Almond Joy Cake Recipe

Almond Joy Cake Recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

If there are fun-sized Almond Joys anywhere in my general proximity, I will eat them. All of them. I just love the flavor combination of sweet coconut, milk chocolate, and almond. It’s a taste trifecta and if you agree, you’re going to LOVE this cake! Just imagine all the textures and flavors in an Almond Joy candy bar, only in cake form, and behold this beauty:

coconut cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

This Almond Joy inspired cake starts with a delicious, fluffy Coconut Cake. It’s packed with so much flavor and texture between the coconut extract, shredded coconut, and canned coconut milk. And side note on the coconut milk: notice that I said canned. You’ll find canned coconut milk in the Asian foods aisle or the baking aisle of your grocery store and it’s loads different than boxed coconut milk (for drinking). The canned version is much more creamy and condensed, making it perfect for baking, so be sure to get the right coconut milk for this cake! It will make all the difference! 

coconut cake with coconut buttercream and chocolate ganache
coconut almond cake with chocolate ganache

The Coconut Cake turned out so delicious that I just sat there eating a bowl of cake scraps for a good ten minutes. It’s so moist due to the sour cream and creamy coconut milk, and the texture with shredded coconut is unreal. I thought to pair it with straight up Almond Buttercream, but adding some coconut extract to the buttercream really brought out the perfect coconut-almond flavor you’d find in an Almond Joy. So Coconut-Almond Buttercream was born, and it could not be a more tasty compliment to this Coconut Cake!

coconut chocolate cake by sugar and sparrow
coconut almond joy cake by sugar and sparrow

You can’t have an Almond Joy inspired cake without some milk chocolate, so I whipped up some Milk Chocolate Ganache for drizzling between layers and dripping the top of the cake. After decorating it with some almond slices, a Coconut-Almond Buttercream border, and some more shredded coconut, it looks just as heavenly as it tastes. If you’re as much of an Almond Joy fan as I am, this is going to make your cakey dreams come true!

Almond Joy Cake Recipe by Sugar and Sparrow
5 from 4 votes

Almond Joy Cake Recipe

Layers of fluffy, flavorful Coconut Cake with Coconut-Almond Buttercream and Milk Chocolate Ganache.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes


Coconut Cake

  • 3 1/4 Cups (344g) cake flour, sifted before measuring
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cups (330g) white granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup (168g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 1/4 Cups (296ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
  • 1 Cup shredded sweetened coconut

Coconut-Almond Buttercream

  • 2 Cups (452g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 7 Cups (840g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Milk Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 Cup (92g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream

Additional Garnishes (optional)

  • shredded sweetened coconut
  • almond slices


Make The Coconut Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by spraying the sides with a cooking spray (Baker’s Joy is my favorite) and a wax paper circle fitted to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, you can grease and lightly flour the pans.

  2. Sift the cake flour and then measure by spooning and leveling it in your measuring cup. Add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer (a handheld mixer works fine too!), cream the butter on high for two minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to mix on medium-high for another two minutes, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed. Slowly add the egg whites while mixing on low until well combined. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and coconut extract and mix for one minute on high, scraping down the bowl and paddle once more.

  4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the canned coconut milk slowly and mix until just incorporated. Gently fold in the shredded coconut by hand, making sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl without overmixing.

  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans (no more than 2/3 full) and bake for 40-45 minutes. They’re done when they spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for five minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack for an additional few hours of cooling. Make sure they’re entirely room temperature before applying any frosting.

Make The Coconut-Almond Buttercream

  1. With a hand mixer or paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high until it’s creamy and light (almost white) in color. About 7 minutes.

  2. Add the powdered sugar, a few cups at a time, scraping down after each addition and making sure each cup is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut extract, milk, and salt. Mix on medium-low for another minute or two until fully incorporated.

Make The Milk Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place milk chocolate chips into a heat resistant bowl (glass or metal) and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm heavy whipping cream until it just starts to boil. I always look for small bubbles forming around the edge and a soft boil starting in the middle. When you see that it’s just starting to boil, pour it into your bowl of chocolate and let sit for twenty seconds.

  2. Whisk the mixture together until it’s uniform in consistency and there are no bits of chocolate left on your whisk. Cool ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache itself is room temperature.


  1. Torte the Coconut Cake layers to level off the tops. Place the first cake layer onto a cake circle and fill it with Coconut-Almond Buttercream, then drizzle with a little bit of Milk Chocolate Ganache (make sure it’s room temp or cooler). Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the filling process before adding the last layer of Coconut Cake on top. Crumb coat with Coconut-Almond Buttercream and place the cake in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to firm up before your final frosting.

  2. To achieve the design pictured, frost the cake with a final layer of Coconut-Almond Buttercream and add almond slices around the bottom of the cake. Drip the cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache (for tips on dripping a cake read this post!). Fit a piping bag with Wilton Tip 1M and fill it with more Coconut-Almond buttercream, then pipe a rope border around the top edge. Fill in the center with shredded coconut and sprinkle some on top of the rope border, then add more almond slices to the rope border.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead Tips: the cake layers can be made ahead and stored (wrapped in plastic) at room temperature for up to one day. Alternatively, you can wrap the cake layers in plastic and store them in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to use them, thaw them to room temperature before continuing with the frosting and decorating process.

The buttercream can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day. Alternatively, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature and re-whip with your stand mixer on medium for one minute to bring it back to frosting consistency. 

The chocolate ganache can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, bring it back to room temperature by microwaving it in ten second intervals, stirring after each one, until it’s drip consistency. 

Did you make this Almond Joy cake? I want to know how it went! Let me know in the comments below or feel free to tag me on Instagram. I love to see what you’re caking!


    • Thank you!! It’s one of my fave flavor combos ever and I love how this cake turned out! Hope you get the chance to try it soon 🙂

  1. Does it make the most sense to go by the volume measurements if our metric measurements are much different than what’s listed here?


    • Hi Lu! I would go by volume measurements if the weight measurements are dramatically different for you. Although I do wonder why the weight measurements are so different?

  2. Brandy Pecora

    How would this recipe be in a sheet cake size? Would it be too dense? : )

    • Hi Brandy! I’ve never tried baking this recipe in a sheet pan myself, but I’ve heard of others having success with it as a sheet cake. Just be sure to fill the pan no more than 1/2 full for a sheet pan and bake at 325. I would check for doneness at about 55 minutes. Let me know if you try it!

    • Hi Sarah! Unfortunately, bread flour will make this cake super dense. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you don’t mind a dense cake.

  3. Quick question! What method did you use to arrange the almonds around the bottom of the cake?

  4. We had this cake for my sister’s family birthday party and everyone loved it. Even my chocolate-cake, chocolate-frosting lovers say this is their new favourite cake!

  5. Susan Hunsecker

    5 stars
    Hello Whitney, I made this cake over the weekend and I’ve gotten rave reviews from everyone who tried it!! I’m new to your site and already looking forward to trying a new recipe this weekend. Your photos are beautiful, your recipes are easy to follow and your tutorials are so helpful – Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise!!

    • That is so wonderful to hear, Susan! Thank you for the kind words. I’m so happy you loved this recipe and can’t wait for you to try more!

  6. 5 stars
    I made for my Dad’s 80th birthday, he loves almond joy! I used 2 -8in pans instead of 3-6in. I also put in a little extra powdered sugar in icing and 1 extra tsp of almond extract. The only thing I had issues with was the canned coconut milk, it is never blended well as the coconut fat congeals at one end of the can. The cake is moist and there was plenty of icing, I had a bit leftover. Would definitely make again. Although I have to work on my ganache skills!! Lol

    • Yay, Pamela! So happy that this recipe was a hit for your dad’s birthday! Next time if the coconut milk is separated, you can always shake the can before opening it to blend it all together. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how tasty this cake turned out!

  7. 5 stars
    Hello. Whitney! Thank you so much for this recipe. My mother loves coconut and for her 85th birthday I made this beautiful and scrumptious Almond Joy Cake. She and the whole family LOVED it. Can’t wait to have a reason to make and eat it again!

    • Yay, Cynde! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit! Thanks for taking the time to let me know 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious! I did two 8” layers of this coconut cake and a middle layer of my favorite chocolate cake. Everyone loved it and it was beautiful!!

    • Hi Desiree! This recipe makes enough batter for two 8-inch pans. Bake at the same oven temp and check the cake around 45-50 minutes and see if it needs more time from there. Enjoy!

  9. Can I make this recipe as cupcakes? What would I need to change?

    • Hi Nicki! You can absolutely make this recipe as cupcakes! Just be sure to fill the tins no more than 2/3 full and bake at 350F/177C for 15-18 min, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!

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