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Last Updated on June 30, 2021

This easy German Chocolate Cake Frosting Recipe is made with all natural ingredients like coconut milk, pecans and maple syrup. The homemade vegan frosting is so good that you’ll eat it by the spoonful!


Happy Birthday Week to Me! I always get the most shocked expression when I tell people I’m making my birthday cake.

Seriously who do they think is going to make it? Not Mr. Bejelly.

This year I want dark chocolate.  I want coconut.  I want to cheat and eat a few pecans.  I want frosting.


For the cake, I used my paleo chocolate cake recipe .  This is hands down my favorite chocolate cake recipe EVER.  If you’ve ever wondered how do you make german chocolate cake from scratch? Read below and watch the video.

Why this is the Best German Chocolate Cake Frosting Recipe

  • The frosting is AMAZING! Yeah, I’m putting out there.  It is so simple and tasty that honestly I’m not sure it needs a cake.  It’s like eating coconut candy.
  • It’s made with less than 10 all natural ingredients found in most clean pantries. 
  • It’s egg-free and Vegan!

Watch the video tutorial

What you’ll need for this Recipe:

How to Make This German Chocolate Cake Frosting

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 depending on how high the temperature is set at.  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 and remove from the stove top to let cool. Frost or eat with a spoon!


How do you thicken German chocolate cake frosting? For this recipe, you can add a spoonful of tapioca or arrowroot flour while cooking to help thicken it up.

How long should you let the cake cool before frosting? I have a hard time waiting also but ideally you should let your cake cool for at least an hour.


Other Paleo Dessert Recipes, You might Enjoy

Did you make and love this recipe?  Give your review below and make sure you share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Yield: 1 1/2 cups (1 layer of cake)

German Chocolate Cake Frosting Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Coconut flakes, maple syrup and coconut milk make a delicious German chocolate cake icing.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Lastly add in the chopped pecans
  4. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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This easy German Chocolate Cake Frosting Recipe is made with all natural ingredients like coconut milk, pecans and maple syrup. The homemade vegan frosting is so good that you'll eat it by the spoonful!

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  1. What size pan did you use to bake the round cake? 9″? πŸ™‚ Thanks! This looks absolutely amazing!!!

  2. Kelly, I made this frosting this past weekend. It was AMAZING!! Thank you soooo much! It did take me longer to reduce the coconut milk. It took about 1hour. This week I came a crossed a recipe for a “paleo” seven layer / magic bar recipe where you basically make your own sweetened condensed but with coconut milk. The method was very similar to your frosting method. This recipe said to expect 2 hours for the coconut milk to reduce to the right consistency. I am guessing the differences may have to due with the climate that your in. Thanks again for the GREAT recipe it was wonderful.

    1. Holy smokes, that is a tad longer to cook but I’m so glad that it came out for you. It seriously is heaven on a spoon in my opinion πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment Brandi!

    1. Well if you make the Gluten Free Coconut Flour Brownies as is, you will need 9 eggs to make 3 layers. If you make the changes I share in the frosting recipe you will need 12 eggs. I have gotten feedback that the coconut flour brownie recipe makes an excellent cake recipe as is.

          1. Did you let it cool? Hrmm. Was it very liquidy when you poured it into the pan to bake or was it thick like cake batter? If it was liquidy I would add more coconut flour. Add 1 tbsp at a time until it is thick like a cake batter.

  3. frosting is runny. not sure if I did not cook the coconut milk long enough. added the coconut thinking it would thicken. Should I cook it longe?r

  4. I just made the icing and it only took 20 minutes for me as well and I am in AR in very high humidity. I am wondering if it is taking others so long because they are “simmering” it rather than allowing it to boil. Just a thought…

    The icing is awesome though!

  5. Hoping the cakes freeze well? Made them tonight for hubby’s birthday on Friday and don’t plan on frosting until then. The cake smells delicious…can’t wait to taste them!

  6. I made this (cake and frosting) for my birthday yesterday. It was perfect! I like my “sweets” on the less-sweet side, but ended up adding extra coconut sugar and maple syrup so my family members would enjoy it. The frosting is delectable. I’m so glad it can be done with wholesome ingredients. Everything tastes best refrigerated, in my opinion.

    For others’ information, you do need to boil the coconut milk for quite a while. Keep an eye on it, for it needs to be stirred, and it will bubble over if left to itself. You are essentially caramelizing it like sweetened condensed milk. So when it’s done, it should be thick, syrupy, and probably darker in color.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and giving us a wholesome option to a favorite dessert!

  7. German Chocolate Cake is my favorite – I always make it for my birthday. I make my own cake every year too. πŸ™‚ This year I’m going to have to try your frosting – it sounds amazing!

  8. Hi Kelly,

    I just came across your website and was looking for a chocolate cake (going to use your brownie recipe) and found the German Chocolate Cake Frosting. I don’t have coconut milk out of a can but I do make my own coconut milk to drink. Would I be able to just use my homemade coconut milk instead?

    Love your website and your incite to everything Paleo. We are just starting our journey with Paleo to heal some stomach issues and food sensitivities.


    1. Honestly, I’ve only made it with full fat coconut milk because you need the fat to caramelize to make the frosting. I make my own coconut milk and it doesn’t really have as much fat as you need to make this work properly. I hope you enjoy it hun!

  9. I am 1mth new to the Paleo world and I’m a diabetic that loves (needs) the sweets to keep me sane. Lol
    I’ve been doing low carb Paleo (and I still haven’t lost any weight) so I’m wondering what I can use in place of the syrup. I’ve used either Splenda or Stevia, but I think I need to replace the “liquid” part of the syrup to help with the moisture.
    Do you have any suggestion? Maybe adding extra milk?

  10. I loved the frosting the problem I had was with the brownies! I ended out throwing the whole batch out, total waste of time & money. It took about an hour for the milk & syrup to reduce, end result was worth the wait. I personally think the brownie recipe has waaaaay too much liquid & not enough flour, I’ll make the frosting again BUT not the brownies.

  11. Ive used your frosting recipe several times & love it! It did take longer then 20 minutes, both times it took about 45 but sure worth the wait. Great recipe πŸ™‚

    1. I just doubled the recipe and it made PLENTY for 12 cupcakes! And it tastes amazing!!! And yes, it took me about an hour and a half to reduce it by half with the recipe doubled.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this at Savoring Saturdays last weekend, Kelly! It was our most popular link, and we’ll be featuring it tonight at this weekend’s party! I hope you’ll come back and share with us again!

  13. I don’t know how you figured this recipe out, but it’s delicious and I love you. πŸ™‚ My favorite birthday cake has been german chocolate ever since I became an adult many moons ago. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Now I’m ready for my birthday in April.

  14. I have to thank you for this amazing cake recipe! I made it for a family dinner over the weekend and it was a huge hit! I made the cake layers a few days in advance and then froze them. The day of the dinner, I thawed them on the counter and they turned out perfectly. The cakes held together very well and they were still very moist even after freezing! The coconut milk did take a little bit longer to cook down but it was great. The coconut flakes that I used in the frosting were huge and too big for a cake topping. Next time, I will either cut them smaller or use shredded coconut instead. Also, since I made 2 layers, one batch of the frosting only covered the middle layer and the top layer. It still looked great but next time, I would make a double batch (or triple for 3 layer cake) to be able to cover the sides too. Thanks again for another fabulous recipe. I will be making this again very soon!

  15. Wondering if coconut cream could be a sort of shortcut for the reducing of the coconut milk. I’m thinking of something like the native forest coconut cream, which has more moisture than the bulk coconut cream in my local store. I want to make this for my partner’s birthday, but the possible 1-2 hours is scaring me!

    1. I cook this so it’s bubbling the entire time and it seriously takes me 20 minutes. The higher the cook temp, the faster it cooks hun. Just make sure you watch it so it doesn’t burn.

  16. Well, I must agree that it is like coconut candy! I followed your recipe exactly and it came out perfectly! The reduction only took 25 minutes using the canned organic full fat coconut milk from Whole Foods.

  17. I love this recipe and have made it many times over. I used unsweetened coconut chips for the first time and it seemed to go well. But within 10 minutes the texture totally fell apart. I had an incredible amount of oil collecting at the bottom… should I have cooled it more before adding the coconut chips?

  18. Ok how long do you bake three layers in the oven are 8 or 9 inch? And
    You said to make the cupcake recipe x 3. Do you double the pecan
    And coconut frosting recipe.? I did not have enough frosting to top
    Two 9 β€œ layers let alone the sides. Texture was great but think I over
    Cooked the frosting.

  19. This worked great! I live overseas and it’s hard to find evaporated milk but easy to find coconut milk. I doubled the recipe and it was perfect. I boiled the coconut milk and maple syrup, stirring the whole time. It took about 20 mins. You seriously cannot turn away for a second. I turned to press the button on my coffee maker and it boiled over LOL. It turned out perfect!

  20. This is the most confusing cake and frosting recipe. What is the cake recipe, you
    Talk about coconut flour but when you go to link for cake recipe you get an almond flour cupcake recipe for 10 cupcakes. What is the recipe for the 3 layer cake?
    And the frosting recipe is that enough for frosting 3 layers?

    1. Thanks for the feedback Mary. I’ve updated the instructions for clarity. For 3 layers you will need to triple the recipe. I’ve linked to the recipe to make the cake. It is a cupcake recipe however I use it for the cake. Again you will need to triple the recipe and increase the cook time for 22 to 28 minutes – check the center for doneness.