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German Chocolate Cake

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Some things are just an instant classic for a reason. Rich, decadent chocolate cake crowned in sticky coconut and pecan studded frosting rates high on the list. German Chocolate Cake is destined to become a classic in your home.

Gluten and Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

When it comes to taking any recipe, especially something beloved, and transforming it into a Gluten Free and Dairy Free version, I don’t want it to just be a great Gluten Free and Dairy Free dish, I want everyone to love it. This cake checks all the boxes.

Stick a Fork in It

This German Chocolate Cake is so good, you might just be compelled not to bother cutting it and eating it with a fork straight from the cake stand. No judgment if you do!

Gluten and Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

Texture is such an important factor in baking. It’s all about that first bite, the way the fork sinks in and the crumbs cling to the prongs. This chocolate cake is tender, moist, and completely indulgent.

Part of what makes this cake so tender and moist also adds incredible depth of flavor. Dairy Free unsweetened Greek yogurt adds lightness and tang while freshly brewed coffee intensifies the chocolate flavor.

German Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake is as much about the frosting as it is the cake itself. With a base of rich egg yolks and Dairy Free evaporated milk, it’s almost like a custard. As it cooks down and thickens, it becomes almost a silky sticky caramel. The pecans and coconut that go in at the end are the perfect accent in both flavor and texture.

German Chocolate Cake Step by Step

Gluten and Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

In just three easy steps you will be slicing into this decadent and gorgeous cake. In addition to the cake itself and the coconut-pecan frosting, we’re also making a Dairy Free chocolate buttercream.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

  • Pregame! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8″ round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  • Add your eggs and sugar to a mixing bowl and mix on high for a couple of minutes until it becomes a little light and frothy.
  • Add the vanilla, yogurt, and espresso powder. Mix well.
  • Add in all of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. This will keep your cake tender.
German Chocolate Cake Batter
  • Mix in the coffee until just combined.
German Chocolate Cake
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
German Chocolate Cake
  • Allow your Gluten and Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake to cool completely before frosting.

German Chocolate Cake Frosting

  • Add your egg yolks, Dairy Free butter, sugar, and Dairy Free evaporated milk to a pot over medium-low heat.
  • Continually stir. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  • Allow the mixture to cook for 8-10 minutes. It will slightly reduce and become a beautiful caramel color.
German Chocolate Cake Frosting
  • Once it is a caramel color and your vanilla and mix in.
  • Take off the heat and allow it to cool.
  • Once cooled mix in your pecans and coconut.
German Chocolate Cake Frosting

Dairy Free Chocolate Buttercream

  • Make sure your Dairy Free butter is at room temperature. This will allow everything to mix together smoothly and give you that creamy silky texture.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together until smooth.

Are you looking for more chocolate inspiration? Make sure you check out my recipe for Gluten Free Triple Chocolate Cookie Bars. Now let’s get baking!

Gluten and Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

This classic chocolate cake is so good, you won't even know it's Gluten Free and Dairy Free.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Equipment

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 oz Dairy Free unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

German Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 cup Dairy Free evaporated milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dairy Free unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups Dairy Free butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup unsweetend cocoa

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8" round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  • Add the eggs and sugar to a bowl and mix on high for 2 minutes until light and frothy.
  • Mix in the yogurt, vanilla, oil, and espresso powder and mix to combine.
  • Add in all of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Add in the coffee and mix to just combine.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

German Chocolate Frosting

  • Add the egg yolks, sugar, evaporated milk, and butter to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Continuously stir for 8-10 minutes. It will reduce slightly and become a caramel color.
  • Once it is a caramel color add in the vanilla.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled stir in the pecans and coconut.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.

Gluten and Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake

  • Spread half of the German Chocolate frosting on top of the first cake.
  • Stack the secon cake on top.
  • Spread the remaining German Chocolate Frosting on top of the second cake.
  • Frost the sides wit the German Chocolate Buttercream.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Video

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12 Comments

  1. At the top under “gluten free chocolate cake” it says pre heat to 350 and at the bottom in the print recipe is says pre heat to 250. I am assuming 350 is correct….sorry not good at this.
    also it says “vanilla” under the german chocolate german extract or is there a different kind of vanilla for that.

    1. Hi there! My frosting did not thicken very much… after about 20 minutes of stirring. ? Any hints?
      Rhonda

  2. Can this same recipe be used to make cupcakes also? Are there any modifications or adjustments? We have some leftover buttercream!
    We LOVED the cake! So good!!

  3. Can regular dairy free yogurt be used.? I have not found Greek dairy free yogurt in my area. Would I need to use less yogurt if it is not Greek style.?
    Thank you

  4. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I used the recipes for the icings, and a gf chocolate box mix for the cake, but let’s be honest that the icing is the most important part! It was a hit at bookclub. Thank you for the recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    DE-LISH! Could not tell it was gluten free and dairy free. My mom’s favorite cake as a kid was German chocolate cake, but since not being able to have gluten or dairy, she hasn’t had this cake (probably going on 20 years). I found this, and though I was skeptical, I was SO pleasantly surprised. Thank you for this recipe, it made my mom’s day so sweet and special to have a German chocolate cake she could actually eat!

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