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German Chocolate Cake

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Gluten Free German Chocolate Cake is a cake my mom made when I was a kid. Her version used wheat flour but when memories of this cake came up during a family discussion I decided I’d make a gluten free version.

German Chocolate

If you have ever baked you are likely familiar with Baker’s chocolate sold in boxes in the baking aisle at every grocery store. Available in unsweetened, bittersweet, semisweet, dark and white. In the 1950’s one of the choices was German’s sweet chocolate. It was named after Samuel German, an English-American chocolate maker.

Baker’s does not sell German’s chocolate anymore but I didn’t feel obligated to use any particular chocolate for this cake. I just wanted a good gluten free chocolate cake. The traditional filling of coconut, pecans and evaporated milk would transform any cake into the memorable dessert we all had in mind.

Chocolate Cake with Quinoa

Have you heard of ‘that chocolate cake made with cooked quinoa’? It is from the popular cookbook Qunioa 365 The Everyday Superfood written by sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. They are local authors and their cookbook is an award winner.

This quinoa chocolate cake recipe is the one you should share with family and friends. Share it with everyone you know because it has quinoa, a trendy superfood, and it is naturally gluten free. Don’t even mention that it’s gluten free. Just get everyone trying it.

There is no flour in this cake. Just cooked quinoa. The kind you may have in the cupboard to cook in place of rice, or in a salad. It is available at grocery stores everywhere.

Layer Cakes for German Chocolate Cake

When my mom made her German Chocolate Cake it had three layers. This quinoa chocolate cake recipe only makes two layers. You could make the cake with just two layers, I’m sure no one would complain. But since I’m the food blogger I did feel obligated to make the tall, three-layer traditional looking German Chocolate Cake my mom used to make.

I simply made the recipe twice to get four layers. Then I used three  layers and put the extra layer in the freezer…for emergency use.

The filling is also a generous portion, too much really for the three-layer cake. But that is okay too because it will keep in the fridge…for a month if nobody finds it. And one night, when you suddenly wonder what might be in the freezer to eat, you’ll think of it. Take that single layer, cut it into 4 wedges, use the leftover filling and making yourself a quarter of a cake. With four layers.

Let me know in the comments below what you did with your leftover cake layer and the extra filling.


⅔ cup white quinoa
1⅓ cups water
⅓ cup milk
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup butter, melted
1½ cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1-12 oz can (354ml) evaporated milk
1½ tsp vanilla
1½ cups white sugar
¾ cup butter
7 oz (200g) Angel flake coconut
1½ cups chopped pecans


Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave lid on for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a dish to cool. Can be prepared 1 or 2 days in advance. There will be slightly more than the 2 cups of cooked quinoa needed for the cake. (Use it in a salad.)
Preheat the over to 350F. Lightly grease 2-8” round baking pans. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and lightly grease the paper. Set aside.
In a food processor or blender combine milk, eggs and vanilla.
Add 2 cups cooked quinoa and the melted butter. Process for several minutes until smooth.
Whisk together sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add the quinoa mixture and stir until combined.
Divide batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans.
Bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pan. Can be made a day before assembling the cake.
For a 3 or 4 layer cake make the entire recipe again.
Whisk egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan until mixed.
Add sugar and butter. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thick and golden brown stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir in coconut and pecans. Mix well.
Cool to desired spreading consistency. Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.
Place once cake layer on a pedestal tray.
Carefully spread a generous amount of filling on top of the cake.
Add the second cake layer.
Carefully spread a generous amount of filling on top of the cake.
Add the third cake layer.
Carefully spread a generous amount of filling on top of the cake.


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