Tag Archive for Coconut

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cake


Okay friends, if there was ever a recipe of mine you ought to try, this one is it!

This is my homage to my favorite Girl Scout Cookies, the Caramel Delites or Samoas.

My version of this cake combines all the things I love about the classic cookie — sweet coconut, rich chocolate and luscious caramel.

The super moist and fudgy cake gets a generous topping of my caramel cream cheese frosting.  Toasted sweet coconut gets pressed into the frosted cake, followed by drizzles of melted chocolate and MORE caramel!

Do I have you drooling yet and ready to bake this cake RIGHT THIS MINUTE??? 😉

My super easy recipe is made even more simple by using boxed cake mix. While you can certainly make a cake from scratch, there are several brands that bake up a very moist and delicious cake.


My complete recipe is at the bottom of this post. Give it a try and let me know how you like it. 🙂

Here’s how to make it.

I used a box of chocolate fudge cake mix.  You can use any brand you prefer, but I like Betty Crocker brand mixes.

Follow the instructions on the back of the box to make the cake.  This particular mix calls for adding 1 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 large eggs.  I also added 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter to really amp up the coconut flavor.


Generously spray a bundt pan with baking spray (the one that also has flour in it).  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

imageBake the cake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees.  Insert a thin skewer (or knife) into the middle of the cake to test if it’s done (no crumbs should stick to the skewer or knife).

Invert the cake onto a serving dish then let it cool completely.

imageWhile the cake cools, and while the oven is still hot, toast the coconut.

Spread out sweetened coconut flakes on a large baking pan.


Bake the coconut for 3 minutes at 350 degrees; use a spatula to stir the coconut around.  Bake for another 3 minutes; stir again to ensure even browning.

If the coconut is still too light, bake for 3 more minutes, but watch it carefully at this point.  Once browned, remove the coconut from the pan and allow to cool.


While the cake and coconut cool, prepare the frosting.

Using an electric handheld mixer, mix the softened cream cheese with the caramel sauce.  You can use the same caramel sauce that you pour over ice cream.  I used salted caramel sauce for this recipe, but any thick caramel sauce will do.  Beat until creamy.

This is the caramel sauce I used:


This tastes great already!  For future reference, this is the base for a delicious fruit dip — just mix in some marshmallow creme to the cream cheese-caramel mixture.

imageSo, back to the frosting.  Mix in up to 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  I used only 3 cups of powdered sugar, but if you want a very thick layer of frosting on top of your cake, use all 4 cups of powdered sugar.

image   image

Once the cake has cooled sufficiently, it’s time to frost it.

Spread the frosting all over the cake, covering it entirely.

imageImmediately sprinkle the coconut over the frosted cake.  To add the coconut to the sides, grab a handful of coconut and press it into the sides of the cake.  Shake off any excess coconut.


Now for the chocolate sauce.

Melt a cup of chocolate chips for 30 seconds in a microwave-safe glass bowl or cup.  Stir the chocolate — it might not be melted at this point, however, but stir it nonetheless.


Melt the chocolate for 30 more seconds then stir again.  Once again, it may not appear as if the chocolate is melted, but trust me — the chips are already mostly melted, and will continue to melt with the heat of the glass.  Do not microwave the chocolate any more or it will seize and become stiff, lumpy and unworkable.

imageScoop out the melted chocolate and place it into a sandwich bag.


Twist the top of the bag to keep the melted chocolate in one corner of the bag.  Use a pair of scissors to snip off a tiny piece of one corner of the bag.

Squeeze the melted chocolate over the top of the cake.  I’m sure you can decorate your cake a lot nicer than I did mine. 😉

Drizzle some caramel over the cake, in the spaces between the chocolate.


Oh my goodness…this cake is D E L I C I O U S!!!

Serve a large slice of this incredible edible with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk. 🙂


Mmmmmm mmmmmm good!  Look how moist the cake is!

imageCare for a slice?  I’ll eat this one for you. 😉


Not convinced yet?  How about now? 😉

imageGive my recipe a try.  I KNOW you’ll like it. 🙂


Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cake
Moist chocolate fudge cake topped with a decadent caramel cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and drizzled with melted chocolate and caramel sauce.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge cake mix
  • 1¼ cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
Toasted Coconut:
  • 2 cups (packed) sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
Drizzled Sauces:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons caramel sauce
Bake the cake:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the cake together using a whisk. Mix just until combined and most of the lumps disappear. Do not over mix.
  2. Pour the batter into a bundt pan sprayed with baking spray. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let it cool completely.
Toast the coconut:
  1. Spread the coconut onto a large baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes to ensure even browning. Bake until golden brown.
  2. Remove the toasted coconut from the hot pan; allow to cool completely.
Make the Frosting:
  1. Beat the cream cheese and caramel sauce until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, one cup a time, mixing until thick and creamy. Use all four cups of powdered sugar if you like your cakes frosted with a thick layer of frosting, otherwise, three cups of sugar will suffice.
Drizzle on the Goodness:
  1. Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe glass cup or bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds then stir again. Place the melted chocolate into a small sandwich bag. Snip a tiny piece off one corner of the bag. Squeeze the melted chocolate over the top of the cake.
  2. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the cake.


Spam Kelaguen

Spam is a staple on Guam.  In fact, Spam has been called the “poor man’s steak” by many, although a can of Spam is not cheap!  I have a friend who lives in an area where Spam sells for about $5.00 per can!  At that price, I’d rather buy real steak! 😀

Chamorros can be quite innovative when it comes to creating Spam dishes.  An easy and classic dish is Spam Kelaguen.  This is my sister’s version.

Give it a try; I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Spam Kelaguen

Spam Kelaguen - Carol's


  • 1 can Spam, cut into thin strips
  • 4-6 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Hot pepper, to taste


1.  Lightly pan-fry the spam (for only 1-2 minutes) then place in a bowl.

2.  Add green onions, coconut, lemon juice, salt, and hot pepper.  Mix, taste, and adjust seasonings and lemon juice, to taste.

3.  Serve with titiyas or hot steamed white rice.



Grating Fresh Coconuts

When I was a little girl, one of my jobs during party preparations was to kåmyu  (grate) fresh coconuts.  I remember going through a pile of coconuts, shaking each one to ensure there was still coconut water in them (if it didn’t slosh with liquid, that meant it was bad).  I was too young and wasn’t allowed to husk them (we used the pointy end of a pick or a sharpened branch for this task), nor did my mom allow me to use the machete to crack open the coconuts, but I was a pro with the kåmyu!

kumyu 2
This kåmyu (and the photo) belongs to David A. Punzalan.

This wasn’t an easy job–at least not for a young kid about 8 or 10 years old.  I had to make sure I didn’t grate any of the coconut shell or I’d be picking them out of the bowl! The coconut flakes HAD to be nice and snowy white, and grated extra fine, especially if we were mixing it in with kelaguen.

Now that my family and I live in the states, we don’t have easy access to fresh coconuts.  We are at the mercy of what’s imported to our local grocery stores.  I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to come home from the store, crack open a coconut and find that it’s already spoiled.

The coconuts we buy come already husked (not that we own a pick anyway with which to husk them).  We don’t own a machete either, but we make due by using an extremely sharp meat cleaver.

Here is a video of my husband, Roland, using a cleaver to crack open a coconut.  He takes his time doing this, but only because he’s using a cleaver from my rather expensive knife set (he KNOWS not to damage my prized knife set!).  Anyhow, to use a cleaver to crack open a coconut, make small nicks around the middle of the shell until you’ve created a crack.  Hit it a little harder as the crack gets bigger, then carefully pry it apart.  Make sure the coconut water inside is clear and doesn’t smell (cloudy, sour smelling liquid is a sure sign of spoilage).

Have I mentioned that I have a crazy, goofy husband?  He just HAD to throw in his “signature” by messing with my video at the end.  LOL


Once you crack open the coconut, pull out your kåmyu and get to work grating.  The video below shows my 11 year old daughter gingerly grating the coconut (she’s still afraid of scraping her hands–but why should she be fearful of a thick piece of stainless steel with multiple sharp, jagged “teeth” sticking out of it?).  🙂


You can make lots of things with freshly grated coconut — coconut candy, make fresh-squeezed coconut milk, add it to kelaguen, or toast it for sprinkling over coconut cream pie.  Whatever you use it for, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.  Fresh beats frozen or canned coconut any day.

Chicken Kelaguen with Freshly Grated Coconut



Pronounced ‘la-tee-ja’, this is a classic Chamorro dessert.  A light, creamy, custard-like pudding topped with a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon tops a layer of scrumptious cake.  I say ‘custard-like’ only because my version of Latiya contains NO eggs, unlike most of the variations of this recipe.

The cake options are endless, but my favorite, by far, is carrot cake, and not just any carrot cake, mind you, but a moist rich version made with carrots (of course), pineapples, raisins, and lots and lots of nuts!

Pound cake is another favorite for this, as is another classic Chamorro dessert:  Chamorro Cake.

The key to assembling this oh-so-yummy dessert is to put lots of space between the pieces of cake.  This way, you can pour the creamy latiya topping in between the nooks and crannies.  Oh, I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Here’s my recipe for “classic” latiya…give it a try.  I think you’ll like it!  🙂

If you are a coconut-lover like me, scroll on down for my coconut version of my latiya recipe.


Events - 2609

The photo below contains my recipe for “regular” Latiya.  Click on the thumbnail below to open a full-sized version of the photo to view my recipe.



Drumroll please…..and now for my Coconut Latiya Recipe.  You don’t want to miss out on this one.

Annie’s Coconut Latiya:



  • 1 Sara Lee pound cake (I use the smaller one and slice it about the width of my thumb)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can water (use milk can)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 8 HEAPING teaspoons corn starch
  • Cinnamon


  1. In a medium pan, combine the evaporated and coconut milk (reserve the can of water), butter, sugar, vanilla and coconut flakes. Cook over medium heat.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with the can of water. When the butter has melted, add the cornstarch/water mixture.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil; continue cooking for about a minute longer then immediately pour over pound cake.
  4. Sprinkle the top of the latiya with cinnamon then allow to cool.