Lazy Gluten Free: Gluten Free German Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake has always been one of my favorite desserts, and is a love that my dad also shares. Since I had not had the cake since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease almost four years ago, and dad's birthday was coming up, I decided to attempt it. I am so glad I did since this cake turned out amazing! Dad told me three times how much he enjoyed it. Dad's Birthday = success. 

Although the recipe is a bit more complicated than I would prefer, it was worth the work. Gluten-free baking can be very tricky, as I am sure you know very well, so following this recipe exactly is a must. I modified the German Chocolate Cake recipe from My Home Cooking. 

The recipe calls for cake flour, which to read more about you can visit Baking Bites's page which outlines what it is and what it does. Basically, If you have gluten-free cake flour on hand, use it. If not, then simply use your all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour) but remove 2 tablespoons of flour for every 1 cup of flour you need. You may add cornstarch in place of the flour that you removed, which I did, but this is not necessary. So for this recipe, you will remove 5 tablespoons of flour and add back 5 tablespoons of cornstarch. Also make sure your flour is sifted to avoid clumps.

Gluten Free German Chocolate Cake

You will need:
1 package (4oz) Baker's Sweetened Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon McCormick Vanilla extract
2 - 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (or modified as I discussed above)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cans of Betty Crocker Coconut Pecan frosting (yes, this is gluten-free!)

You will want to prepare your baking pans before you start to make the cake. Coat the entire inside of three 9-inch round baking pans with shortening. Use a knife or a pen to mark a sheet of wax paper around the outside bottom of the pan. Cut out the wax paper on the line that you just made. Put the wax paper circle on the bottom of the pan. Do this for each pan.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

(1) Mix the Baker's Sweetened Chocolate with the 1/2 cup of boiling water in a small bowl. Stir these together until the chocolate is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool before you add it to the mixture in step four.

(2) In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar until completely mixed and fluffy.

(3) Slowly add the egg yolks while beating the mixture. Mix until there are no spots or streaks of yellow remaining. 

(4) Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla extract.

(5) In a separate bowl, sift the flour to remove any clumps. Add the baking soda and salt to the flour and mix.  

(6) With the mixer going, alternate adding the buttermilk and the flour to the batter mixture (milk, flour, milk, flour, etc.) Once buttermilk and flour have been added, continue mixing until smooth.

(7) Unless you have a second mixing bowl for your stand mixer, you will want to transfer the batter to a large bowl and wash out your mixing bowl for this step. Make sure there is no egg yolk mixed in with your egg whites. Take your four egg whites and beat them at high speed for about 5 minutes or until peaks form when the whisk is removed. Quickly move to the next step to keep the egg whites fluffy.

(8) Fold the beaten egg whites very slowly into the batter. Do not stir or beat them in or your cake may not turn out. 

(9) Pour equal amounts of batter into each of the three 9-inch round pans. A kitchen scale may be useful in determining equal portions.

(10) Bake the cakes for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Gluten-free baking goes quicker, so keep a close eye on your cakes starting at about 22 minutes. Try not to open the oven more than necessary. Once done, allow cakes to cool for about 15 minutes in the pans.

(11) After cooling in the pans, remove the cakes to wire racks to finish cooling. You may want to use a knife or spatula to cut the cake away from the sides of the pan. Flip the cakes over onto cooling racks and remove the wax paper from the bottoms.

(12) Once cooled, you may frost your cakes!

My best advice for this recipe is: take your time and measure everything exactly. You will be rewarded with a very chocolate-y and moist Gluten-Free German Chocolate Cake!


  1. I have been looking for a good GF German chocolate cake recipe to make a cake that I love, Turtle cake. It uses box German chocolate cake mix with caramels and condensed milk layered in the middle, then milk chocolate icing melted on top while the cake it still warm. I'm going to use this recipe to try it! Thanks!!!

    1. Look no further! You'll definitely love how this cake turns out; it's very moist and delicious, which is surprising for a GF cake. I actually just made this for my dad for father's day and it turned out just as good as the first time. Just be cautious not to over bake it :) enjoy!

  2. Is the slice of cake shown with this recipe the ACTUAL gluten-free version?

    1. You bet it is! I never bake anything that is not gluten-free to avoid contaminating my kitchen. I've made this recipe twice now, and it turned out great both times - very moist and delicious.