Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake

Make 2 layers of gluten-free chocolate cake. While the cake cools, make a classic sticky, crunchy, sweet German chocolate frosting with coconut milk, coconut, and pecans. Use this as both the filling and the frosting for the two cakes. Top with additional pecans and coconut.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 3⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup hot coffee
  • 1 1⁄4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1⁄3 cups coconut milk
  • 1⁄3 cup cornstarch mixed with 1⁄4 cup water
  • 2 3⁄4 cups unsweetened, flaked coconut, divided
  • 1 3⁄4 cups chopped pecans, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 round cake pans (9 inches) with 1 tablespoon butter, line bottom with parchment paper, and then grease parchment with butter. Dust with a tablespoon of cocoa powder and tap out excess.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder, coffee, and milk. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 3⁄4 cup butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl when necessary. Add eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture alternately to the mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide the batter between the two pans.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in pans 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the coconut milk, 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar, and cornstarch slurry. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 to 6 minutes. Cook for 1 minute more and then remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 1⁄2 cups flaked coconut, and 1 1⁄2 cups pecans and mix thoroughly until thick and sticky. Cool 10 minutes.
  • Place 1 cake on a serving platter. Spread half of the frosting over the top of the cake. Top with the remaining cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the top of cake. Scatter remaining pecans and coconut over top of cake.