Notes from the Test Kitchen:
One of my fondest memories of childhood is of the yummy chocolates that I enjoyed with a bottle (yes, bottle!) of Coke everyday after school. Almond Joys were a favorite, and one bite of this wonderful cake transports me right back to the 60's. Love it!
FOR CAKE: Mix all cake ingredients in large bowl and beat 2-3 min.
NOTE: if you can't find the duncan hines coconut cake mix try this; use a white or yellow cake and add a coconut pudding mix and 2-3 teaspoons of coconut extract. That has worked for several bakers posted in the comments. Good luck to all.
Pour into 2 9 inch layer pans and bake in 350* preheated oven for 28 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool 10 min. Turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.
FOR FROSTING: Beat soft butter and cocoa till soft and well combined, add milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat 2 min until light and fluffy. (Add additional sugar 1 tablespoon at a time - if needed - until it reached spreding consistency. Do the same with milk if it's too thick.)
In two small pans spread your coconut and nuts and, stirring often, toast to a pretty light brown color. They will need watching as they will burn quickly.
I do this as soon as I take my layers from the oven.
Place one layer on a pretty plate and spread a cup (more or less) of your frosting. Sprinkle coconut and almonds generously. Use most of the coconut and half the almonds.
Put on next layer and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Sprinkle coconut around the top edge and along bottom. Sprinkle remaining nuts inside coconut circle on top. Whatever is pleasing to you.