This is one showstopper of a cake, with layers of rich chocolate cola cake covered with a dulce de leche, coconut and pecan icing.

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

As of this week, my husband is another year older and (sort of) wiser. And even though most of the celebration was super low key, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make a killer cake.

Because what’s a birthday without cake?

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

Some people show their love with surprise parties or thoughtful gifts, but I do it with sky-high cakes worthy of the occasion. And this cake is worthy of any occasion, really. Because while it’s impressive, it’s actually really easy to assemble. There’s no fancy frosting, and no fuss. Once the cake layers are ready, it takes just 5 minutes to assemble.

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

And if that doesn’t have you preheating the oven and pulling ingredients out of your pantry, let me remind you of what this cake’s got going on.

There’s three layers of chocolate cola cake— the cola flavor isn’t really prominent, but I think it’s fun and different. Then there’s dulce de leche in between each layer and drizzling down the sides— use dulce de leche from a can or make your own (see below), there’s no wrong way. And finally, mixed into the dulce de leche is toasted coconut flakes and chopped pecans.

It’s rich, chocolaty, and gooey. And it’s heaven. Kind of like a german chocolate cake, except better. My husband loved it!

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

How to make dulce de leche

For this cake you can use purchased dulce de leche, or you can make your own. To make your own pour sweetened condensed milk into a glass baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Place the baking dish inside another larger baking dish. Fill the pan with water to reach halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.

Bake for about 2 hours, stirring once or twice, until the milk is a deep caramel color. Carefully remove the dish from the water bath and remove the foil. Transfer the caramelized milk to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Let it cool to room temperature before using, or store in the fridge to use later.

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing

Yield: One 3-layer 8-inch cake

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing

A moist chocolate cake sweetened with cola soda and covered in a gooey dulce de leche icing with toasted coconut and pecans.

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2/3 cup (157 ml) hot black coffee
  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup (157 ml) cola drink, such as Coke or Dr. Pepper
  • 2 3/4 cup (332 grams) cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup (415 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the icing:
  • 2 14-ounce cans (400 grams) dulce de leche (see Note)
  • 1 cup (112 grams) Diamond of California Chopped Pecans
  • 1 cup (95 grams) shaved coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

Instructions

    To make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper, then dust the pans with flour.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot coffee and cocoa until smooth. Stir in the cola drink and set aside to cool. In another bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the oil and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the chocolate cola mixture, and ending with the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing:
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On an ungreased sheet pan, spread the shaved coconut and chopped pecans side-by-side. Toast in the oven until coconut just starts to turn golden brown, stirring coconut once, about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
  7. Put the dulce de leche in a bowl and microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes, until it is warm and pourable. In a large bowl, combine the dulce de leche, toasted coconut and pecans.
  8. To build the cake:
  9. Place one cake layer on a platter or cake stand and spoon 1/3 of the icing on top. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and icing, allowing the icing to drip down the sides. Place in the fridge for at least one hour to set before serving.
  10. Store the cake in the fridge for up to three days.

Note: To make your own dulce de leche - pour 2 14-oz cans of sweetened condensed milk into a glass baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Place the baking dish inside another larger baking dish. Fill the pan with water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pan.

Bake for 2 hours, stirring once or twice, until the milk is a caramel color. Carefully remove the dish from the water bath and remove the foil. Transfer the caramelized milk to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly before using or store in the fridge to use later.

Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. Recipe first posted in January 2012. Pictures have been updated and improvements to the recipe have been made.

http://www.completelydelicious.com/2015/01/chocolate-cola-cake-with-toasted-coconut-and-pecan-icing.html

Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing | completelydelicious.com

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29 Responses to Chocolate Cola Cake with Dulce de Leche, Coconut and Pecan Icing

  1. Maria says:

    Perfect for a birthday celebration. I hope your husband had a great birthday!

  2. Alicia says:

    That looks AMAZING. Scott wants me to make it for him.

  3. JenC says:

    Oh Yum. German chocolate cake is my fav and my bday is just weeks away…looks like I’m making my cake this year, again. But who cares when this is the end result!

  4. What a fabulous cake. We must be on the same wave length. I posted chocolate cake today too.

  5. This is *gorgeous*–great photos and a beautiful presentation, even if it is supposed to be artfully drippy. ;)

    I’m sure it tasted just as good!!

  6. Deborah says:

    That cake is stunning!! I’m a huge German chocolate fan, and that icing is amazing!

  7. beti says:

    honestly this is another level, I’m impressed with this mouth watering cake

  8. Simply Tia says:

    Somebody hold me and pinch me!! This cake looks out of this world gorgeous! Saving this for the days I need to really impress someone. Looks fabulous and I bet it tastes even better. Bravo! Well done.

  9. Kalyn says:

    Gorgeous! Of course this would not be on my diet, but the truth is I couldn’t make a cake this beautiful if my life depended on it! Hope he had a nice birthday.

  10. OK, you are going to have to remind me… why did I start a diet?
    This cake looks so good and the icing sounds amazing. My husband is a Pepper, too. He’s going to love your twist on this cake.

  11. Priya says:

    Incredible cake, simply makes me drool..

  12. Erika Beth says:

    Yum! Dr. Pepper in a cake! And while I know that would make the cake good, I can tell that icing is the winner like you said.

  13. Wow! Your husband is a very lucky man. This cake looks beyond-wonderful and I can’t blame you for licking every utensil that touched that icing.

  14. Lordy, lordy girl, this looks amazing. Will you do the same for me on my birthday? :)

  15. That is the most delicious looking cake I have seen in a long time! Bookmarked this recipe for the weekend! Might try it in cupcake form…thoughts?
    Thanks so much for sharing! If you ever get a chance, I would love some feedback on my ‘fairly new’ blog FabulouslySweet.com. It’s still in the works, but could use all the constructive criticism I can get.

    Thanks – Angela : )

    • Annalise says:

      I’m sure you could adapt the recipe for cupcakes. I couldn’t say for sure how many the recipe would make, probably a lot. And then I’d just spoon some icing on top like you would with buttercream, though it will probably want to run down the sides.

  16. Holy moly. All those drips are killing me. Also, I’m a big fan of naked cakes because I’m not so good at making the frosting look all pretty. So this is right up my alley!

  17. Flavia says:

    I love everything about this cake! I’m still pretty terrible at frosting cakes, so I like how this is more freeform in the way it’s garnished. The flavors are my favorites–German Chocolate-like, only way better! Hope Steve had a great birthday! :)

  18. Emily R says:

    UM, this is fabulous.

  19. Looking gorgeous, and maybe the best birthday cake ever! I LOVE me a german chocolate cake. It’s always my birthday cake too! Tell Steve he better give you extra foot rubs tonight.

  20. Claudia Swarthout says:

    The cake looks great! But at what temperature do you bake the condensed milk? Could not find that in the directions!

  21. Holy crap – can you make my birthday cake this year?! I htink I just fell out of my chair!!

  22. This is one serious cake! It looks amazing and I absolutely love the drippy dulce de leche and the lovely pecans and coconut. Pinned! :)

  23. I find it so hard to resist chocolate layer cakes. Gooooooorgeous!

  24. I love that you added coffee to this!! Gorgeous photos my friend!

  25. Emily says:

    I MUST HAVE THIS CAKE!

  26. Kristin says:

    Looks fabulous! What temperature do you bake the condensed milk to make dulce de leche?

  27. Mieke says:

    Hello! I’m making this cake tonight for a birthday in the office tomorrow. I’m hoping you can answer the question about temperature at which to bake the the condensed milk at – to make the dulce de leche? I went with a ‘moderate’ oven temp of 350 F. We’ll see how it goes?!

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