German Chocolate Fudge Cake, Gluten Free

Once upon a long time ago, I made a forgettable German Chocolate Cake following the directions on that ubiquitous Baker’s sweet German chocolate bar package.  Turns out that the sweet German chocolate bar was simply chocolate in the anemic. It tastes exactly like what you might get if you mixed vending machine coffee with carbon paper scrapings and French cigarettes. Waxy brown ick.

But more recently while reading one of the Baked Boys Baked Baking Books (say that fast five times) I came across a German Chocolate Cake Recipe that looked nothing like the disasters I’d seen and tasted in the past. I kept pages 83-84 in mind for a long time, apparently, because one day after baking a splendid chocolate cake and wondering how to finish it,  the image of that cake popped into my head.

I thought there was reason to give it a try, especially after the book fell open to pages 83-84. Modifying the frosting a little, the first test cake was incredible. The flavor was sublime – deep dark chocolate mixed with an almost praline frosting.

The unfortunate cake-wreck stage occurred when I tried to pipe some adorable chocolate butter cream roses on the top’s edge. the butter cream literally fell over, and as I tried in vain to repair the damage, I made it much worse by piping another layer around the cake bottom edge. Between the top layer slowing falling over, and the bottom pipes of butter cream looking more like roving malted milk balls, the cake was ruined for any photo opportunity.

But standing in the kitchen with two forks, we didn’t let it go to waste. Have I mentioned before that we have one rule for cake baking? It can only be a six-inch round, but it can go as high as necessary to make the best impression. We’ve had a taller than tall cake, normal-ish cake, and now we had the leaning tower of butter cream praline, deep dark chocolate cake.

Time for a revision. When in doubt – go with simple. Like the little black dress, unadorned (meaning no butter cream piping) the simple chocolate cake is beautiful simplicity. With a tiny embellishment of a little praline frosting, it is refined. With a topping of chocolate that cascades in rivers over the edges, it is couture-complete.

We took photos with just the praline and then again with a river of chocolate flowing over the cake, shiny and beautiful.  It was difficult to wait for the final word on whether the exposures were good enough before we dug in and ate the entire second cake.

Indeed. We ate it all.

Usually we are giving the baked stuff away to grateful co-workers or neighbors, but sadly, this chocolate fudge cake with the coconut pecan brown sugar frosting and rivers of molten chocolate (drooling yet?) never made it anywhere.

It is that good.  There is something about deep dark chocolate cake that is moist and has some creme de cacao and kahlua back-notes topped with a pecan coconut praline frosting and then (!) smothered in liquid fudge that would make anyone swoon and then commence into a coma.

The cake is so versatile that you can make it as bars, a loaf cake, a round cake, cupcakes, or a square cake. Cut the layer in half and fill with the praline frosting and then top with melted chocolate. Everyone will be back for seconds.

Use this chocolate cake recipe here (from Chocolate Framboise Layer Cake recipe).

German Chocolate Fudge Cake, Gluten Free
The cake has a deeper chocolate flavor if you bake it ahead of time and once cool, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. I've waited as long as four days and the cake is quite delicious. Think of it as your easy and no effort dessert - bake ahead of time and frost before serving. You will need an hour or two to get the frosting cool enough to pile on the cake. Easiest to frost with a cake straight from the refrigerator (it isn't as delicate). Bring the whole thing to room temperature before serving, though. And feel free to leave it plain (as in the photo) with the praline frosting, or serve with that river of chocolate.
  • 140 grams toasted pecans, chopped (1 cup)
  • 160 grams shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) (about 3 cups)
  • 100 grams brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 114 grams best unsalted butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons)
  • 215 grams evaporated milk (whole fat) (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • 3 large egg yolks
  1. Use the cake instructions from the Chocolate Framboise Layer Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325. On a parchment or foil lined baking sheet place ⅔ of the coconut and all the pecans. Toast until coconut starts to turn color and nuts are fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan weigh the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk. Add in the vanilla, rum and eggs. Combine with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixture is bubbling and thick. Use a whisk and then switch to a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until thick and about 225 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Once thick, using the parchment or foil as a funnel pour the toasted nuts and coconut into the pan. Add the additional untoasted coconut. Stir thoroughly. Cool until room temperature or chill faster in an ice bath.
  3. Spread half the mixture over one layer of cake. Place other layer on top and use the rest of the frosting for the top of the cake. Leave the sides bare. Serve at room temperature and refrigerate leftovers. And watch out for that diabetic coma - swoon (thud).




  1. All the layers are incredibly lovely! Couldn’t care less about that diabetic coma! LOL! I need the sugar rush…

  2. I am totally making this for a dessert contest in two weeks…!

  3. Is 215g evaporated milk about 1 cup?

  4. Oh my goodness!!! I tried this recipe for the 1st time yesterday, and did so without the raspberry liquor. I made them into 3in bunt cake pans. And not only were they adorable, but they came out perfect! Just absolute perfection! Moist yet decadent, and scrumptious. I made ten and took them to work! Big mistake as my co-workers were hounding me for more! (They were even more shocked to hear they were gluten and dairy free!) I’ve never had my cakes come out that wonderfully! Yes I will be looking here for more wonderful recipes! Yummmm!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      So glad you liked the recipe and little bundt cakes sound perfect. Thanks for letting me know.


  1. […] really a food project, but I’m going to make this for the holiday party at work next week: german chocolate fudge cake. Dessert competition: bring it.Last year, someone won for a peanut butter and jelly […]