Can’t Go Wrong Holiday Cake

Chocolate ganache, toasted coconut, nutella whipped cream, strawberries…need I go on? My husband works every Christmas and asks me to bake a cake for him to share with his co-workers. Here is my latest creation.

Can't Go Wrong Holiday CakeIf you have a hard time neatly frosting a cake, you’ll love making this. The cake is pretty forgiving since imperfections get covered up with toasted coconut flakes or strawberries. Making the different components can be a bit time consuming, but I promise you it’s easy to make and totally worth the effort!

Can’t Go Wrong Holiday Cake

This recipe makes a nine-inch cake with two layers (chocolate and coconut) separated by a nutella whipped cream filling. The whole cake is covered in chocolate ganache with toasted coconut flakes spread on the side and sliced strawberries on top in the shape of a big flower.

What You’ll Need To Make This Cake:

How To Make This Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread half a bag of shredded coconut flakes in a shallow baking tray. Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes while frequently turning and checking on the coconut flakes. You want to toast them to golden brown, but if you’re not careful they can burn easily! Your oven may toast them quicker. Set aside after toasting.
  2. Wash strawberries and cut off stems. Slice strawberries lengthwise into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices. These will be the petals for your center flower.
  3. Start assembling the cake! Place a dollop of chocolate ganache on the center of your cake board. Place the chocolate cake on top. This will hopefully keep your cake from sliding around!
  4. Spread as much nutella whipped cream on top as you want and then place the coconut layer on top.
  5. Cover the top and sides of your cake with chocolate ganache. Don’t worry if it gets messy or doesn’t spread too evenly!
  6. Cover the outside of the cake with your toasted coconut flakes.
  7. Now to make the strawberry flower. Place strawberry petals (with bottom of strawberries pointed outwards) in the shape of a large circle. This will be the outer layer of your flower. It looks like a sun.
  8. Place another ring of petals inside the outer ring, overlapping with the previous ring. Keep making petal rings until you reach the center of the flower. Wasn’t that easy?
  9. To keep the strawberries from drying out, heat raspberry preserves in the microwave until warmed (about 15 seconds on high). Brush warmed preserves on top of petals. This will also give your flower a shiny look.

Enjoy your cake!

Nutella Whipped Cream


  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup nutella or hazelnut spread


Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream for about 3 minutes or until it turns into whipped cream. Fold in nutella and store in the fridge until ready to use. It’s that easy!

Chocolate Ganache


  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is my fav)


Place chocolate chips in a large stainless steel bowl. Heat heavy cream on stove at medium heat until just before it boils. Pour directly on to the chocolate chips while stirring until chocolate is melted and smooth.

If the chips did not fully melt while stirring, take your bowl and place it on top of a pot with an inch of water on medium heat (effectively making a double boiler). Keep stirring until chocolate is smooth. Set aside and let it come to room temperature before using.

Chocolate Cake
Note: This makes one 9-inch round layer.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 plus 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Pam Spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 9 inch round pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of baking pan with Pam. Cover bottom in parchment paper and spray with Pam on top.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then add all the remaining ingredients except for the boiling water. Beat on medium speed for two minutes.
  3. Add boiling water. Don’t be alarmed at the thin batter!
  4. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for about 35 minutes.

Coconut Cake
Note: This makes one 9-inch round layer.


  • 3/4 plus 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature (love Kerrygold brand)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk (both at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Pam spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 9-inch baking pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of baking pan with Pam. Cover bottom in parchment paper and spray with Pam on top.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk a few times to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter at medium until creamy (about a minute). Add sugar and beat until creamed (about 3 minutes). Add all the extracts.
  4. Add egg and beat until well combined. Add additional yolk and beat until well combined.
  5. On low speed, alternate adding flour mixture with coconut milk, starting and ending with flour mixture. Scrape sides of mixing bowl while alternating flour and milk.
  6. Fold in shredded coconut. It’s okay that the batter is really thick!
  7. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until done.

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