Vegan German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

Bakers Beware! This cake is insanely rich and weighs 46 pounds. (The way it should be). ;)

As a baker, you get a lot of requests!  From vegan to gluten-free, sugar free to no-nuts, there is always a special request.  And aside from folks with legitimate concerns, we all have that 'special friend,' don't we?  For me, it's my hilarious friend Millie. She lives on her own island, an island with one TV that only plays re-runs of 'I Love Lucy' and Yankees games.  For HER, I'll say I'm making pumpkin cheesecake bars...

Millie:  "I love pumpkin cheesecake bars!!! Mandi J!  Can you make me some but without the bourbon white chocolate drizzle?  And none of the pumpkin? But add peanut butter.  Can you do  bittersweet chocolate? So much better for you.  Subtract the graham cracker crust. And if you could work in fava beans, you would be my FAVORITE Mandi J.  Not that you aren't already."

Mandi J:  "That means there's no crust, Mills Vanills...

Millie:  "Does it need one?"

Mandi J:  "YES." 

She cracks me up!!!  Totally one of my favorite people as she lives on the kind of island I want to visit. So I'm always trying to do my best with requests because I want everyone to be happy!!! BUT, if I'm going to agree to the bells and whistles it hasto taste good.  Also, if it is naturallygluten free, vegan, etc.?  Even better!  

Today's recipe, is a SUPER yummy, SUPER decadent vegan german chocolate cake that you wouldn't even know is vegan!  If you love rich and ooey gooey, this recipe is totally for you!  I came up with this cake combo for my hubby's best friend's birthday. For the cake, I adapted a cake recipe from The Minimalist Bakerthat I made into three layers.  I adapted a filling from Alice's Tea Cupand used my go-to ganache recipe that I substituted.  The combo is truly decadent... 

I would also like to mention that writing happy birthday on a german chocolate cake is always a challenge.  ;)

And seriously, DON'T worry about calories.

"Eeeeeat, EAT!!!!  Nobody likes a skinny Santa..."  :)




Total Time 2 hr 40 min

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE: 2 1/4 c. almond milk

1 T apple cider vinegar

2 c. unsweetened applesauce

3/4 c. strong brewed coffee

1 c. melted coconut oil

1 T vanilla

3 c. + 3 T. flour

2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa

1 T baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt


1/4 c. cornstarch

1 pinch kosher salt

2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 c. coconut milk

2 tsp vanilla

3 c. sweetened shredded coconut

1 c. lightly toasted pecans, coarsely chopped20-25 full-size toasted pecans for decorating (optional)


1 1/2 c bittersweet vegan chocolate

1 c. almond milk

INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE: Preheat oven to 350. Line three 9 inch cake pans with parchment and grease with oil or vegan friendly spray.

For the cake: Throw all of the ingredients into a large bowl and whisk the heck out of it! Disperse evenly into your three cake pans and bake for 20 minutes.Rotate pans and bake for about another 8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the filling: Whisk together the almond milk, cornstarch and salt in a bowlIn a saucepan, dissolve the brown sugar in the coconut milk over med-high heat. Whisk until the mixture comes to a boil.Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes, or until slightly thickened.Pour the almond milk mixture into the saucepan and mix over low heat until the mixture is thick and smooth.Remove from heat and mix in vanilla, sweetened coconut and pecans. Let cool.

For ganache: Heat the almond milk and bittersweet chips on low until glossy and smooth. Let cool to spreading consistency. (Or don't! I used it while it was still a bit warm & let it drizzle out the sides).

For assembly: Shave the tops of the cakes off with a serrated knife so that the cakes are flat when you stack them.Carefully flip over your cake pans and put one cake circle on your plate. Spread with a third of the ganache. Then spread with a third of the german chocolate filling. Stack another cake on top of the german chocolate filling and repeat with ganache & more filling. Finally, stack your last cake on top. (It will be smoother if you flip over the last layer so the crumbly side is facing down). Cover with ganache & german chocolate filling. If you'd like, decorate the top of the cake with a circle of toasted unchopped pecans.

Notes: To toast pecans: Place single layer on a baking sheet and toast at 350 for about 8 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant.

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