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Last Updated on December 17, 2023
Have you ever had any cake as heartwarming and delicious as German chocolate cake? I know it’s a classic and thus has an aura of redundancy, especially to the younger generations. But in my opinion, trendy cakes like sugar paste cakes are all flair with a mediocre taste at best because chefs focus on the look so much that they ditch the flavor.
Classic cakes like the German, on the other hand, win because they’re all about rich insides and creamy frostings. It doesn’t matter what they look like, but once you take a bite, your taste buds will have a party.
Today, I’ll give you my special German chocolate cake frosting recipe. It strikes a perfect balance between lightness and creaminess and will give you a euphoric feeling once you try it. What’s more, it’s vegan, so it’s suitable for everybody. So grab your notes and let’s get into it!
Before jumping into the kitchen, take a look at these ingredients and make sure they’re available in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need to make the most delicious German chocolate frosting:
- Quarter a cup of maple syrup
- 13.5 oz of canned coconut milk
- Half a cup of roasted and chopped pecans
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Half a teaspoon of sea salt
- One cup of unsweetened coconut flakes (preferably shredded)
You can use sweetened coconut flakes if you like(Check out my chocolate coconut cookies recipe too), but when combined with the already sweet coconut milk, they become too intense for my liking.
While the preparation time for this recipe isn’t long, it might take you a long time to cook on the stove top. It differs from one person to the other depending on the pan they use, the heating power of their stove tops, and the room temperature. Here’s the average time you can expect to make German chocolate frosting:
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 60-120 minutes
Total time: 65-130 minutes
How to Make German Chocolate Cake Frosting
Now that you have all your ingredients ready, it’s time to make a patch of mouth-watering German chocolate frosting!
1. Heat the Maple Syrup and Coconut Milk
The first step in making this delicious homemade coconut pecan frosting is to mix maple syrup and coconut milk in a medium saucepan. In other recipes, this step includes egg yolks and evaporated milk, but mine is vegan, so we’ll be using coconut milk instead.
Place the pot on your stove top on medium heat, and let the two liquids simmer. Stir them gently as they thicken and evaporate. You should keep doing so till the amount is reduced by half, no matter how long it takes you. It can take you anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, so there isn’t a rule here.
My advice to you here is to be patient and wait for the frosting to thicken. You want it to be creamy and rich so that it’ll enhance the taste of your German chocolate cake. So don’t turn off the heat while it’s still thin and watery because it won’t give you the desired consistency.
2. Add the Other Ingredients
Once your German chocolate frosting has a perfect consistency, turn off the heat and add the other ingredients to the mix. You should add vanilla extract, coconut flakes, and sea salt. Stir them into the mix gently till they’re dissolved, then leave the mixture aside for a few minutes.
During this while, the frosting will thicken further because the shredded coconut flakes will absorb some moisture from it.
3. Add the Chopped Pecans
Now, it’s time to add the last and most flavorful ingredient, the chopped pecans. You can add the amount you like or follow my instructions. Some people also add other crushed nuts, like peanuts or cashews, but I like to follow the authentic coconut pecan icing recipe, which doesn’t include any other nuts.
4. Frost Your Homemade German Chocolate Cake
An authentic German chocolate cake should have coconut frosting between its layers and on top of it, and that’s what we’re about to do!
Grab one of the rounds you prepared earlier and put it on a cake stand. Add a layer of frosting on top of it, but don’t let it touch the edge so that it doesn’t melt on the sides after you place another cake round. Repeat this step till all the cake layers have frosting, then add another layer on top of the cake. And voila!
Now, you can serve your German chocolate cake with delicious traditional german chocolate cake frosting on top.
Before we go on to the next section, let me give you this piece of advice. If you’re a chocolate lover like myself, add a layer of decorative chocolate frosting on top of the cake. It’ll make your German chocolate cake more rich and flavorful, and it blends nicely with coconut pecan frosting.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Best German Chocolate Cake Frosting
Here’s a list of tips and tricks that’ll ensure you make the best German chocolate cake frosting possible:
- Keep the coconut milk and maple syrup at room temperature before using them
- Let the frosting cool completely before putting it on the cake
- Try to keep stirring constantly while the mixture is on heat because it’ll fasten the evaporation
Creative Ways to Use the Remaining Frosting
Did you make too much icing for your cake and are now left with a bowl full of delicious coconut frosting? I hear you!
We’ve all been there. That’s why I’ve listed some creative ways to use the remaining frosting without throwing any of it away. Here’s what to do:
- Make some chocolate cupcakes alongside your cake and frost them
- Use it as a glaze for cinnamon rolls or donuts
- Serve it alongside ice cream scoops and chocolate sauce
- Heat and drizzle on a Bundt cake
- Use it as a dip for cookies or Graham crackers
If you don’t have time to make any of these desserts, you can store the frosting in your refrigerator till you’re able to use it. The frosting should survive for one or two weeks if you put it in a covered container, so no pressure!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Make a Non-Vegan German Chocolate Frosting?
To make a non-vegan frosting, heat powdered sugar, light brown sugar, egg yolks, evaporated milk, and vegan butter in a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly till you get the desired consistency, then let the mixture cool down. Once it’s cool enough, add the rest of the ingredients.
Is Granulated Sugar or Powdered Sugar Better for Cake Frosting?
Powdered sugar consists of smooth powder that dissolves quickly in liquids, while granulated sugar consists of rough granules that might take a long time and give you a grainy frosting. Personally, I prefer the former for German chocolate frosting because it also has a thickening effect.
How Do I Thicken My Cake Frosting if It’s Too Thin?
If your frosting refuses to thicken while on heat, you can add a thickening agent like arrowroot flour or tapioca while stirring. Make sure to add a small spoonful so that they don’t affect the taste of your delicious recipe. You can also put it in the refrigerator for a while before using it.
How Long Should I Leave the Frosting to Cool Before I Use It?
Ideally, you should wait for one or two hours. This way, you’ll give the frosting a chance to cool down and thicken. If you want to speed the process up a bit, push the bowl into the refrigerator after covering it with saran wrap.
Watch the video tutorial
Coconut flakes, maple syrup and coconut milk make a delicious German chocolate cake icing.
- 13.5 oz Coconut Milk, canned
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1/2 cup roasted pecans, course chopped
Cake (makes One 9" layer cake)
- Put the coconut milk and the maple syrup in a small pot on medium high and simmer until it's reduced by half. This can vary quite a bit. It took me 20 minutes but some readers have shared it takes 1 hour to 2 hours.
- Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla, sea salt, and coconut flakes. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. The coconut flakes will absorb some of the water and thicken it.
- Lastly add in the chopped pecans
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g