrow. I'm abroad and forget ... oh-oh! This cake looks incredible ... your mum is a very lucky lady! As for shooting in low light, I always shoot outside on my balcony at the moment. I'm in Greece so it's often sunny, but even on a cloudy day I find the clouds act as a pretty good difuser. The only problem is carrying everything inside and out, inside and out. Enough to drive me cra-zy ... I'm sure one of these days I'm going to drop something I've just slaved away over all over the floor! ;-)

  6. P.S. These are such beautiful photos! So beautiful in fact that I'm going to share on Facebook (with the link to your site of course!) :-)

    1. Thank you so much Helen! And thank you kindly for the photography tips! So do you take the pics outside then? What do you do about the wind? We dont have a balcony :) which is a very sad state of affairs!! x

  7. Goodness that sounds like a move and a half. Don't they say moving is supposed to be in the top three most stressful life events? I've no doubt this cake helped soothe such stresses- it looks gorgeous.

  8. Haha the collection is not pointless, it just becomes part of who we are! I have about 8 small crates of 'kitchen stuff' but wouldn't part with them, even if I have maybe cursed them under my breath after moving house 4 times in 3 years!

    I don't think your cake is ugly at all, in fact it looks so decadent I would eat a slice right now very happily!

    1. Thank you Anna, the stack just keeps getting larger...I just found a donut pan that appeared to have slipped away which has now been added to the pile - how did I forget about that one?!

  9. This is the most insanely luxurious cake I could ever imagine. Your mom is a lucky lady, and you're such a great daughter for making this for her! I'm so glad to hear the move is over and went well, and that you're hopefully quickly getting settled in. Can't wait to see what kind of incredible treats you cook up in your new kitchen!

  10. This looks AMAZING! Thanks for the mention lovely :) send this cake up my way yes?

  11. That cake is far from ugly! It looks absolutely delicious, the sponge looks lovely and moist and with the dulce du leche oozing out.. heaven! Hope you will be happy in your new place!

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  13. This looks amazing!! I am making it tomorrow for mothers day and just reading through instructions and I have a question. How much chocolate do you melt to put into cake? It says 200g for icing right? So how much for the cake?

    1. Hi Natasha, thank you!
      I'm so sorry for not including the amount, I can be so blind sometimes!
      Its 230g for the chocolate cake, 200g for the icing and 170g for the topping! A hella lot of chocolate !
      Hope you get this in time

    2. Oh thank you soooo much. Starting to bake it now for my mom. So excited to try it looks just sooo amazing!!! happy mothers day :)

  14. It was soooo good!! thank you so much for receipe!! everyone loved it!! best chocolate cake ever!

    1. I'm really happy to hear that Natasha! Thank you for making me recipe!! Glad to hear that you all enjoyed it :)

  15. Yum yum one of my favorites, gonna give this a go this week, thanks for sharing this :-)



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