Apparently everyone’s dad’s favorite dessert is German chocolate cake. When I was looking up recipes to modify this week, I swear every blog I saw about it started with, “my dad’s favorite cake is German chocolate cake.” So here’s my own version of that…
German chocolate cake has been my dad’s favorite cake for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, we would just pop down to the local bakery and pick one up each year on his birthday.
Since I brought my multiple-food-allergic daughter into their house and stayed there for over a decade, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had a bite of that rich chocolate-y, coconut-y goodness for the past ten years. Poor Dad. The option to buy baked goods from stores flew right out the window, and the idea of baking a dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free German chocolate cake honestly never even occurred to me. It was too hard to make safe, too many substitutions.
Today I made a milk-free, egg-free, peanut-free and tree-nut free German Chocolate Cake!
I do have to clarify — I do not consider coconut a tree nut, even though the FDA now classifies it as such. If you look it up, coconut is a fruit. However, if you have a coconut allergy, this recipe is not for you.
Now, let’s talk about nuts for a minute.
(Insert hubby giggling here…)
Yes, pecans are an important ingredient in German chocolate cake. I don’t care!!! Jillian can safely eat almonds, so I could have used those in my recipe, but I want to keep all of the recipes I create and post here completely free of milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. So I made the coconut filling sans nuts. And guess what? It was friggin’ delicious anyway!!!
Let’s get started!
Moist and rich vegan chocolate cake!
First thing’s first, we need a deliciously moist and decadent chocolate cake recipe. I have one! It’s one of my favorite basic vegan cake recipes, and I adapted it from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. (See all of these recipes at the bottom of this post.) I also used the yummy chocolate cupcake version of this recipe in my Ghostly Cupcakes, which are an adorably easy vegan Halloween treat.
Most German chocolate cakes have a chocolate cake center and a coconut-pecan filling inside and as the icing. That sounds absolutely delicious, yes, but I wanted something even more spectacular! It’s Dad’s 68th birthday, for goodness sake. The man has had Parkinson’s Disease for nearly 30 years, and he hasn’t had his absolute favorite cake in a decade?!?! I’m making a damn special cake!
I decided that the coconut filling would be between the layers of the chocolate cake, and also on the top of the cake, but I would surround the outside with… wait for it…
Heavenly chocolate fudge icing!
Oh snap! When I told this to my mom yesterday, she started giggling and clapping! Yeah, it’s that good.
Dad was thrilled! I tried to keep the cake a surprise, but I honestly couldn’t wait. I told him a couple days ago that I was going to make him a German Chocolate cake, and he immediately beamed. Later my mom mentioned it to Dad’s nurse, who said, “Oh, I know. He already told me. He can’t wait!”
There are a lot, a LOT, of things in Dad’s life that he can’t do or have anymore, including the ability to move his body properly (or at all) and to think clearly, among many, many others. I’m so glad I took the time to figure out how to make an allergy-friendly German chocolate cake that we could all enjoy together. I know it meant the world to him. 🙂
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup coconut milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water until smooth
- 2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 2/3 cup non-dairy margarine
- 1 1/3 cups cocoa
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp vanilla