Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Coconut chocolate birthday cake from @AveryAames

Say cheese!

I'm gearing up for the next Cheese Shop Mystery release: As Gouda As Dead. For the month of January, every Wednesday, if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of these Cheese Shop Mystery titles: THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE, LOST AND FONDUE, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, DAYS OF WINE AND ROQUEFORT.
See below for details...

By the way:
Have you signed up for my newsletter? Big giveaway Feb 2.
Goodreads giveaway? One going on right now.
Facebook contest? Big giveaway Jan. 31

Get ready for some cheese-y recipes for the rest of the month of January!

But today, I must share a fun and easy birthday cake. No cheese!

My son, my step-son, and my nephew's son all have birthdays in the next week. [My dad did, too, the same day as my son and nephew's son. What a coincidence, right? Or do you believe in coincidences? May he rest in peace.] 

Yep, January, in my world, is packed full of Capricorn men!  I don't know if any of you read or adhere to horoscopes, but a Capricorn is responsible, patient, ambitious, resourceful, and loyal. Yep, the three boys (young men) are all that! They can also be dictatorial and inhibited. I have to say, yes, they might shows signs of those traits, too. They can be melancholy and crave structure. But they are loyal friends and fun and intelligent, and I adore them! 

So back to the birthday cake...I wanted to try coconut in a cake. I had a craving. I discovered a yummy recipe in a Bon Appetit Magazine, March 2014, that I saw in the doctor's office, of all places. What else was I going to read? I forgot to bring a book. And the wait was lo-o-o-o-o-ong. 

Like I said, this recipe is EASY-PEASY! Coconut is so good for you. And this tasted like a big Mounds bar. I bet if you added almonds, it would taste like an Almond Joy. It was delish!


Regular Recipe
 *Gluten-free substitution possible


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (*if using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

I went simple and used packaged Betty Crocker chocolate frosting. Sprinkles, if desired


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 4” loaf pan; line with parchment paper. Make sure some of the parchment paper hangs over the side. This makes it VERY easy to remove the cake from the pan.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and coconut flakes and set aside. [*If using gluten-free flour, substitute it for the regular flour and add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.]

In a medium large blow, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, coconut oil, and sugar on medium-high until it’s fluffy, about 5 minutes. It takes a while for the coconut oil to mix so be patient. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each time. The mixture will get very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Mix.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the dry ingredients, one-third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk, just until incorporated. Do not overmix as it will cause the cake to split. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. [I like to run a spoon down the middle of the cake to make a bit of a "furrow". This seems to help the cake rise evenly.]

Bake cake for about 60 -70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. In my oven, it took 60 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes more. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

This will keep for a good week. Keep at room temperature.

Note: The Bon Appetit recipe asked for the coconut to be put in at the last (not in the dry ingredients) by making a canal in the middle of the cake batter, pouring in the coconut and topping with 1 tablespoon of sugar. I missed that instruction - oops! - which is why my coconut flakes were incorporated in the dry ingredients. 

Happy birthday, Jackson, Craig, and  Chase!

And now for that giveaway, tell me what your favorite birthday cake is and leave your email so I can reach you if you win. If you don't feel like leaving an entire email, you can try to go cryptic and I'll try to figure it out. I am a mystery writer, after all. I will not use your email for any other purpose other than to contact the winner. 

I'll pick a name tomorrow morning. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me or else I'll pick another winner.

Good luck!

Savor the mystery!


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pre-order here

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  1. My favorite birthday cake flavor is chocolate! (I think chocolate should be a food group) Thank you for the recipe. :)
    Thank you

  2. Good Morning! My favourite birthday cake is Cream Cheese Carrot Cake. Thank you for the recipe and I look forward to reading the new book! Have a terrific day!

  3. My favorite birthday cake is Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Frosting.

    1. Liz, I happen to like white frosting a lot. Check out the Sparky cupcakes recipe coming in a few weeks with cream cheese frosting! :)

      Daryl / Avery

  4. My favorite birthday cake is Key Lime Pie.
    sgiden at verizon(dot)net

  5. Yellow cake with mocha icing from yet one more Capricorn:). But have to love Sandy G's fave cake --key lime pie! xo

    1. Lucy, sweet. Mocha icing, so decadent! Happy birthday...

      Daryl / Avery

  6. My favorite birthday cake is chocolate cake with lots of chocolate frosting. I actually can eat just the frosting and be happy :)

    1. forgot my email darholley1 at aol dot com

    2. Darlene, I think a lot of people might follow your lead.

      Daryl / Avery

  7. Am I right that you used chocolate frosting? Looks lovely.
    I look forward to the newest addition to your writing.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    1. Yep, I used packaged frosting but you could certainly make from scratch. :)

      Daryl / Avery

  8. My favorite birthday cake is black forest.

    dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

    1. Oh, yum, with the cherries and everything? My first intro to black forest cake was when I was at school in Germany for 6 months. Delish!!

      Daryl / Avery

    2. Daniele, you won the giveaway by random number drawing! Congrats. I'll email you. You have 48 hours to contact me! Savor the mystery!

  9. I love Mounds Bars! So is the idea to have the coconut in the middle? Either way, this sounds terrific!

    1. Krista, me, too! The coconut sort of spreads out in the baking, but most is in the middle.

      Daryl / Avery

  10. My Grandma used to make a really good two-layer prune cake. It was so moist and the filling was so good! I would request that for my birthday cake. Until we started doing birthday breakfast because my birthday is Christmas Eve day. Then I would want a coffee cake that had a lot of real, thick cream in it. But this cake sounds very good! Maybe next year...


    1. Oh, Elaine, happy belated birthday! What a celebration. I know some people who have a Christmas birthday who celebrate 6 months later. :) A thick cream coffee cake sounds divine. Right Now!

      Daryl / Avery