Decadent chocolate cake, a sweet caramel pecan coconut filling, and rich chocolate buttercream make up this super dreamy Vegan German Chocolate Cake. This cake is incredible and undetectably vegan!

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 45 mins

Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 1x2x3x

Chocolate Cake

  • ▢1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ▢1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ▢2 cups all purpose flour
  • ▢1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • ▢3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • ▢2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ▢1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ▢1 teaspoon salt
  • ▢1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (I used avocado oil)
  • ▢2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ▢1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ▢1 cup boiling hot water

Coconut Pecan Filling

  • ▢1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • ▢2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ▢1/4 cup vegan butter
  • ▢1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ▢1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • ▢2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ▢1 cup chopped pecans
  • ▢1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Chocolate Frosting

  • ▢1 cup vegan butter, softened
  • ▢3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • ▢3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ▢2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ▢2-4 tablespoons unsweetened soy milk, as needed


For the chocolate cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with oil. I also line them with a circle of parchment paper for easy removal.
  • Measure 1 cup of soy milk and add the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it. Stir and set aside to curdle.
  • In a large bowl (I use my stand mixer with whisk attachment), add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • To the bowl with the dry ingredients, add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed, either with a hand mixer or a stand mixer, until well combined. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Lower the speed and slowly pour in the boiling hot water, continuing to mix until combined. The batter will seem runny, which is correct.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pans, carefully invert the cakes onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the coconut pecan filling

  • In a glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat, then add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and coconut milk/cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. Stir for 5 minutes. It should be bubbling and look like thin caramel. It will thicken as it cools.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, chopped pecans and coconut flakes. Allow it to cool completely before layering.

For the chocolate frosting

  • Make sure your vegan butter is softened but not at all melted. If it’s melted the frosting will be runny and not work.
  • Add the vegan butter to a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer (or stand mixer with whisk attachment) for about 2 minutes, until creamy.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder if clumpy and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of soy milk. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar starts to incorporate, then increase the speed and beat for 3-4 minutes, until well combined and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of soy milk. If it’s too thin, add additional powdered sugar until you have a spreadable frosting.

Cake assembly

  • Place one cake layer on your cake stand or plate. Smooth a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the cake layer, then spoon half of the coconut pecan mixture on top, spreading it into a smooth layer. Leave 1/2 inch between the filling and the edge of the cake.
  • Stack the second cake layer on top, then spread chocolate frosting over and on the sides of the whole cake. I also piped some frosting in a circle on top, which helps contain the coconut pecan mixture.
  • Spoon the rest of the coconut pecan filling on top of the cake. Serve and enjoy!


  1. Freeze – This cake freezes well if needed, though I prefer to cut slices, wrap them well and freeze for a quick freezer dessert!
  2. Make Ahead – Feel free to bake the cakes and make each frosting ahead of time, up to 1-2 weeks ahead of when you plan to serve it. For the cakes, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Store the frosting and filling in covered containers.
  3. Gluten free – Make my Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cake as the base layer to make this recipe gluten free.


Serving: 1of 16 servings | Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 712IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg