• Melt and mix chocolate coconut cake (Alan Benson)

Everyone needs a good old-fashioned chocolate cake in their repertoire that is easy enough to whip up on a whim. Made with a simple melt-and-mix method this delicious cake is a real crowd-pleaser.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (14 votes)


  • melted butter, to grease
  • 125 g diced unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 150 g (1 cups) self-raising flour
  • 55 g (½ cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 45 g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
  • extra desiccated coconut or toasted flaked coconut, to sprinkle


 Chocolate buttercream

  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 185 g (1½ cups) icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 1½ hours 

Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-forced). Grease a square 20 cm cake tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

Combine the butter, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves and mixture is combined. Remove from heat and use a fork to whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the coconut. Add the butter mixture and use a balloon whisk to stir until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely (about 1½ hours)

To make the chocolate buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Spread over the cooled cake and sprinkle with extra coconut. Cut into portion to serve.


Baker’s tips

• This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Lou Fay.


For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof.