Chocolate lovers rejoice! This cake is not for the faint-hearted. Moist chocolate cake, coconut pecan filling, and a decadent chocolate buttercream frosting. This vegan german chocolate cake is so indulgent.
Okay so I may have just posted a strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe but Summer is birthday season in our family!
My dad’s birthday is coming up and I decided to make a vegan version of his favorite cake – German chocolate!
Full disclosure, no one in my family is vegan but they all loved this cake!
What is German Chocolate Cake?
Traditional German chocolate cake is a chocolate cake with a sticky coconut pecan icing and chocolate buttercream.
This cake recipe includes all the delicious elements but dairy-free and eggless!
Now I know a three-step cake can be rather overwhelming but we’re going to break it down step-by-step so you can make this fool-proof cake with ease!
Make the vegan chocolate cake
I love this chocolate cake recipe because not only is it vegan (duh), but it is oil-less too! Yup, no oil or butter is required to make this super moist cake!
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. That includes flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
Tip: Sift flour and cocoa powder to eliminate any large clumps (as you can tell from the photos I did not do this with the cocoa powder!) But whisking the dry ingredients together helps with this too.
In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Vegan “buttermilk”, applesauce, flax “eggs”, and pure vanilla extract.
Vegan Buttermilk: This is simply almond milk combined with apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow it to curdle.
Flax Eggs: Combine ground flax seed with water and let sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. The flax egg will be a slightly gelatinous texture – just like an egg!
Applesauce: Applesauce is a common ingredient in vegan baking. It helps bind the cake, is a substitute for oils and butter, and helps create a moist cake!
I love using applesauce in vegan chocolate cake because the cocoa powder will mask any trace of apple flavor!
Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined. Then mix 1 cup of hot water to the batter. The cake batter should be thin and pourable.
Fill 9-inch cake pans 3/4 full with cake batter. This recipe is enough to fill 2 pans.
Make vegan coconut pecan icing:
This icing is crunchy, sticky, and thick. Follow these steps to achieve this texture!
Tradtional coconut pecan frosting includes butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. With some easy substitutes, it’s so easy to vegan-fy this!
Combine all the ingredients (except shredded coconut and chopped pecans) into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, whisking consistently until the liquid gets thick and syrupy.
Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken up. Stir in pecans and coconut!
Make vegan chocolate frosting
Vegan butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and a splash of almond milk is all it takes to make a delicious vegan chocolate “buttercream” frosting.
Mix melted butter and cocoa powder together until well blended. Add powdered sugar and milk. Whisk together to achieve desired consistency.
Tip: To give the frosting a more glossy sheen, try adding a small amount of oil. Olive, grapeseed, vegetable, or canola oil will do!
Assemble the cake
Once all the components are done, it’s assembling time!
Spread 1/2 of the coconut pecan frosting onto one of the cakes. Place the second cake on top and frost both cakes with the chocolate frosting.
Spread the remaining coconut pecan frosting on top.
Okay, so a cake with three elements can be daunting, but with a little planning, it’s really not bad!
- Make the cakes a day in advance
- Ensure cakes and coconut frosting are completely cool before assembling! Can’t stress this enough. Baking the cakes a day in advance will help with this!
If you want to get really fancy with this recipe, use icing bags and cake tips to pipe along the edges of the cake.
I personally like the raw more natural look of using just a frosting spatula.
Variations of this vegan German chocolate cake:
- Substitute flour with a GF blend for a gluten-free and vegan chocolate cake
- Make cupcakes instead of a cake! You can hollow out the center and fill with the coconut pecan frosting and frost the top with the chocolate frosting
If you tried this vegan German chocolate cake, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Vegan German Chocolate Cake
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 2 flax eggs 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed + 5 Tablespoons water)
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1+3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
For the Coconut Frosting:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk canned
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1.5 cup chopped pecans
- 1.5 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- 1/2 cup vegan butter melted
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray.
- Make flax eggs: Stir ground flax seeds and water together. Place in the fridge.
- Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Mix and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
- Remove flax eggs from the fridge and in a small mixing bowl, combine "buttermilk", applesauce, flax eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Add hot water and whisk. The batter should be thin and pourable. Pour the batter into cake pans about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes. To check doneness, insert a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Flip cake pans upside down and the cakes should come out with ease. Let cool on cooling rack until completely cooled (about 20-30 minutes).
Coconut Pecan Frosting:
- In a medium saucepan add brown sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch, vanilla, and coconut milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Whisk constantly for 10 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken and get syrup-like.
- Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans and shredded coconut. Add more coconut or chopped pecans if frosting is liquidly. It should be thick. (see step photos above)
- Allow to cool completely before assembling the cake.
Vegan Chocolate Frosting:
- Pour melted vegan butter and cocoa powder into mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
- Add powdered sugar and milk. Whisk together until desired consistency is reached. Add more milk if frosting is too thick or more powdered sugar if frosting is too runny.
- Place one of the cake rounds on your serving stand or plate.
- Spoon 1/2 of the coconut pecan frosting on top and spread evenly.
- Place the second cake on top. Frost entire cake with the chocolate frosting.
- Spoon remaining coconut frosting on top of the cake.
This recipe was adapted from Taste Better from Scratch
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