Original Versions/ Original Wheat and Dairy

Mounds Coconut Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

“Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don’t!” With this cake, I didn’t feel like a nut. Mounds candy bars are coconut candy covered with dark chocolate. I created that effect with this coconut cake with a dark chocolate ganache glaze. However, I also added a whipped chocolate ganache filling as an extra bit of chocolate indulgence. I then finished the cake by adding Mounds Fun-Size candy bars, cut in half, on top. Next time, I think I will add Mounds candy bars around the bottom of the cake, too.

I added this cake to my offerings at the Virginia Renaissance Faire this past year. To say it was a hit is an understatement. I had a friend tend my booth so I could be cast. Several patrons chased me down to tell me how much they liked this cake. In fact, one patron, after being told I was wearing pink, stopped every cast member who was wearing pink, because she was looking for me so she could tell me how much she liked this cake!

Inspiration for cake ideas are everywhere. I now keep a notebook, and I have pages and pages of ideas. Unfortunately, it can take time to convert those ideas into something that is actually edible, especially when I try to remake the recipe as either gluten free, vegan, or diabetic friendly. It often takes me 30 or more attempts to recreate it in a different format (and remember, I have 4 formats!) so that it is a delight to the taste buds. However, the whipped chocolate ganache took no effort to develop for this cake- I have been making this for years as the filling for Chocolate Ganache Easter Eggs!


If you have ever made a cake or quick bread from scratch, you probably used the Sugar/Butter or Conventional Creaming Method. With this method, the butter/fats and sugars are creamed together, so that the sugar creates small air pockets in the butter. Eggs are then added, and then the remaining ingredients, including the flour, leavening agents, flavors, and typically a dairy product to bind the fats to the flour. Those air pockets in the fat expand during baking when a leavening agent, such as baking powder, is added, thus creating a light, high rising cake. Unfortunately, with this cake, the “light, high rising” aspect became a real problem: Not only did it tend to dome, but if I tried to make multiple smaller layers, the cake often rose right over the edge of the cake pan! So instead, for this cake, I used the Two-Stage, aka Reverse Creaming Method.

With the Reverse Creaming Method, all of the dry ingredients are blended together, and then the fat and a small amount of liquid or one egg, is mixed into the flour until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Then the remaining liquids and eggs are added and all ingredients are mixed together, typically until the batter is smooth. Since there is no aeration due to the mixing of the fats and sugars, cakes made with this method tend not to rise as high and may appear more dense. However, this method produces an unimaginably tender cake because when the butter or fat is creamed with the flour, the flour proteins are covered with the fats, and only a minimal amount of gluten can be formed. Gluten formation is the bane of bakers using the Conventional Creaming Method, and is why so many recipes require gently mixing the wet and dry ingredients, or even simply folding them together.


For this cake, the coconut needs to be shredded as finely as possible. The pieces of coconut in the typical bag of shredded, sweetened coconut are fairly large and can cause the cake to cut in a ragged manner or be crumbly. To finely shred the coconut, place the coconut in a food processor and pulse until fairly fine. One can also place the coconut on a cutting board and use a very sharp knife to cut it repeatedly until it is very fine. But isn’t a food processor easier?


When baking, eggs usually need to be room temperature. Cold eggs can result in a lumpy batter and heavy texture. To quickly bring eggs to room temperature before cracking, place eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes.

Crack eggs into a small bowl before adding to the batter. That way, it is easy to remove any bits of eggshell or bloody eggs.

A large egg should weigh about 50-55 grams. This recipe requires 2 eggs, which should have a combined weight of about 100-110 grams. However, with the current egg shortage due to Avian Flu, I sometimes find a few much smaller eggs mixed into the carton of Large Eggs. (One time, I found a Peewee Size egg in my carton of Large eggs. Peewees weigh only 35 grams!) I have included the weight of 2 Large eggs, so that, if necessary, extra eggs can be added or larger eggs can be used. To measure out the correct amount of eggs, break eggs into a small bowl and whisk, then pour out the amount needed for this cake and store any extra egg for other uses.


This is a very moist cake and tends to stick to the cake pans. To prevent this, line the bottoms of the cake pans with parchment paper. To do so, place the cake pans on the parchment paper. Use a permanent marker to trace around the bottom of the cake pans. Cut out the circles by cutting inside the pens marks. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and then place the parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan. With this cake, be sure to spray the parchment paper as well, to prevent the cake from sticking to the paper.

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Parchment paper lining the bottom of the cake pans.


A food scale is very helpful for measuring how much cake batter to put in each pan. Each pan should hold about 22 ¾ ounces of cake batter.

Cake ready to bake.
And fully baked into a beautiful golden crust.

After 10-15 minutes, run the flat side of a knife around the edge of the baked cake to loosen it from the cake pan, then remove the cake, with the parchment paper still attached, and place on a cooling rack. The parchment paper will prevent the cake layers from sticking to the cooling racks and will prevent the cooling racks from leaving marks on the cake layers..


Both the whipped ganache filling and the ganache glaze are initially made the same way- Heavy Whipping Cream is poured into a microwave-safe mixing bowl and heated for 2 minutes in a microwave. The bowl is then removed and the chocolate is added to the cream and allowed to melt, without any further heating, until it can be stirred smooth. However, while the ganache glaze is poured over the top of the cake to create a shiny finish, the ganache for the whipped filling is cooled to room temperature and then whipped with an electric mixer until it is firm enough to hold its shape, but is still soft and does not appear dry.

To cool the whipped ganache filling quickly, place the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath. To make an ice water bath, fill the bottom of a larger bowl or baking pan with a minimum 2″ high sides, with ice and water. This will cool the ganache to about 68 degrees in approximately 5 minutes. Be sure to wipe off any water that is on the bottom of the bowl before whipping the ganache.

The creamy ganache- ready to whip or simply pour over the top of the cake.


Once the cake layers are ready to assemble, place one layer, top side down, on the serving plate and spread the whipped ganache filling to within about 1/4″ of the edge of the cake.

Yes, the ganache filling will lighten in color as air is incorporated into it.

Place the second cake layer on top. Prepare the ganache glaze, cool for about 1-2 minutes, then pour over the top of the cake, letting the ganache drip down the sides.


And since this is a Mounds Coconut Cake, add some Mounds Fun-Size candy bars, cup in half, around the top of the cake. (Or even around the bottom of the cake!)

Assuming there is any of this cake left to store after serving once: Chocolate should never be stored in a refrigerator as this causes the chocolate to become dry. This cake should be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature to prevent the chocolate ganache from becoming dry and hard.

Mounds Coconut Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

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By Connie Teunis Serves: 12

A rich coconut cake, reminiscent of a Mounds candy bar, filled with a whipped dark chocolate ganache and topped with a dark chocolate ganache glaze. Add Mounds candy bars on top for the finishing touch.


  • Cake Ingredients:
  • 270 g./ 2 ¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 384 g./ 2 c. Granulated Sugar
  • 170 g./ 1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 150 g./ 1 ½ c. Finely Shredded Sweetened Flaked Coconut
  • 100-110 g./ 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c. Full-Fat Coconut Milk, whisked*
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 t. Coconut Extract
  • Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling:
  • ¾ c. Heavy Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream
  • 170 g./ 1 c. Dark Baking Chocolate**
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
  • ½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream or Heavy Cream
  • 85 g./ ½ c. Dark Baking Chocolate**
  • 6 Mounds Fun Size Bars, cut in half at an angle



To Make the Cake:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9” round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the two pans with parchment paper; spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.


Place the flaked coconut in the bowl of a food processor; process until coconut is finely chopped.


In a small bowl, combine the whisked coconut milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract; set aside.


In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the softened butter and one egg; mix on low speed until butter and flour mix are completely combined. Add the prepared shredded, sweetened coconut and mix until completely combined.


Add the remaining egg and the coconut milk mix; beat on low speed until combined, then on medium speed until smooth.


Pour equal amounts of batter into each of the two prepared cake pans, about 22 ¾ ounces per pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester (metal cake testers are more accurate than toothpicks), when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean. If an instant read thermometer is available, bake until an instant read thermometer reads 210-215 degrees.


Place cake pans on cooling racks; cool for 10-15 minutes. Run the flat side of a knife around the side of the pans to loosen the cake layers. Tip each layer out of the pan, with parchment paper attached, and place on cooling racks; cool completely.


To Make the Whipped Ganache Filling:


Pour ¾ c. Heavy Whipping Cream into a medium-large microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes. Use hot pan holders to remove the bowl from the microwave. Add the baking chocolate and let stand until chunks melt and can be whisked smooth. Let cool to a cool room temperature. To cool the ganache quickly, place the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath until ganache is cool.


With an electric mixer, whip the ganache until it is firm enough to hold its shape but is still soft and does not appear dry.


To Assemble:


Place one cake layer, top-side down, on a cake plate; remove the parchment paper. Spread the whipped ganache over the bottom layer, stopping about ¼” from the edge of the layer. Remove the parchment paper from the second layer and place top-side up, on top of the whipped ganache. Prepare the ganache glaze.


To Make the Ganache Glaze:


Place ½ c. of Heavy Whipping cream into a medium bowl; microwave on high for 2 minutes. Use hot pan holders to remove the bowl from the microwave. Add the baking chocolate and let stand until chips melt and can be whisked smooth. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then pour over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache to drip down the sides of the cake. Cool until glaze is firm.




To Store: Wrap with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.


*Use coconut milk that has only 2-3 ingredients: water, coconut, and optional guar gum. I use Thai Coconut Milk and Thai Organic Coconut Milk. Do not use coconut milk mixes.


**Dark Baking Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Chips should be at least 60% Cocoa. If you choose to use unsweetened baking chocolate, add 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.


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