23 April, 2011

Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake

My grandma made a German Chocolate Cake from scratch for nearly every Sunday dinner we had at her house. She also made jello with perfect floating bananas and marshmallows.
You cannot replicate everything.

My creative friend was telling me about this recipe and I immediately was interested.The recipe is from Delectably Free. The cake is gluten, dairy and egg free. She writes about her food allergies on her blog and is amazing in her manipulations of ingredients.

Now, my auto-immune is a bit past gluten-free. And I have come up with a problem with my family. They want to feed me, or make things I can eat. We have always been a baking/cooking family. They seem angry that their efforts aren't appreciated by me. It's difficult -for anybody -to understand how limited my diet is. But if I want to maintain some semblance of enjoying life, and the ability to get projects done,  I can't do it when my stomach is all gassed up or a migraine is threatening because of too many immune responses. Or the bumpy lesions on my skin are so itchy I can't think.  The food I eat needs to be extremely simple. I have learned to say no.
Well - I may be projecting but anger/frustration is what I feel they are feeling. Lord knows I am frustrated.

My solution is to make some allergy-free recipes that show off some of these 'new' allergy-free ingredients - even if I will probably have an immune response to the recipe. I mostly eat raw foods and it gets pretty basic. I don't eat recipes. Some of the foods I eat are pretty weird. Like seaweed.

Once in a while, you get cravings for a particular food or a memory. For my family, I know everyone loved the German Chocolate Cake Grandma Vera made.

My creative friend made the recipe and said it was pretty close to the original but she and I both caution you - this is a spendy recipe to make.  Fortunately, you will have enough ingredients to make two. My friend tested it and declared it wonderful. I spent the last two weeks assembling the ingredients.
I especially liked the flavor from toasting the coconut and pecans.

Look at that tall layer.

I still need to add the third layer as I only own two 8" cake pans and I have to wait for the third layer to cool before I can add it to the cake.

It also has money in the cake. Cleaned coins are inserted after the cake has cooled. Old family custom in which the kids find pocket change.


Plus, it's my daughters birthday. This very tall cake will look spectacular with birthday candles and as I am writing this, do I even own birthday candles anymore??? Oh boy. In the big clean-out of clutter so we could put the wood floors in, I think I threw them out.

The recipe is here.

My changes: I used butter instead of Earth Balance soy-free spread. I don't plan on eating the entire cake, I prefer butter for taste, I don't react much to butter, and Earth Balance (Soy-free) is more than double what butter costs.

The cake consists of  the cake, the cream frosting and the toasted pecan/coconut mixture. I would suggest doubling the frosting recipe. Part of what I remember is the gooey coconut/pecan frosting. More is better.

Most of my ingredients were found here at my local grocery store where they have bent over backwards to stock allergy-free ingredients.
The owner of King's Cupboard in Woodburn kindly sold me 2 oz of Xantham Gum from an 8 oz package. 8 Oz. - for me - would have lasted longer than I want it on my pantry shelf. Not to mention, add to the cost of this cake.

Buying all of the ingredients for this cake is expensive. But the cake looks gorgeous and stunning. Even better, it tastes amazing. This is a show-stopper dessert.


  1. If you're making this recipe... DO NOT make any major substitutions. The chemistry of the recipe depends on the ingredients listed. My try at doing a couple substitutions involving not enough coconut milk on hand made a pretty good cake, but not a good enough version to justify the cost... so spend away and you'll have a great cake.

  2. Sorry I am a little late getting to you on this but thanks so much for giving me the heads up on your experience making this cake!!! I am so glad you enjoyed it and that your family did, too. It is definitely an undertaking but worth it for an occasion. I loved seeing your take on it!


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