Now this, is a serious cake. Not serious in that it’s difficult to make (it just looks impressive). And not serious in that it doesn’t have a personality (it’s aptly named for one of the classic candy bars for Pete’s sake). But, it is layer upon layer of decadant chocolate coconut indulgence. It’s also pretty darn dangerous. After successfully giving away the majority of the cake to my neighbors (can you believe one door I knocked on, the couple only took one slice?! they aren’t “into sweets”), and vowing to only have two forkfulls, I found myself standing at the counter having finished the equivalent of two slices right from the cake stand.
As with most layer cakes, this cake has a number of steps and requires a lot of time, start to finish. But each step is very easy and it makes the perfect weekend day project, where you can catch up on laundry, read a bit of your book, or organize your pantry (doesn’t everyone wish they had time to organize their pantry?). And when you taste it, I think you’ll agree it was well worth the effort. Well, unless you’re aren’t “into sweets”.
Take out your pencil and scissors, it’s time to trace and cut
Then grease (aka brush with butter)
Dry ingredients, chocolatey wet ingredients, and coconut. It’s almost cake batter.
From cake batter to cake
Time to make the filling
Split each cake in half (use a serrated knife, a steady hand, and cut from the outside towards the center, turning as you cut) and start layering
Whip up some sweetened cream in lieu of icing, and top with sliced almonds
Almond Joy Layer Cake – Everyday with Rachel Ray
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt (plus a pinch)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 bag (14 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
Adjust an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325. Butter 2 8″ round cake pans. Line with parchment and butter the parchment.
In a medium saucepan, bring 2/3 cup water to boil. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the butter and chocolate over low heat until melted, about 2 min. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Whisk in 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in 1 cup packed coconut. Divide the batter between the pans and bake until firm in the center, about 35 min. Let cool in the pans on racks for 10 min., then invert onto racks to cool completely.
While the cake cools, spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 12 min. Let cool.
In a large saucepan, combine 3/4 cup cream, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and pinch of salt. Simmer, stirring over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 min. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tsp. vanilla and coconut. When cool, fold in 1 1/2 cups almonds.
Split each cake in half to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer cut side up on a cake stand and spread with 1 cup of the coconut-almond mixture. Top with the second layer cut side down and spread with 1 cup more of the mixture. Repeat with the remaining 2 cake layers and filling, spreading the filling on the top. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 hrs. to firm up.
Whip the remaining 2 1/4 cups cream with the confectioner’s sugar until stiff. Spread over the cake. Sprinkle the top with the remaining almonds.