Let’s Bake a Cake~

Piece of Coconut Yogurt Cake with Nutella - Beyond the Pasta

La Torta di Stefano ~ Coconut Yogurt Cake with Nutella Frosting

In honor of World Nutella Day, February 5, here is my Coconut Yogurt Cake with Nutella Frosting recipe. In true Italian fashion, this is a dense and not overly sweet cake. The cake’s “sweetness” is based on the Nutella frosting, so the cake itself does not add yet another level of sweetness.

If you’ve never had Nutella before, you are in for a treat. A hazelnut spread with skim milk & cocoa, it has the consistency of a smooth peanut butter, but a “peanut butter” made of hazelnuts and chocolate. Buonissimo!

Nutella - Beyond the Pasta - Mark Leslie

When it comes to Italian indulgences, my first will always be gelato and, right behind it in line, is Nutella. And, given the fact that I cannot find true Italian gelato in America, Nutella, by default, is my #1 Italian indulgence here at home ~ since I can readily find it in the states, even in Alabama.

I learned this Coconut Yogurt Cake recipe from Stefano while I was in Viterbo, Italy. Stefano made it to take with us on a picnic in the woods on Viterbo’s nearby Monte Cimino, where there is a beautiful nature reserve with picnic sites scattered throughout the reserve. You can read about this day, the cake, and our picnic in my book Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family

Coconut Yogurt Cake with Nutella Frosting

For the cake:

1 6-ounce container of Coconut/Pineapple yogurt

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups coconut flakes, sweetened

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch sea salt

*(butter and plain, dried bread crumbs are used to prepare the pan)

For the topping:

1 13-ounce jar Nutella

2 cups, coconut flakes, sweetened

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9-inch baking pan with butter and bread bread crumbs (just as you would prepare a pan with butter and flour).

~In a large bowl, combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, both oils, vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add the coconut flakes and stir until mixed throughout. Set aside.

~In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add the sea salt to the flour mixture. Add this flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until it is incorporated.

~Pour the batter into the prepared pan and distribute evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Coconut Yogurt Cake unfrosted - Beyond the Pasta

~Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. (About 20 – 25 minutes)

Nutella spoonfuls - Coconut Yogurt Cake - Beyond the Pasta

~While the cake is still warm, but not hot to the touch, drop large spoonfuls of Nutella across the top of the warm cake. The heat from the cake with soften the Nutella, making it easier to spread.

Coconut Yogurt Cake frosted - Beyond the Pasta - frosted with Nutella

~Spread the Nutella evenly across the top of the cake.

Coconut on frosting - Beyond the Pasta - Coconut Yogurt Cake with Nutella Frosting

~Sprinkle the top with the coconut flakes.

~Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. Buonissima~

Buon Appetito~ and bring your family to the table!


About the Author

Mark LeslieMark Leslie, seen cooking on NBC’s "The Today Show" and Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year, and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. His first book, “Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family,” tells of his life in Italy while cooking with an Italian grandmother. He shares his food experiences on his blog at www.beyondthepasta.com and has taught cooking classes in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and across Alabama. While judging for high school culinary events, he was chosen by the US Department of Education to judge for their "National Education Startup Challenge." Mark can be regularly seen cooking on NBC-affiliate, WSFA-TV 12's "Alabama Live! each Friday, bringing easy, locally sourced recipes to central Alabama. His iTunes app “Beyond the Pasta” features helpful videos and more of Nonna’s family-style recipes that she shared with him, plus, upon its release, it was named “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. DaVinci Wines chose Mark as their "2012 Storyteller" in Language Arts—where they sent him to Vinci, Italy, to write about wine, food and life. Mark, his home and book have been featured in such national publications and blogs as House Beautiful, Paula Deen, Food Republic, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Field & Stream, and The Daily Meal. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 24 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissimo!View all posts by Mark Leslie →

  1. MariamMariam07-03-2012

    Hi. What sort of sugar did ou use in this recepie? Caster? Brown?? I was thinking of using coconut sugar maybe, what do you think? Also, have you ever tried incorporating fruit into the batter? Such as bananas or sour cherries???

    • Mark LeslieMark Leslie07-03-2012

      I use regular white granulated sugar. This is not a very “sweet” cake, as most Italian cakes aren’t. Any of the variations you suggest sound fun. Try them ~ a recipe is just a road map for the cook, there are many paths to the end and why not make the journey your own?!
      Let me know any alterations you make and how it turns out. I’d enjoy knowing and giving it a try myself.
      Buon Appetito~

  2. CaroleCarole06-08-2013

    Mark, was just noodling around on your blog and saw this great cake. Can you drop me a line on ca4ole@gmail.com if it’s ok for me to link to it on Carole’s Chatter. Cheers

  3. sharlisharli10-12-2011

    What a wonderful site!!!! I just finishing baking your cake, however, to find that I have no coconut…eeks! So I added chopped bananas to the batter and plan on frosting with the nutrella and walnuts…..waiting to let you know the outcome!!!! Well it collapsed in the center so I’m not putting it back in the oven upside down….wish me luck….but it is delicious…..

  4. Mark LeslieMark Leslie10-15-2011

    Sharline, How did it turn out? Did it turn out? 🙂 Mark

"Beyond the Pasta" is owned and operated by Mark Leslie. Unless otherwise specified all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. It may not be used without the express written consent of Mark Leslie.