I stumbled upon this delightful German Chocolate Cake in an old edition of Gourmet magazine. And once I veganized it, it became an instant crowd-pleaser! The cake itself is a no-fuss chocolate masterpiece that can be whipped up in just one bowl. The filling is a heavenly blend of luscious, homemade coconut dulce de leche, mingled with toasted pecans and coconut flakes. And to top it all off, we slather the whole thing with a thick, glossy, seductive dark chocolate ganache. This cake is the definition of dessert perfection!
There are two reasons why this vegan German Chocolate Cake is so much better than traditional version, which is filled and frosted with the caramel/coconut/pecan mixture. The first one is that the filling is too sweet for both the middle and top of the cake. In my opinion, the cake is also not very pretty with the filling on the outside.
The dark chocolate ganache cuts down on the sweetness, and also covers the cake in a beautiful, thick and glossy glaze that looks elegant on it’s own, but can also be embellished with more toasted coconut and/or pecans.
Half of the ganache is chilled until it becomes thick and spreadable. Once the cake is filled with the dulce de leche mixture, the chilled ganache can be spread over the cake to cover the top and the sides. The remaining half of the ganache is slightly heated to a pourable glaze that can be poured over the top for a beautiful shiny finish.
German Chocolate Cake
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed with ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened plant milk
- 1/3 cup neutral flavored oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup pecans chopped coarsely
- 1½ cups coconut dulce de leche
For the dark chocolate ganache glaze:
- 1½ cup coconut cream
- 1½ cup dark chocolate chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Line bottoms of three 8 inch pans with rounds of parchment paper.
- Mix the flax seed and water in a large bowl. Add the sugar, milk, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar, and whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and whisk until just combined.
- Divide the cake batter between the three pans. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack, carefully remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
To make the filling:
- Spread the coconut flakes and pecans on a baking sheet, and toast at 350℉ for 10 minutes until the coconut is lightly golden and toasted.
To make the dark chocolate ganache glaze:
- Heat the coconut cream gently over medium heat.Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted.Add the vanilla extract.
- Chill half of the ganache, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about one hour. Reserve the other half in the pot, for pouring over the cake for the final glaze.
To assemble the cake:
- Place the bottom cake layer on a rack over a clean baking pan to catch the glaze.
- Spread half of the caramel/coconut/pecan mixture over the cake layer.
- Cover with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining filling over the cake.
- Place the final cake layer over the filling. Spread the chilled glaze over the top and sides of the cake.
- Gently reheat the reserved glaze in the pot until pourable, about a minute. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and sides of the cake. If you like you can decorate the cake with more toasted coconut or pecans, or leave it simply glazed with the ganache.
- Chill the cake until firm.