Vegan German Chocolate Cake

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This is Us doesn't return until after the Olympics (which I happen to be watching as I type this). Which means you have plenty of time between then and now to bake this cake and use it to mask the grief of the last few episodes. And i'm guessing every episode from now until the end of the series.

For those of you who've yet to jump on the This is Us bandwagon, i'd suggest starting it now. Even better, do it with a freshly baked Vegan German Chocolate Cake by your side. 

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This recipe once again is from a new book i've been trying out using cleaner baking ingredients called A New Way to Bake .

For the cake, you'll need: 

  • 1 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar (the original recipe calls for natural cane sugar FYI)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 tsp coarse salt 
  • 2 tbsp espresso instant powder 
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (the real stuff)
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar

Grab yourself three 8 inch cake pans and grease them with coconut oil. Then line them with parchment paper and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside. 

Start by mixing together your flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk your melted coconut oil, espresso powder, coconut milk and vanilla (extra vanilla is always my go to). Then mix your liquid and dry ingredients until just combined. Last but not least quickly stir in the apple cider vinegar. 

Divide your batter amongst your prepared pans and bake until the tops spring back lightly when touched or when a toothpick comes out clean.

A couple additional tips, don't let your cakes sit in the pans too long as the hot metal will continue to cook them and dry them out. You can also tell your cakes  are done by the smell. More often than not, my mom yells at me that my cakes (or cupcakes) are done before the beep because she can smell them. So keep that in mind next time you bake! 

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For the topping, you'll need:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut 
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp's water
  • 2 tsp's melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Set your shredded coconut aside in a bowl. 

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 of water. Let it come to a boil, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes clear. You can test this by taking a bit and rubbing it between your fingertips to see if the sugar has fully dissolved. 

Pour over your coconut, then add the remaining coconut and stir together. Set that aside to cool then add your chopped pecans. 

In the same saucepan (at least I used the same one) combine the remaining sugar and 2 tbsp's of water. Place over high heat, and cook, brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush. Continue stirring until the mixture turns amber (approx. 6 to 8 minutes but be on your guard). Immediately remove from heat and gradually (GRADUALLY) add in your coconut milk. Be careful, it splatters and makes a terrifying sound and also turns sort of hard at first but don't panic. Return the caramel to medium heat and cook until slightly think - to be honest, mine didn't thicken up that much and it was still just fine, so don't worry too much about this part. Add salt and vanilla then stir the caramel into your coconut-pecan mixture. Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate frosting, you'll need:

  • 4 ounces bitter (or semi) sweet chocolate, finely chopped. 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk.

Finally, to prepare the ganache frosting place your chocolate into a small bowl. In another small saucepan, bring your coconut milk to boil then pour it over the chocolate and let stand for a few minutes. Stirring occasionally until smooth. (Prepare this ahead of time so it cools off in time to ice your cake). 

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Assembly is pretty dang easy! Place your first cake layer on a plate or stand, flat side down. Take a hefty dollop of your coconut filling and carefully spread evenly across the top. About an inch and a half thick. Place the second cake layer on top of the first and spread your remaining filling on top. Place your final layer of cake on top and spread the chocolate ganache evenly on top. 

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Refrigerate for roughly 30 minutes before slicing then grab yourself a box of Kleenex, a healthy portion of cake and enjoy your next tear filled Tuesday watching This is Us! 

Kayla SommerComment