Cake, Dessert

The Best Gluten-Free and Vegan German Chocolate Cake


Gluten-Free and Vegan German Chocolate Cake – The Dessert for All

The week before Easter my sister texted me looking for an allergy friendly dessert recipe she could make for a friend of hers that would be at her home for Easter dinner. I had just finished this recipe for Gluten Free and Vegan German Chocolate Cake and knew it would be perfect for her to make, so I sent it right over. This chocolate cake recipe is perfectly sweet and elegant, perfect for a dinner party, or just a Saturday night at home when those chocolate cravings hit.

It had been quite awhile since I had made a German chocolate cake, and now I can’t figure out why. I forgot how much I love that gooey coconut pecan icing – soooo good! Just look at these layers!

Gluten free and vegan German chocolate cake with coconut pecan icing

It’s beautiful right? You should make this. Stat. Even if you don’t have a dinner party coming up. Typically, the coconut icing in German chocolate cake is made with butter, but this vegan version of the classic is made with coconut oil, and truthfully it just makes it even better. The mild flavor of the coconut oil perfectly compliments the sweetness of the shredded coconut and brown sugar. It’s divine and oh so deliciously gooey. I may have eaten it by the spoonful, but I’m not telling. I know you’ll love it as much as I do, as there is nothing not to love! It’s so good that I had to increase the amount of icing used in this cake versus the classic version. The icing is the best part of a German chocolate cake so I refuse to be stingy with it.

A slice of german chocolate cake on a floral plate next to a large cake on a white platter

What it’s all About

The day after Easter my sister texted me again and told me how happy her friend was that my cute little sister had thought to make a dessert that she could eat. She hardly ever comes across one that suits her dietary restrictions, especially at a dinner party. She was so excited to feel included and that’s exactly what this blog is about! I remember how hard it was for my little 2 year old son when he had to watch other people eat delicious looking food that he couldn’t eat. That’s hard for anyone. Above all, I want my blog to make life a little sweeter for those with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Even if you don’t have any dietary restrictions yourself, you can save this recipe and make it next time you attend a social gathering. I have the cutest friend, Allison, who includes gluten free and dairy free recipes just about any time she cooks food for people outside of her family. She’s adorable and so thoughtful. I love it. Chances are, if you are eating with a large group of people, there will be someone who has a dietary restriction and will appreciate your thoughtful, safe food more than you know.

German chocolate cake on a white platter next to a blue linen, cake knife, measuring cup, and vase of blue flowers

Common Questions

  • I’m not gluten free, can I make this recipe without gluten free flour? – You sure can, but it will need a few adjustments. First, omit the cornstarch and oat flour. Then increase the amount of all purpose flour used by 1/4 cup.
  • Why do you use applesauce in this recipe? – Applesauce is one of my favorite ways to replace eggs in vegan baking. The applesauce and white vinegar in this recipe replace the eggs. Applesauce helps bind the cake together the way gluten and eggs do in traditional baking. The vinegar and extra baking soda and powder help provide the extra “lift” that eggs give.
  • Can I make this cake with dairy? – Sure, absolutely! Just replace the almond milk with cow’s milk or milk of choice 1:1 and the coconut oil in the icing with butter, also 1:1.
Gluten free vegan german chocolate cake next to a glass of milk

Are you looking for more deliciously sweet and safe recipes? If so, go ahead and check out my recipe for gluten-free snickerdoodles. As with all my recipes, these snickerdoodles are free from wheat, eggs, and dairy.

A slice of gluten-free vegan german chocolate cake on a floral plate next to a glass of milk

Gluten Free and Vegan German Chocolate Cake

You won't be missing any gluten, dairy, or eggs with this allergy friendly German Chocolate Cake! Sweet, fudgy, and delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 613 kcal


  • Two 8 inch round cake pans
  • Medium saucepan


Chocolate Cake

  • cups Gluten Free all purpose flour
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • tsp baking powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • cup unsweetened applesauce
  • cup oil of choice
  • ½ cup almond milk

Coconut Pecan Icing

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • cups chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350°. For the cake, mix together gluten free flour, oat flour, cornstarch or arrowroot powder, baking powder and soda, cocoa powder, and sugar.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the combined dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. *Note: be careful to not over mix. Over mixing can lead to the cake sinking in the center when baked.
  • Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by lining with parchment paper and spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Pour cake batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting and assembling.
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the coconut pecan icing. Melt coconut oil in a medium saucepan. While the coconut oil is melting, whisk the almond milk and cornstarch together. Add the milk mixture and the brown sugar to the coconut oil. Bring to a low boil while stirring constantly. When it begins to thicken, remove from heat and add in the shredded coconut and the chopped pecans. Allow to cool completely.
  • To assemble the cake, layer the cakes with the coconut pecan icing by add half the icing to the top of one of the cakes. Place the other cake on top. Add the remaining icing on top.
Keyword cake, Chocolate

Did you make this recipe? If you did, I would love to see it! Please tag @allergyalamode on Instagram and hashtag it #allergyalamode

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  1. 5 stars
    This German Chocolate Cake mix is one of the best gluten free, vegan recipes I have made. I reduced the sugar in the cake mix from 2 cups to 1 cup (and boiling water to 2/3 cup). The icing I reduced the organic brown sugar to 2/3 cup instead of 1 cup. Scrumptious!. I will make this again and again and again! Thank you so very much!

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