Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the dry cake mix, eggs, milk and oil. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes, or until the top of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
Allow the cakes to cool for 5-6 minutes. Run a knife around the outside edge of a cake and remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the coconut buttercream.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip the butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the butter is almost white.
Add the coconut extract and mix again.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the butter mixture, mixing as you add the sugar.
Add about ⅓ cup of heavy cream and beat well. Continue to drizzle in the buttercream until it is a spreadable consistency.
Whip the frosting for 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Fold in the shredded coconut.
Once the cakes are cool, place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate. Spread frosting on top of that layer.
Sprinkle ¼ cup sliced almonds over the buttercream.
Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake.
If desired, set aside 1/4-½ cup of frosting for garnishing the top of the cake. With the remianing frosting, frost the cake all over the top and sides, making sure that the cake looks even and as smooth as possible.
For the chocolate ganache: In the top pan of a double boiler, place two cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of heavy cream. Place water in the bottom pan. Place the double boiler over medium-low heat. As the water heats, stir the chocolate chips and cream until the chocolate is fully melted into the cream. The mixture should be shiny and smooth.
Remove the top pan from the bottom pan and set it on a wire rack to cool. Allow it to cool and thicken for about 25 minutes.
Once the ganache has thickened, spoon it on top of the cake. Start in the center and use a spoon to smooth the ganache barely to the edges of the cake. As you spread the ganache to the edges, a little bit will start to spill over the edge, creating the dripping look. Be careful that the ganache is cool and thick enough and that you are careful spreading it to the sides so that it doesn’t all drip off.
While the ganache is still “wet”, sprinkle the rest of the sliced almonds on top.
Add a spoonful or swirl (I used Wilton Tip 1M) of frosting to decorate the top. Place a fun-size Almond Joy candy bar in the frosting swirl if desired.