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Gluten free German chocolate cake
4.88 from 24 votes

Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free german chocolate cake, dairy free german chocolate frosting, german chocolate cake frosting without evaporated milk, gluten free german chocolate cake, gluten free german chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Decorating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 656kcal
Author: Ai Willis
This gluten-free German chocolate cake has layers of moist chocolate cake and rich coconut pecan frosting that's decadent and delicious!
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Chocolate cake

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup light olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (take out 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 stick vegan butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup non-dairy evaporated milk (see Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cups unsweetened coconut (shredded or desiccated)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • teaspoon fine salt


Chocolate cake

  • In a small bowl, stir together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture sit and curdle.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, olive oil, non-dairy milk mixture, and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour in the hot coffee and stir again until a smooth mixture forms. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
  • While the batter rests, preheat the oven to 340°F/170°C and grease and line three 6-inch round pans (or two 8-inch round pans) with parchment paper.
  • Evenly pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 32-35 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before taking them out onto a cooling rack to let them cool completely.
  • Once cooled, wrap each layer with plastic and put it in the fridge or freezer for an hour.


  • In a pot, mix together egg yolks and evaporated milk. Add butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt.
  • Heat it on medium heat while whisking constantly. Once it reaches a boil, continue to whisk for 5 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and add the coconut and pecans. Let it cool completely before putting it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


  • Slice the domes off of the chilled cake layers to make them flat and even. Each layer should be about an inch tall.
  • Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Put a third of the frosting on the cake and spread it to the edge using an offset spatula, knife, or spoon.
  • Place another cake layer on top and spread another third of the frosting on top. Repeat once more, finishing with frosting on top.


How to make homemade evaporated milk: Put 1⅓ cup / 400g non-dairy milk in a small pot. Heat it on medium heat, and once it reaches a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer to reduce until you end up with a cup of evaporated milk.
Evaporated milk substitute: Canned coconut milk! Make sure it's the kind that comes in a can, as it's thicker.
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Serving: 1slice | Calories: 656kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 226IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 3mg