A gourmet vegan German chocolate cake, made eggless and dairy-free thanks to coconut oil, vegetable oil, and aquafaba. Fudgy and just a little dense, and slathered with a toasted pecan coconut custard frosting. This cake might not be much to look at but it's delightful to eat!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Over indirect heat, or in 15-second bursts in the microwave, melt the chocolate and set aside.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a second mixing bowl, add the oils and beat or mix until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to mix until fluffy. With an electric mixer this will take a couple of minutes; by hand it will take several. Add the aquafaba and vanilla and mix until combined. Then add the melted chocolate and also mix until combined.
Stir together the coffee, non-dairy milk, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl or measuring vessel. Add about one-third of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl, mixing until just combined. Next add half of the coffee mixture, then another one-third of the dry ingredients, and mix. Finally, add the remaining coffee mixture and the remaining dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
Divide the prepared batter evenly into the three cake pans and smooth the tops if needed. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the pans after about 20 minutes. It's important not to open the oven door in the first half of baking if you can avoid it.
Remove the cake pans from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. After that, the rack can be lightly greased and the cakes inverted onto the rack to cool completely.
If not already toasted, toast the pecans and coconut according to your preferred method: in the oven or on the stovetop.
In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut oil, sugar, non-dairy milk, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble slightly at the edges. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water, and then add it to the saucepan and stir. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes glossy and thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pecans and coconut. Set aside the mixture to cool.
Once the cake layers and frosting are both cooled, assemble the cake by placing the bottom layer on a cake stand, spreading 1/3 of the frosting onto it, then repeating with the remaining layers and frosting. Decorate the top of the cake as desired (I used cocoa powder, roasted pecans and chocolate chips). The cake is best enjoyed at room temperature. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or so, but I recommend letting it come to room temperature before eating for the best taste and texture.
Aquafaba is the cooking liquid from legumes. For recipes where I call for aquafaba, mine is drained from a can of chickpeas, white beans, or black beans.
Refined vs. virgin coconut oil doesn't make a big difference in this recipe since the cake is already topping with a coconut flavored frosting.
Feel free to use all coconut sugar or all cane sugar - please substitute by weight if possible.
Nutrition facts exclude the frosting. (And frankly, you might not wanna know)