Paleo German Chocolate Cake

by Fresh Planet Flavor

Paleo German chocolate cake (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free) | Fresh Planet Flavor

Happy birthday to me! I celebrated by making this paleo German chocolate cake. While purists may cringe, I wanted something that tasted delicious but wouldn’t leave me feeling seriously un-celebratory an hour after eating it. Hence my version of paleo German chocolate cake was born!

I searched around for other Paleo German chocolate cake recipes to cut down the effort of developing my own, but couldn’t find any that didn’t have agave nectar, or butter, or quite a few other ingredients that don’t quite jive with the real-food, paleo focus of this blog. Although a paleo German chocolate cake (or any cake, for that matter) couldn’t be considered the optimal healthy choice, I knew I could pull it off with the minimum of ingredients that I try to keep out of my diet.

I made this in my grandparents’ kitchen in Delaware, with the frosty winter light streaming through the window. It’s easy to throw together, which I was thankful for because the kitchen was crowded with the rush to get dinner on the table. The only slight difficulty with the recipe that I experienced (and YOU won’t have that problem) was that the eggs and maple syrup from the fridge hardened the coconut oil again! So make sure your coconut oil is very soft and your eggs and maple syrup at room temperature before attempting paleo German chocolate cake. Real food problems, amiright?  

Enjoy this paleo German chocolate cake if it’s an occasion for celebration (I think birthdays definitely qualify). The cake itself happens to be nut-free, grain-free (gluten-free), dairy-free, refined sugar-free. The icing has nuts in it, however, so beware if those are an issue for you. Otherwise, paleo German chocolate cake for everybody! 

Paleo German Chocolate Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Fresh Planet Flavor
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This Paleo German chocolate cake is a winning combination of luscious dark chocolate cake and decadent coconut frosting.
  • Cake
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 eggs (room temperature is best)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut oil, softened
  • ¼ cup black coffee
  • Frosting
  • 1 cup finely shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ springform pan, cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the maple syrup, coconut oil and coffee until combined. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour into the greased, parchment-lined springform pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool while you prep the frosting.
  6. For the frosting, combine all ingredients but the chocolate. Carefully smooth over the top of the cake.
  7. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave, then dip the tines of a fork into it. Streak the cake with the chocolate by making free-form slashing movements above it, rotating to cover the entire surface.
Don’t skip the parchment paper step; this cake has a tendency to stick.

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carla December 8, 2013 - 5:24 pm

if it has eggs it’s not vegan. . .

Rachel December 8, 2013 - 5:34 pm

Ha, yeah! Must have been thinking of something else.

me February 2, 2014 - 3:58 pm

you could substitute Ener g egg replacer to make it vegan.

from me to you August 14, 2016 - 4:58 pm

It’s paleo, not vegan. It never said it was vegan.

Fresh Planet Flavor August 14, 2016 - 8:10 pm

I had a typo originally. I have corrected it, so this comment no longer seems to make sense… but it did at the time!

D @ The Kosher Cave Girl December 8, 2013 - 7:26 pm

Rachel, this looks incredible! My birthday is coming up on January 4th, and I’ve been searching for the perfect Paleo birthday cake recipe. I may have to give this one a try!

Rachel December 8, 2013 - 9:09 pm

It’s wonderful! If you’re a real chocolate fiend, sub melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips for the unsweetened chocolate and really streak the heck out of the top!

Candace Cee December 12, 2013 - 5:01 pm

This lucky guest can attest to the usefulness of this wonderful cake. Everyone I shared it with sang its praises. It is quite stimulating and we all agreed is the perfect thing for breakfast or pre breakfast fare … lunch … snack … Actually it sustained me during the grueling round of delays during my flight from Philly to Texas. I am very food sensitive and had been Paleo long before it was devised due to necessity. It is great to have a delicious chocolate recipe that I can eat and eat with NO negative reaction. Thank you, Rachel.

Rachel December 13, 2013 - 3:15 am

“It is great to have a delicious chocolate recipe that I can eat and eat with NO negative reaction” = SUCCESS!

SDB(@sgshell3) January 22, 2014 - 10:54 pm

I think I love you!

Rachel January 25, 2014 - 2:41 am

Um, hooray!

Christy January 29, 2014 - 3:13 pm

I thought this was a lovely recipe! The batter tasted amazing and the frosting even better. I did have a couple struggles, which may be my own newness to paleo baking. 🙂 I had to really carefully adjust the temperature of the frosting (being largely coconut oil) to make it spreadable (esp on the sides of the cake). It had a tendency to flake off in chunks for me. I also had to refrigerate the cake because the frosting was melting (living in Arizona). 🙂 Perhaps because of the refrigeration (although covered), the cake itself turned out pretty dry. I’ll have to play with this more. Nothing that heating a piece up with a little pasture butter and drizzled honey (or soaking in a bit of coffee) couldn’t fix. 🙂

Altogether, though, I really enjoyed it. My family was impressed, and they’re not paleo (“you can bake with these ingredients??”) Thanks for the recipe!

Rachel March 22, 2014 - 8:41 pm

Christy, maybe I’ll play with the ratios a bit to make it a tad more moist. Mine wasn’t too dry, but a different climate may make a difference…

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[…] Paleo German Chocolate Cake […]

kath March 21, 2014 - 12:56 pm

Ohhh, I’m excited to try this!! My husband’s favorite cake is German chocolate and his birthday is coming up! I am also new to paleo cooking. Do you liquify the coconut oil or just soften it (like soften butter)…what consistency works best? Thanks!!

Rachel March 22, 2014 - 8:42 pm

Kath, softening but not melting the coconut oil helps to keep more lightness in the cake. Welcome to Paleo cooking and good luck!

Courtney April 28, 2014 - 9:18 pm

I was wondering how tall this cake turns out to be? I’m looking for a chocolate cake that is simple and servable to my non paleo family and boyfriend!

Grok Grub April 28, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Courtney, it turns out to be about two inches tall. Coconut flour cakes don’t rise very much, in my experience. :-/

Carol June 1, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Made this cake for husband’s birthday and it was delicious! Family raved over it. The cake has deep chocolate flavor and nice texture. I ended up with extra frosting, could probably have made half the quantity and been fine. As it is I will just have to make another cake to use up the leftover frosting…lol 🙂

Grok Grub June 1, 2014 - 8:15 pm

Extra frosting? Hmmm, how odd! Make some cupcakes. 🙂

Crystal June 27, 2014 - 4:53 pm

Does anyone happen to know the sugar content? My son’s birthday is soon & he was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I’d like to make this for him if the sugar isn’t off the wall…being Paleo I’m sure it’s not but just want to make sure. 🙂

Crystal June 27, 2014 - 10:23 pm

I just made the cake – it is beautiful & the frosting tastes amazing! According to MyFitness Pal, it has 1.5 g sugar & 3.5 g carbs…fingers crossed that it passes my son’s taste test!

Grok Grub June 27, 2014 - 10:24 pm

Wow! Thanks for looking that up. Let me know how your son likes it!

Darla September 3, 2014 - 4:30 am

This looks so good. I don’t drink coffee and would love an alternative in the recipe. Any ideas?

Grok Grub September 3, 2014 - 8:55 pm

I’d sub in a liquid like coconut milk. The coffee serves to deepen the chocolate taste but only by a bit. 🙂

Andrea February 28, 2015 - 4:01 pm

I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and it was a huge success! When he told me he wanted german chocolate cake, I immediately began to think that it would be hard to find a good, easy, grain free recipe. I am so glad I came across yours! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be making this again and sharing your recipe with others 🙂

Grok Grub March 1, 2015 - 10:36 pm

Fantastic! So glad you enjoyed.

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[…] Read the full recipe from Grok Grub here […]

Betsy December 18, 2015 - 12:18 pm

Hi I found this recipe when I was searching for a diabetic friendly birthday cake for my mom, I don’t typically eat paleo nor do I watch my sugar intake (I know i should). Anyways I was a little suspicious, I have tried “healthy” dessert recipes and always thought they tasted very lack luster. Then I got nervous because it called for some high quality ingredients that I didn’t want to was on a bad recipe.

But man I was really happy with the result! The cake tasted like German chocolate cake and was sweet but not the overly sweet boxed cake and frosting variety that makes you sick. My mom and sister both liked it too! I really have to say this is an excellent recipe and I cannot wait to share with my other health conscious family members:)!

One tweak to the recipe. Since I read it was a little dry I added ~1 cup of goat’s milk (I don’t think that is paleo) to the liquid portion and then mixed it into the dry. The batter was a little runny, and I did end up cooking it for about 5 minuted more. But the result was a moist springy cake!

Grok Grub December 18, 2015 - 1:48 pm

Wow, I’ll have to try the goat’s milk!

Jingle December 30, 2015 - 3:34 am

Tried it! Loved it! Straight into the recipe collection. 🙂

Ah, but I tweaked it, hehe. I don’t like the texture of things with only coconut flour, so I took a spoonful of it out and replaced with a heaping spoon of tapioca starch, and a heaping spoon of cashew butter. That seems to help other recipes that I like. And I added a couple extra spoons of coffee, because coconut flour baked goods are dry to me, too. Worked marvellously! Fully baked in 25 minutes.

One of the things I REALLY liked is that it’s easy to make it school safe by taking the nuts out. In our school, nuts and peanuts are regarded with zero tolerance, and there are a handful of children who are quite allergic to them, which is crazy in such a small school, to have so many! My own wee one has to have a restricted diet, and that means coming up with edible snacks and lunches can be… painful. When I find something tasty like this that I can cut a bit off and set aside for a school snack, I cry.

I cry.

Thanks for posting the recipe. 🙂

Mary Hardman October 6, 2017 - 3:26 am

What are you people talking about? This cake was not delicious. This cake was yuck and the frosting was too.

Fresh Planet Flavor December 28, 2017 - 10:15 pm

People have different likes and dislikes, in cakes and everything else.

Nichole December 9, 2017 - 7:37 pm

What can you use if you don’t have a springfoam pan?

Fresh Planet Flavor December 28, 2017 - 10:12 pm

Use a regular cake pan, and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.


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