Vegan German chocolate cake

Sometimes the tastiest things aren’t the most beautiful.  Case in point: this cake.  I had visions of the most perfectly constructed mini layer cake with flushly aligned edges over which I would spread thick, sweet ganache, enrobing the cake in a smooth chocolatey blanket.  Instead I ended up with a cake that looked eerily similar to Gloppy, resident of Candyland.

After some time in the freezer, the ganache firmed up and I was able to make the cake look presentable.


(recipes printed below)

  • Chocolate cake
  • Coconut frosting
  • Chocolate ganache

1.  Once all three elements are prepared and properly cooled, begin assembly

2. Slice cake according to desired layers/shape.  I baked this in a loaf pan, cutting the cake in half widthwise and then slicing each half into two layers

3.  Spread coconut frosting on top of each layer before stacking the next.  Do not spread on top layer

4. Cover entire cake in ganache.  If ganache is too runny, let sit in freezer for 20 minutes.

Chocolate cake

I adapted the cake recipe found here, reducing the amount of sugar and oil in anticipation of the two rich frostings that would envelop the cake. I also used coconut oil rather than canola

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 -3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease your baking pan (I used a loaf pan so that I could make a mini layer cake.  You could also use a 9″ circular cake pan or make cupcakes)

2.  Sift dry ingredients (first five listed) together

3. Add in coconut oil, vanilla, vinegar, milk, and water.  Mix until smooth, adding a bit more milk as needed.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Adjust baking time for type of pan you’re using.

Coconut (pecan) frosting

I used this recipe as a base, but decreased the amount of frosting made.

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk (light or otherwise)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used half brown and half white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1.5 tablespoons water until smooth
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are traditional, but I only had walnuts on hand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milks, sugar, and vanilla almost to a boil.  Add in cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until thickened.  Remove from heat and add coconut, nuts, and salt.  Cool before frosting cake.

Chocolate ganache

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk or creamer

1. Heat chocolate chips and milk over medium high heat, stirring until completely smooth.  Cool before frosting cake.


Vegan Tollhouse Cookies

I have had the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized since I was ten or so.  I’ve tried other recipes, and I really don’t think any one of them makes a cookie that compares to this classic.

One year at summer camp, we had a competition with another cabin to make the better chocolate chip cookie without a recipe.  I was entirely confident in my ability to bring my team to victory because I knew exactly how much flour, sugar, butter, etc. to use.  My certainty waned when we were told there were no measuring cups at our disposal.  It turned out to be a narrow victory, after the counselors told us that ours was slightly more “edible” than the other team’s cookie.  Oops. I guess I’m not as good at eyeballing measurements as I am at memorizing the numbers.

I wanted to bake something to bring to my coworkers tomorrow, and I didn’t feel like making it complicated or running out for special ingredients.  I had a tub of Earth Balance in the fridge and decided to just veganize the whole recipe instead of adding eggs.  The cookies turned out absolutely beautiful, and they’re equally as delicious.


– 1 cup Earth Balance or other butter substitute, room temperature

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 3/4 cup organic (vegan) white sugar

– 3/4 cup brown sugar

– 2 flax “eggs” (2 tablespoons ground flax + 5-6 tablespoons warm water; let sit for 5 minutes to thicken/gelatinize; fresh ground flax works best)

– 1 tsp. salt

– 1 tsp. baking soda

– 2 1/4 cups flour

– 1 package dairy free chocolate chips (I used this brand, from Whole Foods)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F

2. Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla together until incorporated

3. Add flax “eggs” to butter mixture and beat together

4. Combine four, baking soda, and salt; stir together

5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture about 1/4 cup at a time

6. Drop cookies by spoonful or roll and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment.  I used about 1.5 tablespoons of cough per cookie

7. bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden brown

Flax “Eggs”

Along with the gorgeous bay area weather today, these cookies took me right back to summer camp, though they’re far beyond just “edible”.