This intense almond joy cake tastes almost exactly like the candy bar. Rich, moist chocolate cake is covered with a coconut marshmallow topping and a decadent chocolate ganache.
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I absolutely love taking inspiration from my favorite candy bars and turning them into new, exciting desserts. I love Almond Joy candies and was thinking that those flavors would make a really good cake. Guess what? I was right! Almond Joy cake really is amazing and a great way to enjoy chocolate, coconut, and almonds in a whole new way.
Almond Joy Cake Recipe
My Almond Joy cake recipe starts with a doctored chocolate cake mix. I add sour cream, brewed coffee, and chocolate pudding mix to the boxed cake mix in order to make it really moist. Adding cocoa powder, coffee, and pudding intensified the chocolate flavor so the cake tastes like it is 100% made from scratch.
To make the coconut layer of the cake, I use melted marshmallows, sweetened shredded coconut, and evaporated milk. The light, fluffy mix is spread over the top of the cake and then a homemade chocolate ganache is poured over the top. Some sliced almonds are the perfect finishing touch! Then this easy almond joy cake is ready to slice and serve. One bite and you may find that you love almond joy cake even more than almond joy candy!
Ingredients for Almond Joy Cake
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Chocolate cake mix – Any brand of cake mix will work but my favorite is Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge cake.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder. This cake is sweet enough!
- Sugar – Sugar is used in the doctored cake mix, the coconut topping and the chocolate layer.
- Instant chocolate pudding – Make sure to grab instant pudding, not regular pudding mix which will not set the cake properly.
- Vegetable oil
- Brewed coffee – Save your leftover morning coffee to add to the cake!
- Sour cream – Full fat sour cream is best.
- Vanilla extract
- Evaporated milk – You will need evaporated milk to make both the coconut topping and the chocolate topping for the cake.
- Large marshmallows – You can also use small marshmallows, just be sure to only use 10 ounces!
- Sweetened shredded coconut
- Butter – Unsalted butter is the best choice for the chocolate topping.
- Mini chocolate chips – I like to use mini chocolate chips because they melt faster than regular-sized chips.
- Sliced almonds – Buy pre-sliced almonds so you do not need to spend time chopping whole nuts.
If you need an ingredient substitute or want to tweak the almond joy cake recipe a little bit, try these ideas!
- Replace the sour cream with whole milk Greek yogurt.
- Use unsweetened shredded coconut to make the cake a little less sweet.
- Skip the doctored cake mix section of the recipe and just bake the chocolate cake as directed on the box. It may not be as decadant but it will still work well.
How to Make Almond Joy Cake
- Prep your supplies: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 cake pan with baking spray. Set the cake aside.
- Make the chocolate cake: Add the chocolate cake mix, dry Instant pudding mix, sugar and cocoa powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the vegetable oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla and whisk to make a smooth batter.
- Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until it springs back to the touch in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan.
- Make the coconut topping: Add the marshmallows, evaporated milk, and sugar to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the marshmallows have melted. Then stir in the shredded coconut.
- Top the cake: Pour the warm coconut topping over the chocolate cake inside the cake pan, and spread it across the entire surface of the cake. It will be runny. Pop the cake in the fridge to cool while you make the chocolate topping.
- Make the chocolate ganache: Bring the evaporated milk, butter, and sugar to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Once boiling, remove the pot from the stove and whisk in the chocolate chips. Whisk until the chips melt then stir in the sliced almonds.
- Add the chocolate topping: Pour the chocolate topping onto the coconut layer of the cake and spread it across the whole cake. Place the cake in the fridge to set then slice and serve!
If you want to get a little fancy, bake this cake as a two-layer, 8″ round cake. Divide the cake batter between two round cake pans and then, once the cakes are baked and cooled, stick them together using the coconut filling as the middle layer. Ice the cake with the chocolate topping then slice and enjoy! Almond Joy layer cake is beautiful in a rustic, appetizing way.
How to Store Almond Joy Cake
Store your almond joy cake in the fridge, wrapped with plastic wrap. It will keep in the fridge for about a week. I think it is actually best when cold!
The topping portion of this cake does not freeze well (actually it doesn’t defrost well but separates and gets gooey). I recommend making it fresh, anytime you are craving almond joy cake.
The only difference between these two candy bars is the almonds! Almond Joy has almonds, Mounds does not. You can actually turn this almond joy cake into a mounds cake by omitting the sliced almonds.
Almond Joy is made with milk chocolate which is why I like to use milk chocolate chips to make the chocolate topping for this cake. It makes it taste just like the candy bar!
Unfortunately, Almond Joy candy bars are not vegan. This almond joy cake is also not vegan-friendly.
Almond Joy Cake
- 9×13 cake pan
- Measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Small pot
- medium sized pot
- Offset metal spatula
- Rubber spatula
- 1 box (15.25 oz) chocolate cake mix
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 10 ounce bag large marshmallows
- 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13 cake pan with nonstick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chocolate cake mix, cocoa powder, sugar, and pudding.
- Add the vegetable oil, coffee, eggs, sour cream and vanilla to the bowl and whisk to make a smooth batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out cleanly. It may have a few moist crumbs on the toothpick (the cake is very moist and dense!) but the toothpick should have no wet batter.
- Let the cake cool on a cooling rack, in the pan, while you make the coconut topping.
- Make the coconut topping by mixing the evaporated milk, sugar, and marshmallows in a medium-sized pot. Heat the marshmallow mix over medium heat, stirring to melt the marshmallows completely.
- Once the marshmallows are melted, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded coconut.
- Scoop the warm coconut filling on top of the cake and spread it so the cake is covered.
- Place the cake in the fridge while you make the topping.
- To make the topping: In a small pot, bring the evaporated milk, butter, and sugar to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips. Stir in the sliced almonds then scoop the topping on top of the cake and spread it into an even layer.
- Keep the cake refrigerated until you are ready to slice and serve!