What do you get when you take the coconut cake recipe from The Ruffled Mango Cake, slather it with my grandmother’s legendary homemade cocoa fudge frosting, and generously sprinkle it with the toasted goodness of sliced almonds and shaved coconut? What? You already figured it out? HOW IN THE WORLD??! You must be some kind of psychic. You know, if I believed in that. 😉
Wait, hmmm? You read the title?
Well, now I feel a bit silly. 😉
But you’re totally right….Almond Joy Cake, it is. It was a very happy accident when I created this for my dad’s birthday earlier this month. See, I was planning to make the aforementioned Ruffled Mango cake again because my dad likes both coconut and mango. But Jeremy intervened, insisting that “my dad” would want something chocolate. (Meaning he, himself, wanted something chocolate. Oh, wait, you picked up on that, too? You are FAST.)
So the wheels started turning – I could make the coconut cake (which is So Good just by itself!) topped with my grandmother’s cocoa fudge frosting. And y’all…this is no canned frosting. No comparison. In fact, this frosting is part of a longtime family story that happened when my mom was in college. She was home for the summer, in the very house that we live in now. My sweet grandmother had made a yellow cake with that homemade frosting – and everything about that cake was my mother’s very favorite. The family had planned to go on a picnic the next day, so my grandmother allowed only one slice per family member after dinner that night…with strict instructions to keep the rest for their picnic lunch. My grandmother covered the cake and stored it safely in the extra pantry closet.
Well, later that evening, my aunt Becky slipped into the dark kitchen. She maintains that she was “probably going to sweep or something.” 😉 And when she opened that closet, my mother was quietly standing in the dark, hiding next to what has become known as “Closet Cake.” It must have been quite a shock to find A PERSON in that closet. But I have a feeling that once she found out it was her sister (who has obviously had a sweet tooth for many years), the shock was a little lessened.
Ya’ll thought I was throwing that word “legendary” around lightly, didn’t you? We even recreated that scene a few years ago. 😉 And my mom requests Closet Cake for every birthday of hers that rolls around.
I started realizing that this cocoa fudge frosting might just be incredibly delicious on the layers of coconut cake. And then…I remembered the Almond Joy cookies that our local Big Star grocery sells in their bakery. They’re so good. In fact, my dad was the one who brought me my first taste of one.
It was settled. Almond Joy would be turned into a cake.
And what a cake it was. Once we all tasted it, with exclamations of deliciousness all around – and a few second helpings – I knew that this cake would be added to our list of Family Favorites. I hope you, dear readers, enjoy it just as much as we did.
Just don’t be surprised if your family members start hiding in closets to sneak a taste. 😉
- 1 white cake mix
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 2 tsp. coconut extract
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1/2 c. cocoa
- 1 box confectioners sugar (16 oz or about 3 1/2 c.)
- ~7 Tbsp. coconut milk (the regular closet cake recipe calls for milk)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/8 c. shaved unsweetened coconut pieces, toasted
- 1/8 c. sliced almonds, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 2 regular size cake pans.
- Mix all of the cake ingredients until completely incorporated.
- Divide into cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.
- Let cake layers cool for 10 minutes in their pans and then remove them to cooling racks.
- Carefully slice off the top of each cake layer to make it even.
- Eat the cake scraps. 😉
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Blend in cocoa and stir until smooth (should take less than a minute), taking care not to scorch the butter.
- Pour into a mixing bowl.
- Alternately add the confectioners sugar and tablespoons of coconut milk and combine using a mixer.
- Add the vanilla before the last Tbsp. of coconut milk - you may not need the last Tbsp. of milk.
- If necessary, add a little more confectioners sugar if the frosting needs a little more body.
- Frost the cake as usual, taking care to leave enough icing for the sides.
- Toast the almonds and sliced coconut pieces and sprinkle on the top.
- *You should need only one can of coconut milk for the cake and the frosting.
- *This cake is best eaten the same day as making; the next day the toasted toppings are not quite as crisp (but still yummy!)
- *To make the traditional "Closet Cake," use a yellow cake mix (we used Duncan Hines for years, but it seems to have started yielding a flatter cake, so we've transitioned over to Betty Crocker lately)
- *For "Closet Cake" frosting, use 1% or 2% milk instead of coconut milk
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