german chocolate cake (vegan, no added sugar, soy free)
Happy Birthday…to me!
Yep, it’s my birthday today and I’m celebrating by sharing this german chocolate cake recipe with you.
But first…if you’ve been checking regularly with me, you might have noticed it was awfully silent here last week. It’s for a good reason, I promise you, and I’ll be revealing more later this week (eek! excited!). My newsletter tribe already got a bit of sneak peek. If you also want to be among the first to hear exciting news and never miss a recipe, sign up for the newsletter here. I also share a little more content and personal stories there too!
Right. Back to the cake.
Before I made the switch to a vegan, low/no added sugar diet, german chocolate cake topped my list as a favorite birthday cake. It was one I thought was crossed off my list forever since the traditional frosting uses evaporated milk and eggs and is packed with sugar.
Then I discovered that if I combined dates with three basic ingredients. it produced a frosting that closely approximates the original but far surpasses it nutritionally. Insert celebration with confetti here.
The german chocolate cake itself is a modification of my chocolate zucchini muffin recipe…which means these also work perfectly as cupcakes!
And here’s an interesting bit of trivia…when I first heard of this cake, I thought “german” meant it was a cake that originated in Germany by some inspired baker. However, it actually refers to the last name of an English-American chocolatier, Samuel German, who invented a certain kind of dark baking chocolate. So, really, the cake should be German’s chocolate cake.
This classic cake gets a healthy makeover by eliminating both the added sugar and dairy. Instead, dates, pecans and coconut form the decadent frosting and the cake itself gets a nutritional boost from shredded zucchini.
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 scoops 100% pure stevia*
- 2 small ripe/slightly underripe banana
- 2 cups unsweetened almond coconut milk
- 2 flax eggs 2 T ground flax seed + 4 T water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup date paste*
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 15-20 Medjool dates with pits (remove pits before mixing)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9" cake pans well (coconut oil is recommended). On a piece of parchment paper, use one of the cake pans to trace two circles in pencil. Cut out the circles and place one (pencil-mark down) in each cake pan.
Mix up your flax egg and set aside. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine.
- In a food processor or high speed blender, add all wet ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini and apple cider vinegar. Blend until well-combined and very smooth then add to the dry ingredients. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
Gently stir the batter as you sprinkle in the zucchini a little at a time and then add the apple cider vinegar and gently mix again. Spoon into prepared batter into the pans and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
When finished baking, leave in the cake pans for 10-15 minutes, then loosen with a knife and remove from the pans and place on a cooling rack. Store cake in a covered container for 1-2 days or refrigerated for 3-4 days.
*Recipe Notes Be sure to use 100% pure stevia If you can't find date paste, you can make your own by soaking 3/4 cup of Medjool dates in warm water for 1-2 hours and then blending until smooth. In this case, it's best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them and simply remove the pits just before using. I recommend using spelt flour and unsweetened almond coconut milk as it's why I used and results may vary with other flours or dairy-free milks although feel free to experiment Unless you don't mind a slight banana flavor to the cake, I recommend using a small perfectly ripe or just under-ripe banana.
- Click here for my favorite food processor
- I got my organic spelt flour (GMO free!) from the bulk section at Whole Foods, or you can find it here.
- Target and many other grocery stores carry the unsweetened almond coconut milk, but you also can get it here.
- Pure stevia: It’s critical to use 100% pure stevia with no additives or fillers. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but try the NOW BetterStevia™ Organic Zero Calorie Powdered Sweetener — 1 oz brand here. Even though it appears pricey, a little goes a looong way, and my container lasted me for several years! This link will save you $5 on your order…comment or message me if you want to know which products I stock up on to get the free shipping
- I usually buy my almond butter from Trader Joe’s, but click here for another option.
- Date paste: I usually buy mine at a local Mediterranean/middle eastern store. If you don’t have one near by, you can make your own using Medjool dates (see Recipe Notes) Happily, Aldi has been carrying Medjool dates lately, but you can also find them here.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut: If you have a Whole Foods or natural foods store near by, check the bulk section! Or get it here.
- Pecans: I buy mine at BJs (a wholesale club) or you can find them here. If you aren’t a member of BJs and want to check it out, use this link to sign up for a BJs membership and we’ll both get $25!