German Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

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For my husband’s birthday last month, I made his favorite birthday cake for the first time: German chocolate cake. His mom always made it in the past, but I was curious to see if I could make a gluten and dairy free version.

So, I offered to make the cake this year – gluten-free (GF), dairy-free and GMO-free. (I include butter as a option for those who are dairy-free but can tolerate butter.)

To be honest, I was not sure if the rest of the extended family would like it. However, it got rave reviews, which means a lot when the recipe is being compared to a classic.

I started with my mother-in-law’s classic Baker’s Chocolate recipe from Kraft and made it my own, changing out ingredients to meet my family’s needs.

Both the cake and the frosting recipes are shown below with links to the ingredient brands that I used. I was even surprised to find a coconut milk version of condensed milk. (Check out my Pantry for other wholesome and healthy brands.)

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

German Chocolate Cake – Gluten-free

1 cup organic coconut milk
1 organic lemon, squeezed (pulp removed)
4 oz. (1/2 cup) organic semi-sweet chocolate chips (one with minimal ingredients and no soy lecithin)
1/2 cup water
4 pastured farm eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups organic white rice flour
1/2 cup organic tapioca flour
1 tsp. baking soda, aluminum-free
1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 cup organic coconut oil or ghee (or farm butter if you can tolerate butter), softened
2 cups organic coconut sugar
1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla

Make coconut buttermilk by mixing one cup coconut milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and set aside.

Heat oven to 325°F. Grease bottoms and sides of (3) 9-inch round pans and cut parchment paper to line the bottoms. (I did not have a third 9″ pan so I used a smaller stoneware round for the top.)

Using a double boiler, put chocolate chips/pieces and water in top pan and bring to a light boil. Once the chocolate starts softening, stir until chocolate is completely melted and set aside.

Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form and set aside. Combine flours, baking soda and salt in another bowl.

In separate large bowl, beat coconut oil (or ghee/butter) and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.

With spoon, add egg whites and stir gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 25-30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. (Watch carefully toward the end since more natural sugars tend to cook faster and you want the cake to stay moist.)

Immediately run small spatula or knife around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans about 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks and completely cool.

Prepare Coconut-Pecan Frosting as shown below.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting – Dairy-free

4 pastured farm egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) organic condensed coconut milk
1-1/2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla
1-1/2 cups organic coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar)
3/4 cup organic coconut oil or ghee (or farm butter if you can tolerate butter), softened
2-2/3 cups organic shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups chopped raw pecans (optional if you are nut-free)

Using whisk, beat egg yolks, condensed coconut milk, and vanilla in medium to large saucepan until blended.

Add sugar and oil/ghee/butter and cook on medium heat and stir constantly for approximately 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat.

Add coconut and nuts and mix well. Let cool a little and spread between each cake layer and cake top. Sprinkle additional pecans and/or large pieces of shredded coconut on top for decoration.

This article was written by Sharon Harmon, founder of Life Design for Health. She has a passion for helping people find their way back to optimum health. Please contact her if you would like to know more. There is a great deal of health-related information in her blog articles and on her website.

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