This decadent chocolate coconut cake recipe is topped with a creamy coconut marshmallow sauce and finished off with a layer of chocolate frosting. My husband’s absolute favorite cake!

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll most definitely enjoy this cake. It’s loaded with different flavors and textures and is a unique addition to any celebration. Looking for more chocolate recipes? Try my brownie pizza and chocolate pudding cake.

A slice of chocolate coconut cake finished with chocolate sprinkles.

I started making this chocolate coconut cake years ago when I first learned to cook. I’ve adapted the recipe over time and can confidently say that if you’re a coconut fan, you will love this cake. My husband asks for this cake every year for his birthday, he can’t be swayed by the pretty pictures of other cakes I show him in magazines or on Pinterest. He’s declared this one to be his favorite.

How do you make chocolate coconut cake?

This chocolate coconut cake starts with a single layer of chocolate cake. But no one’s that excited by a plain, unadorned piece of chocolate cake. It’s the coconut sauce that makes this one special.

When you melt marshmallows with a little milk and sugar and add coconut to the mix, something really magical happens. It forms this thick and creamy sauce which then gets spread over the cake. The sauce firms up as it cools, which means it won’t run all over the place when you cut the cake. The final touch is a layer of chocolate frosting that gets poured over the top.

Chocolate Coconut Cake Recipe | Easy Chocolate Cake | Chocolate and Coconut Recipe #cake #chocolate #coconut #dessert #dinneratthezoo

A pan of chocolate coconut cake topped with frosting and sprinkles.

The cake is pretty straightforward to make – the one thing I want to mention is that the chocolate frosting is almost like a really thick glaze. It’s best to pour it evenly over the top rather than spread it with a knife, because as it cools it will not spread smoothly. To get a nice glossy coating like in my pictures, pour it and then don’t touch it again!

A fork taking a piece of chocolate coconut cake.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just want a sweet treat to serve after dinner, no one can ever turn down a slice of cake. This chocolate coconut cake is the perfect all-occasion treat! Or in my case, the perfect annual birthday treat for my husband.

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This post was originally published on July 9, 2015 and was recently updated with new photos and recipe instructions.

More fabulous dessert recipes

Chocolate coconut cake video

4.88 from 8 votes

Chocolate Coconut Cake

AuthorSara Welch
This chocolate coconut cake recipe is a rich chocolate cake topped with a creamy coconut marshmallow sauce and finished off with a layer of chocolate frosting.
This chocolate coconut cake features a layer of rich chocolate cake topped with a creamy coconut sauce and chocolate frosting. Adapted from All Recipes and Cooking Light.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 12


For the chocolate cake:

  • 1 box devil's food cake mix
  • oil, eggs and water as directed on cake mix package
  • cooking spray

For the coconut sauce:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 15 large marshmallows
  • 3 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles


  • For the cake: Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix with the oil, eggs and water in amounts as directed on the box and bake according to package instructions. Cool completely in the pan.
  • For the coconut sauce: Combine milk, sugar and marshmallows in a medium saucepan, cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are melted.
  • Stir in coconut and cornstarch, bring to a boil. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour the coconut sauce over the cake while it's still warm, then let cool completely before you add the frosting.
  • For the frosting: Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add granulated sugar, milk and cocoa powder, cook for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly combined.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour over the cake. Add the sprinkles on top while the frosting is still warm. Do not try to spread the frosting with a knife or it will not set properly.


Make Ahead: The entire cake can be made a day in advance.
Little Helpers: Sprinkle time! Let your kids do the decorating


Serving: 1g | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2.2mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I could get lost in this; that marshmallow sauce! I want a big ole slice of this right about now!

  2. Oooohh! You have no idea how much I am drooling right now. That is a perfect recipe for dessert.

  3. What torture! I want a big slice of this amazing cake right now. The marshmallow topping trick is new to me. Definitely want to try ii,

    1. Thanks Susan, the marshmallows make it creamy and help to bind everything together, it’s like an instant sauce!

  4. I need to find a reason to make this! Yes, I need a reason, otherwise I might end up eating it all myself. Looks and sounds delicious!

  5. Uh…marshmallow cake?! Are you for real!? I’ll take 3 slices please and thank you.

  6. I have never tried a marshmallow and coconut combination before and this scrumptious chocolate cake is the perfect reason why I should! I fancy a slice or 2 right now. 🙂

  7. Oh my…I feel the calories comin on! That looks so fabulous, and your pictures are always perfect! Yum yum, thanks for sharing!


  8. Hello Sara! Great to have connected on Facebook and to have spoken to you. 🙂 You KNOW I just love your site — I think this is my…. I’m not sure how many times I’ve commented. ANYWAY, You had me at chocolate, then you had me again at marshmallows, and then you just make me want to break into the zoo, free all the animals, and then sit down like a deviant and make myself one of these as the cops come to arrest me. And I’ll tell them “Arrest me? I’m ALREADY arrested — arrested by the flavors of this dessert, that is!” They’d look at me strange and I’ll smile with chocolate still in my teeth.

    This is how awesome this recipe is! THANKS FOR ZE AMAZINGNESS! <3

    1. Hey Levan! I hereby award you the unofficial “Most Creative Commenter” award :). Thanks for stopping by, let’s chat again soon.

  9. This looks incredibly delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this, I adore marshmallow and chocolate!

  10. Yes! I love everything about this. Looks amazing *drool*. I’m definitely pinning and trying later. Thanks for sharing. -Misty

    1. Sorry to hear about your allergy, I can’t think of a good substitute for the coconut because there’s so much of it in the recipe 🙁

      1. 4 stars
        Hi, just made this cake and when I made the icing, did exactly as you showed. Took off burner and waited a minute to cool slightly. When I added the powdered sugar it seized up. I had to add a few splashes of milk to loosen it up. Did you put powdered sugar in while still hot? I really only waited at most 30 to 45 seconds. It turned out, but not as liquid as yours was. Hoping it tastes good as I am taking it to a family party tomorrow. Thanks!!

      2. Yes I add the sugar when it’s hot, powdered sugar contains corn starch so it will naturally thicken when it touches liquid. It’s totally fine to add a little more liquid, I hope your family enjoys it!