German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

Rich & decadent chocolate cake, layered with sweet coconut icing & drizzled in chocolate ganache.

The most amazing Gluten free & allergy friendly German Chocolate cake around!

The most amazing Gluten free & allergy friendly German Chocolate cake around!

Ummmm, chocolate!  I have always associated chocolate with the holidays.
Chocolate chip cookies for Santa, hot chocolate by the fireplace, milk chocolate candies in pretty boxes, and then there is chocolate cake.  But not just any cake, rich & decadent German Chocolate Cake with that sweet & sticky coconut glaze to be exact.  Doesn’t the sound of that bring a smile to your face?  And you haven’t even had a bite yet.  Well, we’re going to fix that! 

Fun Facts First

But first, I want to let you in on a little secret, in case you didn’t know.  Chalk this up as “fun facts to know and tell your friends”.

Did you know that German chocolate cake isn’t actually from Germany?  In fact, it is an American dessert, first made in 1957 by Mrs. George Clay from Dallas, Texas!  That’s about as American as it can get, right? The confusion traces back to an American named Samuel German who developed a type of dark baking chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate. Baker’s then created a German’s Sweet Chocolate in his honor which was used in Ms. Clay’s German’s Chocolate Cake recipe.  As this cake recipe grew in popularity, the name changed slightly, removing the plural (‘s) from German’s, thus creating the confusion of who gets credit for this amazing cake.


Free from

No German’s will get credit for this recipe either!  It’s brought to you by yours truly, a Canadian-American.  And as a “heads-up”, I’ve sort of strayed away from the traditional recipe which included regular flour, Baker’s chocolate and a caramel-pecan filling made with egg yolks and evaporated milk.  Sorry Mrs. George Clay.

Instead, I’ve made this Top 8 free, gluten free and vegan friendly!  So everyone can have a slice of cake!


Holidays can make everyone stress out. There’s a ton more activities, parties, school functions, vacations and get-aways, family visits and then there’s food and what to make everyone.  My goal is to make it a little easier for you.  Easier because you can make a dessert that is easily shared with your friends and guests without worry.  Easier because you don’t have to figure this all out yourself.  Easier because you can just print off the recipe and spend a short amount of time making it then spend the rest of the time, enjoying every delicious “safe” bite.

The Best German Chocolate Cake (gluten-free, nut free, vegan)




Yield 8 people

This delicious, German Chocolate Cake has 5 layers of rich chocolate cake with a sweet coconut frosting then drizzled in chocolate ganache for a truly decadent, dessert.  Gluten-free, nut-free, vegan. 


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cup Bob's 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup cane sugar (WholesomeSweet)
  • 3/4 Cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Cup strong coffee, hot
  • 1/2 Cup coconut oil
  • 1 Cup light coconut milk + 1 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TB. flax meal + 6 TB. water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Coconut Icing

  • 1/2 Cup vegan butter substitute (Earth Balance Soy Free)
  • 1/2 Cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 Cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 Cup cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ganache Topping

  • 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 2 TB. vegan butter substitute
  • 2 TB. coconut milk


Cake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease and flour cake pans. 
  3. Add 1 TB. of vinegar to a 1 Cup measuring cup then top off with coconut milk. Allow to sit while preparing the rest. 
  4. In a small bowl, make your flax egg. 
  5. In a stand mixer, mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda & salt).
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together coffee, coconut oil, vanilla and milk/vinegar blend until coconut oil has melted.
  7. Slowly, pour liquids into flour and blend, making sure to scrape down the sides. Add flax egg and mix well. 
  8. Divide between prepared pans. 
  9. Bake 25-30 minutes if using 2-8" rounds. Toothpick will come out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. 
  10. Cool 10 minutes then flip onto cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before icing. 

Icing Instructions

In a small saucepan, melt butter substitute then add in remaining ingredients.  Stir and bring to a slow boil.  Allow icing to thicken (5 minutes) then remove from stovetop. Cool before using.

Ganache (optional)

  1. In a small saucepan (or microwave safe bowl), add chocolate chips, butter & coconut milk.  Melt together  and mix well.  
  2. To Assemble. 
  3. Lay 1 cooled cake round onto serving tray then cover with coconut icing.  Add second layer of cake on top and then cover with coconut icing as well.  If using chocolate ganache, pour melted ganache over the top of the cake and allow melted chocolate to run down the sides.  Add extra coconut if desired. 


If using regular flour, simply substitute in place of 1-to-1 mix without making other changes. 

** if using regular gluten-free flour, see if Xanthan gum is required. 

*** I used 5 small cake rounds.  If you use this method, bake 15-18 minutes. 

Courses Dessert

Did you make this recipe?

Share your cooking fun with us by tagging @allergylicious and hashtag it #allergylicious so we are sure to see it.

Bring on the merriment

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?  Maybe it’s a special dessert that your mother makes once a year.  Maybe you love having everyone over in your home to celebrate all the wonderful things this year brought your way. Maybe it’s that you get a little time to rest and relax.

Whatever it is, I’d love to hear what makes the holidays special for you and I hope that your Christmas and holiday season is as sweet as my German Chocolate Cake :).

I hope you are enjoying my new site!  Remember that I always love hearing from you and seeing your awesome remakes! Find me on Instagram @xanderfriendlyfoods (for now ) and tag #allergylicious. You can also find me on Pinterest sharing the newest, delicious, allergy-friendly foods!

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  • Dianne's Vegan Kitchen
    Posted at 15:10h, 05 December Reply

    German chocolate cake has always been a favorite of mine, and I’m totally drooling over your photos. This cake looks amazing!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 21:02h, 05 December Reply

      Thanks so much Dianne. Its a favorite of my boys as well.

  • Aimee | Wallflower Kitchen
    Posted at 17:48h, 05 December Reply

    This looks incredible and I love the new site!

  • Megan
    Posted at 15:24h, 12 December Reply

    That looks so fudgy! My husband loves german chocolate…makes me wish I liked coconut! PS–love your new site!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 16:54h, 12 December Reply

      Thanks Megan. Xander actually hates coconut but he loves this cake, so who knows. There’s still hope 🙂

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    Posted at 10:44h, 13 December Reply

    This is gorgeous! Love all of that ganache cascading down the cake! YUM!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 20:12h, 17 December Reply

      Can’t beat chocolate on chocolate, right Emily?

  • Sharon @What The Fork
    Posted at 16:43h, 13 December Reply

    Oh my goodness! That chocolate ganache really puts it over the top for me! Absolutely stunning!

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