Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll

Oops… I did it again. I made another cake roll. This one is full of chocolate and coconut.

That’s just how I roll.

A Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll is easier to make than you think! Chocolate cake is filled with Nutella and coconut whipped cream and then topped with chocolate ganache and more coconut. The perfect dessert for any occasion!

Last weekend I had the perfect Easter recipe planned and ready to make. It was a riff on these cupcakes combined with these muffins. It failed. TWICE.

As I sat there just staring at the second recipe that tasted really good but looked really bad, I just wanted to throw up my hands and fire myself. But I really wanted to make a new recipe for today.

{Because obviously the 15 or so I have in my queue ready to edit and post just aren’t good enough.}

Whenever I have a failure that causes the waste of DOUBLE the ingredients (and I was out of carrots) I turn to something dependable. A recipe that I know will work, with a little twist. Would you believe me if I told you that, for me, the easy little recipe that is foolproof would be a chocolate cake roll?

Because really, this recipe is foolproof. It works every single time. Cake rolls really are easy, especially if you have the right tools, follow the rules, and have made a few.

This Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll is the product of my carrot cake recipe fails. I’m kind of glad those muffins didn’t work. Because now we have this:

Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll

This cake roll has so many elements and layers that I just want to start talking about them. This might just be one of my favorite cake roll recipes ever. But it has a lot of competition.

The chocolate cake is filled with a fresh coconut flavored whipped cream. I toasted 2 cups of coconut for this dessert. Half gets folded into whipped cream that’s scented with coconut extract, the other half gets dusted on top. In regards to coconut extract, I use imitation. It’s hard to find pure coconut extract in the stores. I’m not even sure if it exists. If you have an aversion to the imitation extract, you can leave it out.

Before you fill the cake with whipped cream, you spread Nutella all over the cake. This was a total snap decision because I’d just eaten a spoonful of Nutella and it was staring me in the eye begging me to eat more. I thought, why not? And why not indeed? It just adds another chocolatey layer to the cake. If you don’t have or like Nutella, just skip this part.

Then the cake is topped with chocolate ganache and more toasted coconut. It’s like a chocolate and coconut lover’s dream, this dessert. But you know what? This cake roll has a dirty little secret. Want to know what it is?

A Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll is easier to make than you think! Chocolate cake is filled with Nutella and coconut whipped cream and then topped with chocolate ganache and more coconut. The perfect dessert for any occasion!

My cake roll cracked. #keepingitreal

I have no idea why the cake cracked. I get comments on my cake rolls a lot that someone has had a roll crack on them and they want to know why. The answer? I don’t know.

I’ve made this cake roll what seems like a gazillion times. Mint, truffle, ice cream…all those cakes are this same one. Plus, this cake roll is also in my book. It’s never cracked on me before. Here’s why it could have cracked:

  • I baked it too much.
  • I didn’t bake it enough.
  • I beat it too much.
  • I didn’t beat it enough.
  • It was hot.
  • It was cold.
  • It was humid.
  • It was Sunday.
  • Scandal was a re-run.

Get my drift? They crack for any number of reasons. But a cracked cake roll isn’t a loss, obviously. This one cracked bad. One whole section practically broke off one end. What did I do? I filled it like normal. The crack got rolled into the cake. Then I poured ganache over it.

Ganache and coconut hide a lot.

My point is, cake rolls crack. Even for people like me who make them all the time. Just glue it back together with filling and frost the top. #problemsovled

Also? This flavor combo is probably my favorite. Chocolate and coconut? What’s better than that???

Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll

Not much!!

Before you make this cake roll, be sure to check out my cake roll tutorial and my rules for cake roll making.

Did you make this recipe?

Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll

A chocolate cake roll that’s filled with coconut whipped cream and Nutella, then topped with ganache and toasted coconut! The perfect showstopper cake that is so easy to prepare!

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons brewed coffee (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, to aid in rolling

For the Filling & Topping:

  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Nutella, optional
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Make the Cake: preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll (10×15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (I like to use the spray with flour).
  2. Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, coffee or water, and vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended.
  4. Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Make sure it’s even. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release air bubbles. Bake for 10-12 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.
  5. While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
  6. Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).
  7. Toast the coconut by adding it to a medium skillet and cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until it turns golden. Immediately remove to a plate to cool.
  8. Make the Filling: beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (You can also use a hand mixer, but it will take longer.) Slowly add in powdered sugar during beating, one tablespoon at at time. Add both extracts. Beat until whipped cream forms. Stir in 1 cup of toasted coconut.
  9. Assemble Cake: once the cake has cooled, unroll it carefully. If you wish, spread nutella evenly over the cake. Spread the whipped cream on the cake, leaving 1” without filling at either end. Re-roll cake, scooping out any filling that spills out as you roll. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour before frosting.
  10. Make the topping: place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over low heat for a few minutes or in the microwave for 60-90 seconds until it just simmers. Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for one minute, then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Chill for about 10 minutes.
  11. Place cake roll on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the cake evenly. Top with remaining toasted coconut. Chill until set.
  12. Note: The cake should stay chilled until right before serving or the whipped cream filling will get warm and it will be hard to slice.

Notes:

If your cake cracks, don’t worry. Just be careful when you roll. Whipped cream and the Nutella can act as glue. Plus, you’re coating this with ganache. No one will see! See this post for a cake roll tutorial.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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61 comments

  1. Oooh, add caramel and you got yourself a Samoa cake roll! Though the Nutella is kind of the most awesome spur of the moment inspiration.
    You know, cakes cracking SO doesn’t matter when you have frosting for glue! People need to lighten up and enjoy the ride!

  2. I’ve never tried making a cake roll, but my mom has made a few in her day. This one looks amazing and hopefully when I make it, it won’t crack. I’m glad I found another Scandal watcher! I don’t have DVR (because my family live in the stone age), so I’m watching the beginning of season 4 right now. 😀 Chocolate and coconut…nothing beats it!

    • Hopefully not! It’s just one of those things. Like I said, it’s never happened to me with this recipe before. I most likely over baked it! (But if you under bake it it can crack too, ha!!)

  3. Ah, that’s a bummer about those carrot cakes! I totally feel you. Recipe failure is the worst. This cake looks awesome, though–cake rolls are so much fun! 🙂

  4. Yum! I love your cake rolls, so keep ’em coming! This one looks fantastic, Dorothy! I love the chocolate and coconut flavors. Pinned!

  5. You had me at chocolate. Wait you had me at coconut….It’s both together! Ahh…so awesome! Totally spring friendly and Pin worthy.

    Have a great day!

  6. Delicious! I have never made a cake roll before. It sounds a little complicated to prevent cracking 🙂

  7. I love your list of reasons the cake cracks…made me laugh out loud 🙂 Looks beautiful to me, even with the hidden crack!

  8. I like Mir’s suggestion of turning this into a Samoa cake roll! 🙂

  9. DUUUUUUDE. I need this in my life STAT.

  10. Yummy!  I agree with you, chocolate and coconut is always a winner.  Pinned this recipe!

  11. Cake rolls have always been super scary for me, but this looks just fabulous! I’m really going to have to overcome my fear – this looks too good to miss out on!

  12. I had a bad week a couple weeks ago where everything I made didn’t turn out and I wanted to just quit!  I too turned to something I know would work.  As for you cake roll I would have never known it cracked!  I haven’t made a cake roll before, they kinda scare me.  However this has changed my mind because this looks sooo good!!  Great job!  Pinned!!

  13. Your cake roll recipes are always killer, and this one filled with chocolate and coconut is absolutely no slouch. I am a sucker for coconut and chocolate anything and everything! I am in love with this. 

  14. You are the cake roll queen! Where’s that book you need to write about them 🙂 And the flavors in this one…chocolate cake, with ganache, the coconut…I would need to re-home this baby asap because holy temptation!

  15. I have never made a cake roll- I’ve always thought they looked too difficult! This sounds amazing, and you make it sound so easy.

  16. Oh, I hate it when a recipe fails, I tried to make choux pastry profiteroles and twice they failed in the same day, but then I made chocolate banana bread, which was amazing! I LOVE this cake roll, I am addicted to coconut atm but I can’t believe some people don’t like it! Perfect decision about the nutella! 😀  

  17. Your cake rolls are always rock! I love the chocolate and coconut combo and oh yes a Samoa one would be awesome! I’m still scared to make a cake roll and think yours looks perfect!

  18. Crack??? I don’t see a crack–it looks DELICIOUS!

  19. Another cake roll, yay! I LOVE the way cake rolls look! Unfortunately, every time I’ve tried to make one it’s failed spectacularly 🙁 But I’m determined! This one looks fabulous. Think I might check out your cake roll tutorials this time!

  20. This chocolate roll cake looks amazing! Chocolate and coconut are one of my favorite combinations, reminds me of a mounds bar! Love how you added the Nutella too!

  21. I love the coconut it adds so much to this roll. makes it look all fuzzy hehe. i bet the flavors are bursting with chocolatey goodness!

  22. Your cake rolls always look so perfect, Dorothy!  I love chocolate and coconut, you just can’t go wrong combining the two of them.  Love this!

  23. Wow, this looks amazing. Any left in the freezer for me? My mother always used to “hide” mistakes with coconut.
    xoxo

  24. Wow!  This marriage of coconut and chocolate looks awesome!  I feel for you when you have the recipes that don’t work out.  I tried making my daughter’s 1st birthday party cake and it was an epic fail (even though I had made that same cake successfully many times before). Aargh!  But look at the happy result of your fail!

  25. Keep the cake rolls coming — I love them!  Especially when there’s lots of chocolate and coconut involved! 🙂

  26. Every time you post a cake roll I think to myself that I REALLY need to try making one of those!  They’re so neat, I definitely need to get on that!  And chocolate and coconut definitely sounds like the one to try, that combo is amazing!

  27. Chocolate + coconut is my favorite combo and looking at this cake, I can tell how amazing it must be!! Wishing I was having this as my after dinner treat!

  28. You cake rolls are always so impressive! I love that I can hide my flaws!! 

  29. Recipe fails always seem to benefit in the end huh? especially when chocolate and coconut are involved! LOVE THIS CAKE ROLL! 🙂 

  30. You know how much I love cake rolls! This one may be my favorite yet – that filling! Yum! 

  31. I absolutely LOVE how you roll.  I also love how you snuck that delish nutella into this already decadent treat.

  32. Oh my god, so many cake rolls, so little time! This one looks amazing. There really isn’t much better than coconut and chocolate, and that toasted coconut looks to die for 🙂

  33. Crack?  What crack?  Nutella, whipped cream, and ganache are wonderful things to hide those doggone cracks.  And I was “cracking” up at your list of crack reasons 😉 I am loving all the goodness going on in this roll!  I really wish I could have some right now!!

  34. OMG.  I burst out laughing about the crack.  Also, there are too many things that I love about this cake to count.  I was 100% on board with it and then you told me there was Nutella in there and now I just want to marry you.  Again.

  35. Maybe…just maybe I can overcome my fear of making a roll cake!  I don’t know but I do know yours turned out beautifully!  And yes, definitely Nutella all the way.

  36. I am in AWE! Roll me up in this please??

  37. I love roll cakes, Dorothy! And chocolate, and coconut! Haha this cake is calling my name!

  38. Gaaah, recipe failures are the worst!! Just this morning I tried a new bread recipe and the dough was a flop. I hatehatehate wasting ingredients. I love making roll cakes, everyone is so impressed but like you said, in reality they are easy. The secret is out!!

  39. Uggggh, recipe fails are the WORST. Especially when you know what you want to make would be so, SO good and you don’t want to take yet another trip to the grocery store. Or do those same dishes three times in the same day. 😉 But hey, chocolate always makes up for the frustrating parts of food blogging! And I still want to come over for a cake roll tutorial sometime!

  40. Dorothy,, are we sisters from another Mister..lol..i LOVE coconut..and then you add chocolate, and i am in hog heaven!!!!!..the coconut truffles had me salivating and then i spotted the cake roll!!!!..oh my..i have been watching my sugar and carb intake because i am borderline diabetic..but i am so gonna cheat and make both of these yummy’s!!!!!..

  41. I just received a kitchen aid mixer for Christmas and have been on a baking frenzy. My friend has a New Years birthday and I whipped this up today- easier than I anticipated but I’m afraid the jelly roll pan I used was a little too large and my cake may be slightly overlooked- that being said I enjoyed the tips and tricks, thank you for sharing this recipe!!

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