March 1, 2012

Decadent German Chocolate Cake

Hello friends! I'm back from my little four-week hiatus and I'm starting out March with a bang! Even though I took a short break from blogging and cooking - I still had to get my baking fix in. I had been planning on making a German Chocolate Cake for a while now since I had a bag of coconut flakes sitting in my cupboard just begging to be used. Expect more coconut-deliciousness in the future since I didn't use the whole bag in the cake. I'm seeing granola (and possibly a couple other desserts) in my future.

It's interesting how much your tastes change from childhood to adulthood. I detested coconut when I was little. I wouldn't eat anything with coconut in it or on it. Well - actually my tastes have changed drastically. I wouldn't eat anything green when I was younger either unless it was candy that was dyed with artificial colors. Obviously you can't do that when your a vegan or vegetarian. Luckily when I did finally become a vegan - my world was opened to a whole new array of foods - and that included coconut. I think it helps that it's slathered on top of chocolate cake though.

By the way - It's funny that people still think coconut is unhealthy for you. I'm not saying this cake is the best thing to eat if you're on a diet, but adding coconut or coconut oil to your diet has been shown to help in weight loss in some studies!'s the recipe for you. It's good to be back!

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or German chocolate - chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm coffee (use water if you don't have coffee)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray three 8x2 inch round baking pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Set up a double boiler on your stove top by placing a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. Pour the chocolate chips or German chocolate in the bowl and heat until melted. Once the chocolate has melted - remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In separate, large bowl - sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another small bowl stir the coffee and non-dairy milk together until well combined.

In a separate, large bowl - cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the apple sauce and vinegar and mix well, scraping down the sides as you go. Add in the vanilla and melted chocolate and beat once more until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Add in the dry ingredients and the coffee/milk in three increments (add flour, mix, add coffee/milk, mix, add flour, mix, add cofee/milk, etc...) Beat all together until all of the ingredients are well mixed.

Pour the batter evenly between the three cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Now we can make the frosting!

Frosting Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup Pecans - chopped
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pour the 2 cups of non-dairy milk in a medium sized saucepan. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to half the amount (1 cup). *I didn't write down how long it took for my coconut beverage to reduce - but I think it was about 10 minutes*

Stir together the corn starch and water until well combined. Add into the reduced non-dairy milk along with the sugar, shortening, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Allow the frosting to cool for 30-60 minutes until spreadable.

To assemble the cake - place one layer of the cake (with the top facing down) on your serving plate. Spread   1/3 of the frosting on top of that layer. Place the second layer of cake on top of the frosted layer and spread 1/3 of the frosting on the second layer. Place the third layer of cake on the very top and cover with the remaining amount of frosting.


  1. I love cakes a lot and these make me want it more. Thanks :)

    Best Cornbread

  2. Decadent!!!

    Welcome back! I'm still on break... :)


  3. I tried it using Almond Milk for the frosting. It came out good (my boyfriend has had four, and I just made them this afternoon!) but tasted just a little odd. I think the lack of fat in the Almond Milk gave it an odd mouth feel. Next time I'll use coconut milk.

    Has anyone tried using coconut oil instead of veg shortening? I know it would make me feel better about eating it, but I wonder how it changes the texture.

    1. I am going to try the coconut oil. I can't see myself using that much shortening. I will post how it turns out.