Makeover Cake with Coconut-Pecan Icing Recipe
Makeover Cake with Coconut-Pecan Icing Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Makeover Cake with Coconut-Pecan Icing Recipe

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“My family is absolutely crazy about this soft, moist cake with its rich-tasting, super chocolatey icing. My dad would finish half the pan if he could!” Rivka Kahan - Brooklyn, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES:20 servings
Healthy Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling
MAKES: 20 servings


  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar blend
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat butter, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted, divided
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritional Facts

1 piece equals 271 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 26 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar and sugar blend until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla (batter will appear curdled). Combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to shortening mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.
  3. For icing, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in cocoa until smooth. Add milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 cup pecans, 1/2 cup coconut and vanilla until smooth. Spread over warm cake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans and coconut. Cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20 servings.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with Splenda Sugar Blend and Land O'Lakes light stick butter.
Originally published as Makeover Cake with Coconut-Pecan Icing in Healthy Cooking April/May 2009, p21

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Reviewed Apr. 16, 2011

"We really enjoyed this recipe. Cake was very moist and topping was a nice finish for the cake. Did not use the sugar substitute and turned out great."

Reviewed Apr. 8, 2011


Reviewed Apr. 7, 2011

"I would make this again. It is so good I could'nt stay away from it. Served it to some of my guests and they loved it as well."

Reviewed Apr. 7, 2011

"I ahve notmade this but would w/butter and not shortening. As for sugar sub....try Truvia or even Stevia! Natural sweetner from a plant! Not a chemical like splenda!!"

Reviewed Mar. 31, 2011

"Sugar blend is a blend of sugar and sugar substitute (most likely Splenda)."

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