Healthy German Chocolate Cake

Healthy German Chocolate Cake - Vegan; Gluten Free

This super light and decadent chocolate cake is smothered in a creamy and healthy coconut pecan frosting, and is the perfect size for two!

Healthy German Chocolate Cake - Vegan; Gluten Free

I actually never had German Chocolate Cake until a few weeks ago when there was a sample of it at the grocery store. And who doesn’t love a good grocery store sample!? I usually pick my grocery store based on which one has the best samples. Is that too crazy?? I’m going to say no for my own sanity’s sake. And also, because had I not gone to this particular grocery store on that particular day, I still wouldn’t know how amazing chocolate cake with pecan coconut frosting could be! And that making it without any oil, butter, or refined flour could make it even better!

However, I did know that German Chocolate Cake actually got its name from an American whose last name was German. Confused yet? Well, that’s OK because we’re not really here for cake history. We’re here for cake eat-ery.

Healthy German Chocolate Cake - Vegan; Gluten Free

The recipe for this chocolate cake really couldn’t be any easier. It only has a handful of ingredients, but does require some quick working hands to get it to rise properly. After the dry ingredients are mixed together, you’ll add the wet ingredients like normal. But, once you add the boiling water, the rising agents will start to foam and bubble. Fold that foaminess in quickly and pop it right into your preheated oven. Basically, some fancy science stuff happens and causes a chemical reaction which gives us bubbles and we want to bake those bubbles into the cake to get it light and airy. Didn’t think you came here for a history AND a science lesson, did you?? Don’t worry, I’m done with that now ;).

Once your cake is baking away in the oven, it’s time to work on the frosting. It’s totally optional, but I highly recommend toasting the coconut and pecans before mixing them into the frosting. It really brings out the flavor and makes everything just that much more delicious.Healthy German Chocolate Cake - Vegan; Gluten Free

The steps for the frosting might seem a little strange. Typically, a frosting would include just mixing everything together with a whisk or electric mixer. This one will be made on the stove top. If you just mix everything together, the frosting will be thin and runny instead of thick and frosting-like. So, don’t try to cut corners and skip that crucial step! (I only say this because if I was reading the recipe, that would probably be the first thing that came to my mind. Just call the me the Queen of Convenience!)

Also very important – make sure that the cake and the frosting are both cooled before slathering the frosting all over your cake. No one wants a melty frosting. And, if you want to make a multi-layered cake like the one in the pictures, just repeat the steps for the cake recipe as many times as you want layers! Or, bake it in a cute little heart shaped tin. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, either way!

Healthy German Chocolate Cake - Vegan; Gluten Free

I love to see your creations! If you bake this cake (or anything else from Healthy Hacks!) be sure to tag me @HealthyHacksRD! Happy Baking!

Healthy German Chocolate Cake - Vegan; Gluten Free

Yields 1 - 6" round cake

Healthy German Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free; Vegan; Low Fat; Egg Free; Low FODMAP

30 minPrep Time

22 minCook Time

52 minTotal Time

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  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup yogurt, vanilla (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Cake
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/3 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water, boiling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 6" round cake pan.
  2. For the frosting, spread the pecans and coconut out on a cookie sheet and bake in the 350 F oven for 3-10 min. Coconut can brown quickly, so depending on the baking sheet you use times may vary. Just keep your eye on it.
  3. In a medium sized saucepan, add the milk and cornstarch. Whisk together to get rid of any lumps. Turn the stove top on to medium-high heat, and continue to whisk the mixture occasionally until thickened.
  4. Reduce the heat the low and whisk in the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract. Make sure the vanilla yogurt is one that you like the flavor of by itself, since it will significantly impact the flavor of your frosting.
  5. Allow the frosting to cool slightly, then transfer it to a heat safe bowl and put it in the fridge to cool completely and thicken up.
  6. For the cake, in a medium bowl, stir together the milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for at least 10 min.
  7. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt.
  8. Add the oil and vanilla the milk mixture and stir together.
  9. In a microwave safe mug, microwave the water just until boiling (about 1 1/2 min).
  10. Add the milk mixture and the boiling water to the dry ingredients. Stir together immediately, and continue stirring until everything is combined.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put it in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
  12. Once the cake and the frosting have cooled completely, fold the coconut and pecans into the frosting. Generously spread the frosting over the cake. NOTE If you plan on having left over cake and frosting, store the cake in the fridge un-frosted. The frosting tends to separate a bit when stored and can benefit from some a quick stir before eating.
  13. Grab a fork (or two) and dig in to your perfectly shareable sized cake!

Some products I used for this recipe:

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