Lenten & Totally Vegan German Chocolate Cake

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on March 24, 2013

Vegan German chocolate cakeYou didn’t think I would let this Lenten season go by without a little chocolate did you?

If you are looking for something decadent but totally vegan, I’ve got just the ticket for you.  Vegan desserts are great to use during this time of the year, because they are free from any animal products which means no eggs and no milk. You might think that your final result would be something related to sawdust or cardboard, but you would be very wrong. Many vegan desserts will have you feeling as though you’re indulging in something sinful but you’re really not…

I discovered variations of this recipe on a few different sites including this one called the tolerant vegan. The deep, dark chocolate decadence of the picture really piqued my interest in trying this recipe, but I decided to add just a few tweaks of my own in the cake batter and also decided to make a vegan German chocolate topping with coconut and pecans.

Try this  chocolate cake during the Lenten season or for any time that you want to enjoy something that is not only delicious, but also a little healthier.

Vegan German Chocolate Cake (1- 10”x 3” cake pan or 2-8” cake pans)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s, but will be even more decadent if you use Droste or Ghirardelli)
2 cups brewed coffee, warm
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoon white vinegar
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

First, sift the cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking soda together in a medium sized bowl. I used Hershey’s cocoa powder because it is the easiest to find, but if you can find a better quality cocoa powder with a higher fat content, then use that. Cocoa powder with a higher fat content is always best to use in chocolate cakes. Add the warm coffee to the sifted ingredients and use a whisk to mix them all together so that you do not have any lumps. Add the coconut oil, brown  sugar and vinegar and whisk again. Make sure not to forget the vinegar — this is  necessary to react with the baking soda for leavening since there are no eggs in this recipe. Pour into greased cake pans and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes until the center is firm to the touch. When you insert a toothpick, it will still be slightly fudgy but not wet. Allow them to cool completely and then add topping to the cake. Or if you are baking 2 layers, you can add some filling in between the layers in addition to the top.

Deep, rich and delicious chocolate cake batter for vegan chocolate cake

Vegan chocolate cake

Vegan German Chocolate Frosting
1 cup full fat coconut milk, canned
¾ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ cup finely chopped pecans
2 ½ cups dessicated coconut

While the cake is baking, make the vegan German chocolate topping. Add everything (except the coconut oil) together into a small pot and cook over low heat until it has thickened slightly and sugar has melted, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring this with a wooden spoon so that it does not burn. After the filling has come together, remove it from the heat and add the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and stir in while it is still hot. The coconut oil will give it a lovely shine and give it a really gooey texture reminiscent of a more traditional German chocolate filling. When cake has cooled, spread generously and enjoy.
the beginning of vegan German chocolate filling

The filling has taken on a little color as the sugars combine together and melt for vegan German chocolate cake filling

perfectly cooked vegan German chocolate cake filling

Vegan German chocolate cake

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Paul May 6, 2013 at 2:48 p

You should specify between coconut milks; either canned or the kind you buy in the milk isle. I just tried the recipe for the cake batter and it’s much too thick with canned coconut milk. Thanks.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet May 26, 2013 at 4:39 p

Paul thanks for your email. There is only one kind of coconut milk that I know of that is sold commercially, and that is in the can…which is what I used. You may be thinking of coconut water which is much thinner. I used the Thai brand coconut milk and the batter was thick but turned out fine. If you want a thinner batter, I would add a little more coconut milk but not more than 1/2 cup.

avatar Etta July 19, 2013 at 7:06 p

Hi! I’m baking this cake now and I’m super excited to try it! I noticed that the ingredients list hot water, but this is not reflected in the instructions. Did you use water in your cake or was that from the last recipe, unintended to go in this one? Thanks!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet July 19, 2013 at 7:12 p

Hi Etta! The water is supposed to be part of the recipe, I just forgot to mention in the directions…thanks for picking that up, I will fix now!

avatar Etta July 19, 2013 at 8:03 p

Also, what height are your 6″ cake pans? I have two 6″x2″ and the cake batter is overflowing.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet July 19, 2013 at 8:15 p

Etta, the recipe calls for a 10″ x 3″ inch pan, so if you are going to use the 6″ pans, they should also be 3″ in height…

avatar Shirley October 14, 2015 at 11:00 p

I made these cupcakes last weekend to bring to the office for a coworkers birthday. I have tried a couple of other vegan cake recipes in the past, but this is the best! Vegan and non-vegan staff loved the cupcakes. Thank you!

avatar Sherry December 22, 2015 at 1:34 p

I’m with Paul (May 6, 2013). Wish I’d known it was canned coconut milk, I used SO Delicious from a carton. Turned out yummy but the frosting would have been much better with canned coconut milk.
Next time I’ll def. read comments before I try a new recipe!
Still, thanks! It really is tasty and one I’ll be sharing!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet December 22, 2015 at 5:50 p

Hi Sherry, I have clarified the recipe to reflect the canned, full fat coconut milk!

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