In the midst of the chaos that is becoming my life, I promised myself there would still be relaxing baking moments. Moments when I can stop making lists in my head, planning what to keep or give away or even what I can fit in our not so big apartment in Vienna where we will be moving to next July.

Fortunately, when you are baking your mind cannot or at least should not just wander off, as baking is pretty much an exact science. I remember a couple of times when distracted and about to put a cake in the oven, realizing I had overlooked some ingredient.

This fortunately did not happen with this amazing Coffee Coconut cake. What to say about a cake that is fluffy, moist, topped with chocolate and the wonderful crunchiness of toasted coconut? Or about its heavenly filling of both coffee and Baileys?

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All I can say is that it was so good, it only lasted two days. As a coffee lover I really enjoyed the strong coffee taste. I used a strong espresso to emphasize it even more but you can always use instant coffee. Either way, you will love it.

Coffee Coconut Cake

(adapted from a recipe by the Chef Mafalda Pinto Leite)

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Base :

  • 200 g/7 oz unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup self rising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of desiccated shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp milk


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (extra)
  • 2 tsp espresso or instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp Baileys or Kahlua
  • 1 cup desiccated shredded coconut, toasted

Cover :

  • 2 cups fresh cream
  • 400 g/14 oz dark baking chocolate


  1. Start with the chocolate covering. Heat the cream in a saucepan at medium-low. When small bubbles appear on the surface, remove from the heat and add the chocolate in small pieces. Wait a few minutes to let it start melting and then mix with a spoon until well incorporated and creamy. Refrigerate to solidify a bit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/338ºF. Line with parchment paper the bottom of two 20 cm/8 inch round baking pans and grease the sides with butter. I didn’t have this size so used two 23 cm/9 inch round baking pans which reduced the height of my cake a bit but I actually liked it this way.
  3. In an electric mixer beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix. Sift in the flour and the baking powder. With a metal spoon fold in until well combined. Pour in the coconut and the milk and fold in.
  4. Divide the batter equally between the baking pans and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, they will be ready when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove and let the cakes cool down in the pans for 5 minutes and then invert them onto wire racks to cool down completely.
  5. In the meantime, heat the water and the sugar in a saucepan at medium heat, mixing  until the sugar is dissolved. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes without mixing or until it thickens. Add the coffee and the Baileys. Remove from the heat and let it cool down completely.
  6. If you used the smaller 20 cm/8 inch pans you may want to cut each cake in two equal parts and then have a 4 layer cake instead of my two layer cake. You start by putting the first layer in a plate with the cut part up and then spread on top a bit of the coffee cream. Repeat the procedure until you get to the top layer.
  7. Remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge and cover the cake evenly. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and serve. Enjoy!

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Welcome! Through my photography and my travels, you will discover the people I have encountered and the places that will stay with me forever. In this crazy new reality we seem to be living, it is even more important to be grateful for all the people who have crossed our path and touched us in same way. As for all the old and new stones, they can live in our imaginary for now, waiting, when the time is right again ...


  • Yup!! Lists, lists, lists…they are starting to appear here as well…it is the season ha, ha. But you must have everything under control because the cake looks amazing! Kisses from Zagreb

    • Maria says:

      Thank you Maria! The worse are the books, how to gain courage to put some in storage? What to choose? One thing I’m sure, the cooking books are all in 🙂 And the Travel writing ones but then there is Literature and Middle East and … Better go and bake some more not to think about it! Kisses

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