Recipe prepared by Elizabeth Gary, vegan chef and culinary writer for Jensen’s Foods, Southern California grocery store chain

Makes a six-inch layer cake plus 6-8 cupcakes or one nine-inch two-layer cake, or a single 9×13 sheet cake, or three dozen cupcakes. Great served with vanilla, almond, or coconut milk ice cream. 

Pecan German Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake:
  • 3 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups organic cane sugar
  • ⅔ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Coconut Pecan Filling:
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted
Dark Chocolate Frosting:
  • 2¾ cups organic powdered sugar
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup butter substitute, slight softened (Earth Balance)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy milk
Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or lightly grease, flour, and prepare cake pans, set aside.
  3. Measure the soy milk into liquid measuring cup, add the apple cider vinegar and stir it well.  Set it aside to allow it to curdle for a few minutes.
  4. Using a medium mixing bowl measure flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir until blended.
  5. Measure the cane sugar and place it into a large mixing bowl.  Add the curdled soy milk, vanilla, and melted coconut oil, whisk until blended and the sugar dissolves.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring and scrapping the sides of the bowl.  Beat for two to three minutes until blended then transfer batter into the prepared pans, filling them three-quarters of the way.
  7. Place pans in the  center of oven to bake.  For cupcakes bake 18-20 minutes, layer cake 30-35 minutes or until the tops springs back slightly when touched and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
Coconut Pecan Filling
  1. While the cake is baking combine the brown sugar and coconut milk in a medium saucepan.  Heat to medium high, stir occasionally and allow the mixture to come to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and continue to stir whole maintaining a soft boil for five minutes.
  2. Combine the soy milk and cornstarch in a small liquid measuring cup, stir to blend then add it to the brown sugar coconut milk mixture.
  3. Continue stirring on medium heat until thickened.
  4. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add the shredded coconut and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant and lightly toasted.
  5. Transfer the coconut to saucepan with the coconut milk.
  6. Next, toast the pecan pieces stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes.  Mix the pecans into the coconut mixture then stir in the vanilla and sea salt.
  7. Continue to simmer for another minute or two then remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool before spreading.
Chocolate Frosting
  1. Combine the powdered sugar, salt and cocoa in a medium mixing bowl, stir to blend.
  2. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, begin beating on a low speed using an electric mixer.  Gradually add the powdered sugar mixture, alternate with additions of one tablespoon soy milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Add the vanilla and pinch of sea salt, increase the speed to high and continue beating 3-5 minutes until smooth and the icing holds its shape.
Cake Assembly
  1. Cool the cakes and the coconut pecan filling completely before assembling.
  2. Using a serrated knife or cake leveler cut off an excess top of the cake to level it.
  3. Place a spoonful; of frosting on your cake plate to secure and center the first layer in place.
  4. Top the first layer with half the coconut pecan mixture, leave about one inch free around the edges without the filling.
  5. Pipe a row of chocolate frosting around the outer edge of the bottom layer then place the second layer on top.
  6. Top the second layer with the remaining coconut pecan mixture.  Spread it evenly all over the top.  Use a spatula to spread the chocolate frosting evenly around the sides.
  7. Place a large spoonful of frosting in a pastry bag with a star tip and apply decorative edges along the top and bottom edges.