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vegan German chocolate cake on a cake stand

Easy Vegan German Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free Option)

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cooling time: 180
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This unbelievably vegan German chocolate cake tastes just like the real deal. Rich and decadent easy chocolate cake with layers of sticky coconut pecan filling!



Chocolate cake:

  • 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (110 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) unsalted vegan butter*, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 cup (95 g) all natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder (or 1 cup (240 mL) brewed coffee, decaf if desired)

Coconut Pecan Caramel Filling:

  • 14.8 ounces (2 7.4-ounce cans) sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter
  • 1 cup (200 g) coconut sugar or granulated organic sugar
  • 2/3 cup (6 ounces) chopped raw pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) unsweetened shredded coconut (or coconut flakes that you then shred)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 batch vegan chocolate ganache
  • 1/2 batch vegan chocolate buttercream


  1. Prep: Measure out all ingredients for the cake. Prep three 8″ cake pans with oil and parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F. Make sure that the vegan buttermilk is prepped. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make the vegan chocolate cake first: In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan butter, unsweetened applesauce or yogurt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. Siftin the cocoa powder and whisk again until combined.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients: Sift in the flour mixture, and add in the vegan buttermilk to the batter. Begin to whisk just until the flour starts to incorporate into the chocolate mixture. Then add in the hot coffee, and continue whisking until the flour is JUST combined.
  4. Bake: Pour the chocolate cake batter into the three cake pans, and place the cakes into the oven to bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes in their pans. Then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. While the cakes are cooling, make the pecan coconut filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the condensed coconut milk and vegan butter on medium heat until the butter is melted. Add in the sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to whisk all the while. Reduce the heat to medium once boiling, and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken a bit more, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat. Add in the vanilla extract, along with the pecans and coconut shreds, and fold the ingredients into the caramel until evenly distributed. Set the filling aside to cool completely before assembling the cake.
  6. Prepare the vegan chocolate ganache and vegan buttercream: While the filling is cooling, prepare the vegan chocolate ganache acceding to instructions first, followed by a half batch of the vegan chocolate buttercream. Set the ganache aside to cool and if your kitchen is too warm, you can set the buttercream in the fridge for a few minutes before bringing it out to room temperature again while the remainder of the components cool to room temperature.
  7. Assemble the German chocolate cake: Place one cake layer onto a cake stand or plate. Apply about 1/3 of the coconut pecan filling to the top of the cake, and spread evenly. Place the second cake layer on, and repeat. Then place the third cake layer on, and spread the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake. Gently drip it down the sides. Place the cake into the fridge to set the ganache for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the cake and pipe the chocolate buttercream in swirls along the top of the cake. Finish the cake by applying the remainder of the filling on top.
  8. Slice and serve: Serve your vegan German chocolate cake immediately or store in a cake box until ready to serve. Store any leftover slices in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Gluten free: Please use gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, and the cup measurements for the flour. You can also swap in this oat flour chocolate cake for the chocolate cake part.

Keywords: vegan German chocolate cake, dairy free egg free German chocolate cake, egg free German chocolate cake, German chocolate cake, German chocolate cake no eggs