This chocolate coconut Easter egg cake is the most adorable cake for your vegan Easter celebration! With a rich chocolate coconut cake, cream cheese frosting, and chocolate coated coconut, this Easter cake is decorated to be an easter basket and is so much fun to make!
Chocolate Coconut Cake:
- 1 cup (240 mL) full fat coconut milk*, room temperature
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 1/4 cups (400 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup (60 g) all natural cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (11 tbsp or 155 g) unsalted vegan butter*, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (190 g) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (or 1/2 cup brewed coffee, decaf if desired)
- 1 cup (95 g) toasted coconut flakes
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 cups vegan butter, softened
- 4–5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese
- 4 cups toasted coconut flakes
- 1 cup melted vegan chocolate, room temperature
- Vegan candy eggs (see notes) for decoration
- Be sure to read all instructions before beginning. Measure out all ingredients for the cake.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F, and prepare three 6″ cake pans. You can use 8″ cake pans if you’d like. Grease the bottoms and sides of the pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by mixing together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for 5-7 minutes to curdle. The coconut milk won’t curdle like it does with soy milk or almond milk (more on that in my post on how to make vegan buttermilk), but it will act similarly. We will refer to it as buttermilk in this post.
- Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl and a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then add in the applesauce and vanilla extract, and mix again on medium speed until combined. To the mixture, add in about half of the flour mixture, along with half of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until the flour starts to combine with the wet. Add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, and mix again just until there are no more dry streaks. Slowly pour in the hot coffee and coconut flakes, and mix on medium speed until the coffee has just mixed into the batter.
- Bake the cakes: Pour the batter into the three cake pans evenly. Place the cakes into the oven and bake for 26-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using three 8″ cake pans, the cakes will bake a bit quicker. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting: When ready to frost, beat the vegan butter and cream cheese together until creamed, about 3 minutes. Then sift in the powdered sugar and continue beating until it becomes a fluffy frosting, using dairy free milk as needed to help with consistency.
- Frost the cake: place the bottom layer onto a cake plate and adding about 1 cup of frosting to the top of the cake. Spread it just to the edges, then add the second layer and repeat. Top with the third layer and frost with the remaining frosting. Then place the cake into the fridge for the buttercream to cool and set while you make the chocolate coated coconut.
- Coat the coconut in chocolate: Melt the vegan chocolate and evenly coat the toasted coconut in the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to cool a bit more, and remove the cake from the fridge.
- Decorate the cake: This next part will be messy. Press the chocolate coconut flakes into the cake frosting until the entire cake is coated. Then place the cake carefully into the fridge to set for 5 minutes. When ready, top the cake with the vegan candy eggs, and enjoy!
- Storage: Store any leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 2 days or sliced in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Vegan buttermilk: Coconut milk will not curdle like soy milk and almond milk; however, the acv in the coconut milk will still react with the baking soda, and thus create a reaction.
Gluten free: Use gluten free 1:1 baking flour (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag, and I do NOT recommend Namaste GF flour).
Vegan Candy Eggs: I used a combination of Doisy & Dam vegan candy coated chocolate eggs and my homemade vegan Cadbury Eggs. Please see the full post for more vegan Easter candy options.
Keywords: Easter egg cake, easter nest cake, vegan easter cake