Rich Chocolate Cake with Coconut Filling and Ganache

By • January 26, 2010 • 81 Comments



Author Notes: My friends often request the Hyde Park Fudge Cake for their birthdays, which I've made a hundred times. This variation has a yummy coconut filling and a decadent ganache that I could eat with a spoon until I'm sick! - nannydebnannydeb

Food52 Review: This is the bear hug of chocolate cakes -- it's big, it's rich and it's lovable. Inside the dense, sweet cake is tangy layer of cream cheese and coconut. And on top of the bundt cake is a thin ganache glaze. You're supposed to bake the cake in a Bundt pan, but if you don't have one, a tube pan works well (and makes it easier to cut out the cake if it gets stuck). - A&MA&M

Serves 10 to 12

  • 18 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, divided, chopped
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup strong black coffee
  • 3 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Set out the cream cheese to soften. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt 8 ounces of the chocolate with the shortening. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese with 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/3 cup sugar and the coconut. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooled chocolate mixture, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and coffee.
  6. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cake flour, soda and salt.
  7. Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just incorporated.
  8. Pour half of the chocolate cake mixture in to the bundt pan. Top that with the coconut/cream cheese mixture and then top that with the remaining cake mixture.
  9. Bake on the center rack of a 350 degree oven for 45-65 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake in the bundt pan on a wire rack for 10 mintues. Invert the cake on a serving plate to cool further.
  11. While cake is cooling, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  12. Once the cake has cooled, drizzle or pour (depending on how much icing you want) the ganache on to the cake.
Jump to Comments (81)

Tags: cake, rich

Comments (81) Questions (0)

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5 months ago Linda


18 ounces of chocolate divided seems like an awful lot. Does that mean 18 squares of bakers chocolate?

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6 months ago Linda Browne

I'm going to make this cake for a dinner party on Sunday. I'm going to put some whole toasted almonds on top of the cake before the ganache so that it is like an Almond Joy candy bar.

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7 months ago Mignardise

Made this cake yesterday and serve it after dinner tonight. It's definitely a keeper! So rich and fudgy. I used coconut oil, per all the suggestions. Also had no problem getting it out of the pan (baking spray + cocoa powder) or with overflow. The coconut filling is perfect. Incredibly delicious - so glad I have some left for tomorrow!

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7 months ago Jinran

I have to say this is really a fantastic cake recipe and all my friends like it. I used silicone pans, so I don’t have the stick problem. Since I don’t have shortening at hand, I used unsalted French better instead, and it turned out to be wonderful. And I took your guys suggestion; I used half cake flour and half whole-wheat flour, which works so great. But I decreased the amount of sugar, and used brown sugar instead. I used up my chocolate, so I whipped heavy cream and dressing with my homemade rose sauce. What a wonderful cake we have in years. Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful recipe.

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8 months ago brookev

This is an excellent cake recipe! We love it. I substituted the shortening with virgin coconut oil, HALVED the sugar in the cake to 1 1/2 cups (which I felt was the perfect amount of sweetness, especially since the cake has a bit of melted chocolate in it too), used whole-wheat pastry flour instead of white flour, and toasted the coconut. PERFECTION!

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about 1 year ago farida kee

I mixed 1 TBS melted butter with 1 TBS of cocoa-powder to make a paste and brush onto the Bundt pan and the cake slipped out perfect.But there was some "oozing" from the cake-and the cake "puffed up" high and cracked the whole top of the cake-how can I prevent that?I opt not to use the ganache and the cake was wonderfully rich and tasty!

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about 1 year ago cwya

I just dont get it. I know I'm way old and stuff but seriously--a debate over "shortening?" I shudder to imagine what people might think if they knew that "shortening" is a commercial substitute for LARD. So by all means be horrified if you must but if you truly want the purist original flavor I suggest pig fat and baking in a wood-fired stove. My gramma's new gas oven was featured in the newspaper!I too am at 6400ft and the only subs I have to use are adding a little more flour, another egg, and a tiny bit of oil for flavor if desired. Increase heat a tad and lengthen time til top is crusty to touch. I am serious about this recipe since my grandmother made it as "mahogany" cake and it was devoured to the last crumb. The coconut filling is great for modern palates I guess, but a maple/chocolate icing and pecans make it absolutely superlative. 22 hired hands cant all be wrong!

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about 1 year ago Eva

Superb. Make this now.

I made the following substitutions:
2c sugar in the batter (instead of 3)
Coconut oil instead of shortening (1:1 substitution)
1c each whole wheat pastry, home-milled kamut, home-milled spelt flours

All four of us rated this a 9 or 10. We fully expect it will get even better over the next few days, as many chocolate cakes do. May freeze half of it.

Oh, also: I had tremendous good luck getting mine out of the bundt pan in one gorgeous piece. I was apprehensive, but generously greased (using coconut oil) and cocoa powdered the mold, and said a little prayer as I flipped it. Whew!

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about 1 year ago LeeLeeBee

I made this cake to celebrate our fifth anniversary. It was absolutely fantastic - very flavorful and moist. I was a bit worried about the amount of sugar (don't like desserts to be super sweet), but the cake was perfect.

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about 1 year ago nancy56

One of the best chocolate cake recipes ever!

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over 1 year ago Sherry Schreiber

This cake is fantastic and gets better with age. I froze it in slabs, and when I want some, I remove it from the freezer and defrost it in the microwave. It is even better than when it is just baked. Also I used mascarpone for the filling rather than cream cheese, and it worked beautifully. If you cover the top with shredded coconut, it really looks special.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Todd Lent

Hi, just wanted to let you know I made this for my birthday, but since I'm vegan, I veganized the recipe. It came out amazing!

Instead of shortening, I too used coconut oil. I used two kinds of dark vegan chocolate. Ener-G egg Replacer for the eggs. And a tub of Galaxy vegan cream cheese. Other than that, I basically used the normal ingredients for everything else. Oh, and for the topping I used chocolate chips, coconut oil, Earth Balance and more shredded coconut which basically turned the whole outside of the cake into a giant Mounds bar. :-)

I have to say, it came right up to the top of the pan and stopped, so I didn't have any overflow or extra baking time issues. (It took about an hour.) Thanks again for the amazing (now vegan) recipe. This is going to be one of my go-tos for a while! (Wish I could post a picture.) :-)

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almost 2 years ago Lisakb

I adore coconut....and chocolate......this is now added to my "to do" list! I do have a chocolate zucchini bread recipe that has coconut, and it is excellent., I have to say that I was initially turned off by the shortening, though I do have some of the non-hydrogenated type. Love the coconut oil suggestion, especially since my husband puts it in everything! I have really tried to cut down on the fat content (and calories) of recipes as we get older. I no longer make things with a whole cup of oil or multiple sticks of butter. There are plenty of ways to sub for some of the fat without losing the moistness of the finished product. So, I guess I will play around with this a bit.

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about 2 years ago Vicky K

I agree with Aurora. Shortening? The word always makes me run for cover, or else just turn the page if I´m reading recipes.
I feel like I´m reading something from a past age. Butter for baking of, if absolutely necesarry - oil. But I´ve never had an oil cake that was as delicious as a cake with butter.
If people think they are doing something healthier buy using oil or shortening - fagetaboutit.

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about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Look, if you don't like the recipe then by all means, bake something else. There is no cause nor it is your place to judge or criticize anyone else's choice of ingredients - different people find different things work for them, appeal to their taste. Run for cover if you must but please don't post negative comments on what a LOT of people have had great success with and enjoyed mightily.

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about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Look, if you don't like the recipe then by all means, bake something else. There is no cause nor it is your place to judge or criticize anyone else's choice of ingredients - different people find different things work for them, appeal to their taste. Run for cover if you must but please don't post negative comments on what a LOT of people have had great success with and enjoyed mightily.

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about 2 years ago Vicky K

I agree with Aurora. Shortening? The word always makes me run for cover, or else just turn the page if I´m reading recipes.
I feel like I´m reading something from a past age. Butter for baking of, if absolutely necesarry - oil. But I´ve never had an oil cake that was as delicious as a cake with butter.
If people think they are doing something healthier buy using oil or shortening - fagetaboutit.

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over 2 years ago AireHead

I made this for my Mom's 91st birthday and it was AWFUL. I am an experienced baker, and gasped in horror at the shortening (used coconut oil as another suggested) and it did ooze out of the pan, not once but twice, but it was so hard and dry I had to cut it with a BREAD knife. The only outlier is I live in Denver 5280 feet, but have been used to minor modifications in only commercial box mixes. Followed the recipe to a "t" except for exchanging oils. Was looking forward to rich/delicious was a possible masonry substitute instead. The first chocolate brick.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We're very sorry you had a bad experience with the cake. Not sure what went wrong with yours; we made ours with shortening (and just to be clear, you can always use non-hydrogenated shortening) and it turned out well. The one you see in the photo is the one we made. Not doubting that you had trouble -- just noting that under the right conditions (and I've never dealt with high altitude baking so no sure how this messes with recipes), it is a good cake.

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over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have had this cake on numerous occasions and it is ALWAYS rich and moist and incredibly delicious. I am not sure what all of the fuss is over shortening - bakers use it often and it is available in an organic version just like most other ingredients - plant based, inoffensive. Not worth a horrified gasp I don't think. Perhaps the altitude IS your issue, but this is one damn fine cake

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over 1 year ago pattycakes

At your altitude, Airehead, I'm surprised that you haven't experienced more problems with not adapting cakes to high altitude! I live at 6200 ft, and my usual adaption is to add an extra egg, decrease leavening by at least 1/4th (both soda and baking powder), and decrease sugar by the same. Raise the heat by 25 degrees. If you do this with every cake recipe from the get-go, you'll find they all work at altitude. Some will need a little more tweaking, perhaps, but you won't have the overflow that you experienced with this recipe as is. It's just that the science of baking doesn't allow for an all-altitudes recipe!

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over 2 years ago Green Rider

I have not had good luck with a Bundt pan (any tips for smooth removal?), so I went to a Tube pan instead; and after preparing the pan I also put parchment on the bottom. It came out perfectly.

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about 3 years ago losangel

When I bake a cake where the pan is greased and floured, I always let my cake cool completely, but before unmolding, I heat it over a gas burner to soften the shortening. It will release easier once the shortening and cocoa powder are soft, give the cake a little jiggle and it should come right out without any problems.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Cool tip -- thanks.

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almost 4 years ago cookster

How much coconut oil do you use to replace the shortening?

Lobster_001

almost 4 years ago nannydeb

I used the same amount, 2/3 cups. It was delicious!

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almost 4 years ago cookster

How much coconut oil do you use to replace the shortening?

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almost 4 years ago cheese1227

Do you think I can make these in cupcake form?

Lobster_001

almost 4 years ago nannydeb

I've never tried it in cupcake form, but I suppose you could fill the cupcake papers with a little batter, add a dollup of coconut filling and then top with some more batter? If you try it, please let me know how it worked out.

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almost 4 years ago cheese1227

That's what I was thinking. I need the recipe to stretch to 14 on a buffet so I was thinking that 14-16 cupcakes would look like more generous servings than 14 small cake pieces.

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over 4 years ago likestocooklovestoeat

In addition to my comment above about baking time (40 minutes extra and it overflowed our 11 cup baking pan like crazy), I thought I'd add that it came out of the pan like a dream - we greased our heavy non-stick Bundt three times to ensure every nook and cranny was covered, cocoa-ed it up and stuck it in the fridge; that did the trick. The end product is tasty, so it was worth the extra hassle.

Me

over 4 years ago Adriana

Setting aside the sad fact that it took me a month to get around to making this cake (time to rethink my priorities) I would like to note two things. First, coconut oil works as an excellent substitute for shortening and will make your kitchen smell like you're living inside a macaroon. Also, to get around the wet/heavy problem I used a spring form pan with a McCann's Irish oatmeal can inside for a makeshift tube pan that would releases the cake more easily--it worked! Lined with waxed paper, by the way. Since I live with infidels who do not worship chocolate it's whipped cream with more coconut flakes instead of the ganache for us.

Lobster_001

almost 4 years ago nannydeb

My husband said he "wanted more coconut" in this cake, which I didn't think was possible. So, upon your suggestion, I subbed the coconut oil and it was fabulous! Thanks!

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over 4 years ago personalchef

Just checked on my cake in the oven after 45 minutes and half of it has spilled out over the cake pan onto the bottom of my oven. I thought I did everything right after spending good money on the ingredients and making sure I had the correct size bundt pan. I think it might take another 30 minutes to finish and them at least an hour or so to re-clean my oven. Has anyone else run into this problem? Very disappointing.

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over 4 years ago likestocooklovestoeat

We're running into a long cooking time as well; at least 30 extra minutes, and the tester is *just about clean* so it will probably be 40 minutes extra before it's done. We also ran into the spillover too, so far all contained by a cookie sheet.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I'm mystified by the batter running over -- and obviously sorry you had this happen. I wonder if my cake pan, which I bought at a regular cookware store, is extra deep? I'll change the cooking time in the recipe to account for variation. Ours worked as stated. Again, sorry you had trouble with the cake.

First_loaf

over 4 years ago CASJ

Oh man, is this cake good. It almost made it onto the plate in one piece ;-)

It is rich indeed, and heavy and moist and just divine.

A perfect birthday cake for me. Thanks nannydeb! You must make it for aargersi.

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

Making this cake on Saturday, I, too had a bit of sticking on one side when removing it from the pan. It stuck to the pan where the coconut filling had baked too close to the side. My first reaction was to eat the pieces stuck to the pan, but instead I took them out, put them on the cake and glued them there with the ganache. I took the cake to a family party and no one was the wiser...

Wistfulsailorgirl

over 4 years ago Aurora Kangaspuu

Actually, I meant to say that neither my culinary Weltanschauung nor my worldview @ a grander, more general existential scale, recognizes the C-word, Cr_ _ _ o, or the concept of shortening. I am disappointed that yours does.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

We used Spectrum shortening, which is made with palm oil and doesn't contain trans fats.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Here at food52, the culinary Weltanschauung is all about broadening our horizons -- we find we learn a lot that way!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

I once ate a big spoonful of buttered flavored Crisco just to see how it was. It was quite the experience, that big glob just moved around in my mouth like wax. It made me Weltanschauung all over myself. I'll give this Spectrum shortening a go though, I'm all for healthy alternatives, thanks Amanda! And you were right Merrill, I did learn something ; )

Monkeys

over 4 years ago monkeymom

I had to google welta-whatever. I am glad that I can also learn new vocabulary from using this site! Helen, you are so hilarious, you almost made me weltanschauung my pants.

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

LOL, thank you monkeymom! And sorry about your pants!

Wistfulsailorgirl

over 4 years ago Aurora Kangaspuu

I am so offended by the use of the word, "shortening," in this recipe. Actually, I was very excited by the AH tweet; when I tracked down the recipe, I wilted. I was crushed. I don't ever, ever, ever consider a recipe with ....the C-word. It may be ruined for me -- I don't even know if I could manage to try the recipe out even by substituting in a real food product, butter. : (

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

There's nothing wrong with trying it with butter -- lots of people on the site make substitutions in the recipes, and it's always interesting to hear how these substitutions turn out. If you try this with butter, please let us know how it goes!

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over 4 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Congratulations for having been chosen as one of the best chocolate cakes!

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

Thank you, it was a thrill and an honor to be a finalist.

Jocelyn_2006

over 4 years ago jocelyng

It's in the oven right now. It's going to be donated to my daughter's teachers' luncheon tomorrow, so we won't get to try it (sob).

Jocelyn_2006

over 4 years ago jocelyng

Just took it out of the oven. Total fail :-(. I checked it for doneness and it came out clean. Sadly it's completely uncooked in the middle. Grr.

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over 4 years ago TinaMiB

Good luck!!!

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over 4 years ago bhivedesign

I tried this cake yesterday as a lover of both chocolate and coconut (with a hankering) and as a budding-baker who had not yet found a recipe I love enough to make again and again. The flavors, tenderness and moistness of this cake could make it my all time favorite. And the recipe was easy to follow, up until I went to free my steamy chocolate decadence from it's bundt container. This sucker just wouldn't come out for love or money. I'm a solid cook, but only an amateur baker. I do know my way around a kitchen but no trick I knew would get this delicious devil out in one piece! Pre-baking I carefully, carefully greased and coco-ed the pan. I set my timer for 10 minutes of cooling on the rack (it was still a bit warm, but I was trusting the recipe). I wet a dish towel and ran it over the bottom. I let it cool a bit more. I finally had to whack the pan with a mallet (having worked myself up into a red-in-the-face chocolate frenzy) and conjure up an incantation to get what bits I could out. I ended up cutting the blobby-mess in half and topping it with itself. The ganache hid a multitude of sins and it tasted sooooo good. But in my fit of pique, I threw the pan in the garbage. Now I have to buy a new pan... any suggestions? I will try this again with a new pan, if I'm armed with some recommendations to get it out, or I'll have to never eat this heavenly confection again ... which makes me sad.

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

I did not add this to the directions because I have no scientific proof that it works, but after I grease and flour (or in this case cocoa powder) my bundt pan I put it in the freezer. I have limited counter space and this gets it out of my way also. Also, I often make a cake in stages because of time constraints. I may butter and flour my pan (put it in the freezer) and get my dry ingredients together and not make the cake until the next morning.
I have two different bundt pans, one heavy metal and one cheapy thin metal and they both usually come out whole.
I hope this step works so that you don't have to throw any more pans away!

Jocelyn_2006

over 4 years ago jocelyng

I have a heavy-duty Kaiser bundt pan. It was like $35 or something crazy, but I make a banana bundt cake from Dorie Greenspan almost every month, so it was worth it. I love it.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Not sure if you saw our slideshow, but we also had trouble unmolding it, but we decided it was my bundt pan (which is heavy and "non stick") because I've had issues with that pan before. To be safe, you can make the cake in a tube pan and that way you can cut it out. It's a heavy cake so no matter the pan, it's going to be challenging to unmold. Hope you'll give it another try -- and also check out nannydeb's suggestions in this thread.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I should have also added, though, that an assistant editor who works with us also made the cake (before the photo shoot) and it unmolded without a hitch. Seems like it's just a finicky one so maybe a tube pan is best. Again, sorry you had a frustrating time!

Me

over 4 years ago Adriana

Ooh, coconut and chocolate--I'm going to try coconut oil in place of shortening. Could be overkill, but it's not like I make chocolate cake out of a sense of moderation.

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

I thought about half coffee and half coconut milk or coconut water too. Let us know how it turns out!

Stringio

over 4 years ago testkitchenette

Great recipe! I have been in the Bahamas this past week and didn't do it but will be hacking my own coconut next time to make this decadent treat!

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over 4 years ago mrsp

what exactly do you mean by shortening? crisco? butter? margarine?

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

I used Crisco shortening. I haven't tried using butter or margarine, but I bet that would work too.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

We used Spectrum Organic's shortening, which contains no hydrogenated oils. It's great!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Hi Nanny from Austin!!! This cake is a beauty and you have my vote, well done and Congrats!

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

Thanks!

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over 4 years ago Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

YIKES - the choice between these two recipes is so hard! I love them both! Can you send me a slice to test?? ;-)

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The word "decadent" has just taken on a whole new meaning. ;o)

First_loaf

over 4 years ago CASJ

I'm making this for my birthday. Thank you!

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

I always make my own birthday cake! That way, I get the joy of baking it too!

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over 4 years ago NakedBeet

I love both, but I can't resist the pull of coconut, it keeps bringing me back in!

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over 4 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations! What an intense cake - I will have to pace myself this weekend.

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over 4 years ago Allison Cay Parker

Looks great! Congrats on making it into the finals, and good luck. I think, like many others here, I'll be doing a lot of cake baking in the next couple of days to test these recipes out myself... who can resist? They both look so good. Don't know how I'll ever choose. Yum.

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over 4 years ago Illeanamedina

Girl, you got it.

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over 4 years ago Jennifer Perillo

Ok, this week is really a tough call. I may just have to bake these both myself before I can click the "vote button.

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

Good idea! I'm going to make Kelsey's cake this weekend. Any ol' excuse to eat chocolate cake!

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over 4 years ago marley16

Guess what I want for my birthday? Sonar

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over 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

I would love to have slice of this with a very strong cup of coffee.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

oh, that looks yummy!

Henrykiss

over 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray for hyde park fudge cake! this sounds delicious!

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yum! How come you have never made this for ME? I shall sulk until you do.

Lobster_001

over 4 years ago nannydeb

I figured you for a peanut brittle junky.

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over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

well, yeah, but can't I have BOTH?????