VEGAN GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
For the Vegan Chocolate Cake:
2 cups (10 ounces or 285 grams) all-purpose flour
2 cups (14 ounces or 400 grams) granulated sugar
¾ cup (2.65 ounces or 75 grams) Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) strong coffee, at room temperature
½ cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) melted virgin (unrefined) coconut oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp almond extract
For the Vegan Coconut Pecan Filling:
1 cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) sweetened coconut flakes
½ cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) pecans, roughly chopped into ½- to 1-inch pieces
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) canned coconut milk OR canned evaporated coconut milk
½ cup tightly packed (3.75 ounces or 105 grams) light OR dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp almond extract
For the Vegan Milk Chocolate Ganache:
6 ounces (170 grams) Amatika 46% (finely chopped into ¼ to ½ inch pieces
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) cold canned coconut cream
- First, make the cakes:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray three 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of each with a parchment paper circle. Spray the parchment, too.
- Mix the dry ingredients:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients.s:
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk, coffee, oil, vinegar, and extract. Use a rubber spatula to gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Assemble the cakes:
Divide the batter evenly between the pans; if using a digital scale to measure out layers, note that this recipe makes around 47.45 ounces (1345 grams) of batter—pour 15.75 ounces (447 grams) of batter into each cake pan.
- Bake the cakes:
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When done, the top of the cakes should bounce back when gently pressed. A skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before frosting.
- Next, toast the coconut and pecans for the filling:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Spread the coconut flakes and pecans in a single layer across a half sheet pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted brown. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to toss the nuts every 2 to 3 minutes to ensure even toasting. Once toasted, scrape the mixture onto a plate to prevent the coconut and pecans from cooking further.
- Make the coconut pecan filling:
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the almond extract until smooth. Add the toasted coconut and pecans, and mix until combined. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling the cake.
- Make the ganache:
Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl in the microwave in 20 seconds increments, stirring between each until completely melted. Immediately add the coconut cream, and whisk until melted and combined. The resulting ganache should be thick, but silky and spreadable. Proceed with assembling the cake. If the ganache is too loose and drippy, scrape the ganache into a new bowl, and cool on a wire rack until spreadable, 10 to 60 minutes.
- Assemble the cake:
If necessary, level the top of the cakes. Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving platter in the center of a rotating cake stand. This will be the first layer of the cake. Use a rubber spatula or cookie dough scoop to drop half of the coconut pecan filling in the middle of the first cake layer. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly all over the top, just like you would spread butter on toast. Place the second cake on top of this frosting, stacking it evenly on top of the first layer. Use the rubber spatula or cookie dough scoop to drop the remaining half of the coconut pecan filling in the middle of this cake layer. Spread it evenly all over the top. Finally, place the third cake on top of this layer, stacking it evenly on top of the first two cakes.
- Frost the cake:
Use the offset spatula to cover the surface of the entire layer cake with a thin layer of the ganache. Use just enough frosting to cover the entire cake completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen and "set" the frosting. After the crumb coat sets, finish frosting the cake. Use the offset spatula to cover the cake with the remaining frosting. Then, use the spatula to make large, random sweeping motions across the frosting on the top and sides of the cake. The sweeping motions will create swirls.
- Serve and store:
Serve immediately. The assembled German chocolate cake can be stored at room temperature, under a cake dome or a large bowl turned upside down, for up to 1 day. Press a sheet of plastic wrap against any cut surfaces to prevent the cake from drying out. After that, cover the entire cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.