Pop quiz. What’s so German about German chocolate cake?
As far as the country name- nothing. As far a man’s name “Sam German” – everything.
Sam German made the formula for a sweet baking chocolate for an American chocolate company. This was a key ingredient in the original German chocolate cake. Hence the name. Since this cake uses cocoa instead of baking chocolate, I guess this technically is not a German chocolate cake. But the far more distinguishing factor is the coconut pecan frosting.
That frosting is actually the reason that 1. I decided to develop an allergy free version of the cake and 2. why I don’t usually like the cake. I always like the idea of coconut frosting, but usually find it far too sweet and goopy. But, generally like it or not, it posed a fun challenge. The frosting is made from condensed milk, eggs, sugar, pecans and coconut. Not exactly allergy friendly. I ended up using one of those same ingredients for this version. The most important one I’d say – coconut. I have an intolerance to many nuts- so did not use pecans either but they could easily be added if you can tolerate them.
Subbing out the milk was easy. I just used coconut milk, it adds to the coconut goodness. Some coconut, of course, and dates are the other key ingredients. The dates not only added sweetness, but with a touch of help from arrowroot, they replaced the eggs as well. Sort of like in my Ultimate Healthier Brownies.
I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked this version. It was sweet enough to be the icing on the cake without making my teeth hurt. Even without eggs and sugar it was caramel-y and coconut-y enough to be true to the original.
Speaking of dates, I am contemplating writing a book on them. It would be full of healthier, date sweetened, treats. It is still in the concept stage of production. So, what do you think? If I did this it would be available in print, kindle, and pdf.
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- For The Cake
- 1¼ cup brown rice flour*
- ½ cup oat flour (grind gluten free oats in a coffee grinder)*
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour* (* can use a total of 2 cups of brown rice flour instead of the different flours, but the texture is not quite as good)
- ¼ cup ground flax (preferably brown as golden would be visible)
- 1⅔ cup water
- ½ cup liquid oil of choice, melted if need be
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cup sucanat or sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For The Frosting:
- 16 medjool dates (or ~1 cup diced or packed whole dates)
- 1¼ cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 4 teaspoons arrowroot (or starch of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups coconut flakes
- Additional coconut milk or water if needed
- For The Cake
- In a large bowl mix together the flours, milled flax, and water. Let sit at least thirty minutes. Mix in the oil and vanilla.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13" pan with parchment paper.**
- Stir together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Sift into the flour and water mixture. Stir everything together until thoroughly combined.
- Pour batter into the 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. After about 5-10 minutes remove cake from pan and cool on cooling rack.
- **Alternatively you can bake in a deep 8" cake pan for 50-60 minutes.
- For The Frosting
- Reserve ¼ cup of coconut milk, mix the arrowroot powder, or starch of choice, into that.
- Put the rest of the milk and the dates into a sauce pan. Heat over low- medium low heat until it just barely simmers. Simmer for a few minutes to soften the dates. Mix in the reserved milk and arrowroot powder. Heat for a few minutes until the liquid is thickened.
- Puree in a food processor with the salt and vanilla. Add the coconut flakes in and puree just long enough to mix. Add a bit more water or coconut milk if needed to thin it out.
- If using the 9x13 cut the cooled cake into thirds lengthwise. Put the first third on a platter, spread with ⅓ the frosting, emphasize the edges to help support the other layers. Repeat with the other pieces of cake. If using a the cake pan, simply frost with the coconut frosting. I think I will do that next time as it would be easier.
Fat Tuesday @ Real Food Forager