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Makeover Cake with Coconut-Pecan Icing

“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


  • 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 sweetened shredded coconut, toasted, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 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.
  • Pour into a 13x9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.
  • 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.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with Splenda Sugar Blend and Land O'Lakes light stick butter.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 271 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 213mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Average Rating:
  • jaransom
    Apr 3, 2013

    No comment left

  • cassadia
    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.

  • Tina T.
    Apr 8, 2011


  • Katharine
    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.

  • Ballinrobe
    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!!

  • micheleclow
    Mar 31, 2011

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

  • micheleclow
    Mar 31, 2011

    No comment left

  • gtltravis
    Mar 31, 2011

    What is sugar blend?

  • cherrylady
    Mar 31, 2011

    To Netizen: Crisco shortening has 0 trans fats.

  • Netizen
    Mar 31, 2011

    Shortening has trans fats and they are NOT healthy.