Keto German Chocolate Cake
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Keto German Chocolate Cake is amazing, and one of the most popular bakes in my keto bakery. I am making adjustments in this recipe (Feb 2023) after making keto cake for my bakery for almost 4 years.
Of all the keto friendly desserts I make, Keto German chocolate cake is the easiest to make and the taste is amazing.
The trick was to get the German chocolate frosting, full of butter, brown sugar, pecans and coconut just right. What you might not realize is magic of egg yolks that pull together and keep together this magnificent frosting.
German Chocolate cake is one of those concoctions that you either love or don’t care for. When you love it, you love it.
It’s not a cake you see every day. In my home bakery, I’ve made Keto German Chocolate Cake for two different birthdays this month. They were thrilled to have this option. Each serving of 12 is about 4 net carbs, and is high in calories due to the heavy cream in the frosting.
Make this a special occasion option, but it should work just fine for the low-carb diet.
How many does this cake serve?
This cake recipe serves 12 and will make a triple layer six inch cake or a double layer 8 inch cake.
Make a Double Layer Keto German Chocolate Cake
If you want a double-layer 9 inch cake, you can follow below.
To Make a double layer cake use these measurements.
- 336 grams almond flour (3 1/2 cups)
- 45 grams coconut flour (3 tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated swerve (powdered erythritol)
- 3/4 cup avocado oil
- 9 eggs
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
What is the history of German Chocolate cake?
It’s not a recipe from Germany. It’s a recipe that evolved from Samuel German, who developed a recipe for dark baking chocolate, which was called Baker’s German sweet chocolate.
What makes German Chocolate Cake German Chocolate cake?
It’s the frosting, which is made egg yolks, milk, pecans and coconut are added in at the end. To keep this sugar free and keto friendly, I used Swerve brown sugar, heavy cream, and unsweetened coconut. You can find out more about Swerve, a powdered erythritol here.
Options for Replacing Brown Sugar
- Choc Zero Maple Syrup – 1 tablespoon and use regular swerve.
- Black Strap Molasses – 1 teaspoon and use regular swerve.
One day I was out of Swerve brown sugar and used Swerve granulated and a tablespoon of Choc Zero Maple Syrup. It worked out wonderfully. You could also use only the Swerve granulated, as I realize the brown sugar and Choc Zero Maple syrup may not be available.
Keto German Chocolate Topping
The topping is cooked on top of the stove. Use cold butter and continue stirring until your frosting comes together. If your topping separates (this happened to me once), add more heavy cream and continue stirring on very low. When I did this, it all came back together. I mix my cream and egg yolks together first. I have never had my topping curdle.
I need to say this again USE COLD BUTTER or your frosting will not work.
Make Keto German Chocolate Cupcakes
I sell these in my keto home bakery. Here is one of the responses I got back from a customer.
“The German chocolate was magnificent. Thank you for making the keto birthday a success!” Lori B.
“This is my favorite cake that I buy from you. I had to take the time to write you to tell you.” Ricky (a current customer since October 2019).
I’ve had so many rave reviews about this recipe, and I’m so excited for you to have it.
More Keto Cakes from Spinach Tiger
- Keto Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Keto Chocolate Birthday Cake
- Keto Red Velvet Naked Layer Cake
- Keto Naked Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Keto Ding Dong Cake
- Keto Birthday Cake (Yellow Cake, Chocolate Frosting)
Keto German Chocolate Cake
- 230 grams almond flour See blog post for double layer measurements.
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons strong coffee see notes
- 1 cups granulated Swerve
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
German Chocolate Frosting
- 1 cup Swerve Brown Sugar (or Swerve Granulated) See Notes for Substitute
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter (MUST BE COLD) cut into 8 pieces (must be cold)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 egg yolks use large eggs. If eggs are small, use 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- Kitchen Tools
- Parchment Rounds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. or 180 C. on bake mode if you have it, instead of convection. If convection, bake at 325 F.
- Grease pans with avocado oil or baking spray. I like to use parchment rounds.
- Mix dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour: baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum. Once mixed, add sifted cocoa powder. Set Aside
- Beat eggs until frothy about two minutes.
- Stream oil in. Add Swerve.
- Put cocoa powder in bowl. Add in boiling water. Stir.
- Add in sour cream to cocoa mix.
- Add vanilla to cocoa mix.
- Add cocoa mix to mixer (egg mixture).
- Add in dry mixture, and mix just until mixed. Mixture will be thick. If it's too thick add up to 1/4 cup almond milk.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean or middle measures 210 F. with a thermometer.
- Once cool, prepare Coconut Pecan frosting. Pour over layer one, but not sides. If doing double layer cake, pour over each layer. This makes a lot of topping. you don't have to use it all. You can save and freeze for cupcakes or another recipe.
German Chocolate Frosting
- Make sure your butter is cold. I can't repeat this enough times. Mix egg yolks with heavy cream before heating. Add to sauce pan. Add salt, vanilla, Swerve brown sugar in sauce pan stirring constantly over medium heat, until mixture begins to bubble. Add butter in. Keep stirring.
- Important: If your frosting separates, add in more heavy cream (about 1/4 cup) and continue to stir until it comes back together. Cold butter helps prevent this separation.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add in coconut and pecans.
- Pour over cooled cakes.
Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe, please tag me #spinachtiger.
If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo
hi ma’am i don’t mean to be rude but where does the butter come in for the frosting u never stated when to add it.
Awesome thank you. I follow your recipes exactly and the result is perfection. My daughter and boyfriend (who are not keto) also love the German Chocolate Cake and the Lemon Cake with Lemon cream cheese frosting.
That makes me happy to hear, Chantaal.
For the frosting it says to add the vanilla with brown sugar etc, then it says to stir in the end…is this extra vanilla? I’ve already added to the brown sugar hope it turns out
Sorry. you don’t need extra vanilla. I’ll fix that.
I was in a hurry, and was making a Keto cake from a box (with additions/subtractions) and when I tasted it, the coconut flavor from the flour came through the added, Godiva, cocoa powder, and I thought, “This really wants to be a German Chocolate cake. I need a Keto filling recipe.”
So, I went looking for something on the internet that I had ingredients for on hand. I came across your recipe. I didn’t have heavy cream on hand, but I had dwarf goat milk, which is about the consistency/fat of Half-n-half. So I used that with a bit of Xanthan gum to make up thickness. I didn’t have brown Swerve, so I added a teaspoon of black molasses (less than 1 added net carb).
It came out perfect, and this may be the most wonderful thing I ever put in my mouth.
I’m glad to hear this about the goats milk. Actually lately I’ve been using the black strap molasses myself with regular swerve.
A delicious treat! My favorite cake. Yes the calories are there but all I needed was one cupcake. A wonderful firm and hearty cupcake that is delicious even without the magic frosting!!
Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it.
Could I substitute condensed coconut milk for the heavy cream?
I’m not sure about that.You could try it. Let me know if it works.
Oh my yum! This frosting is amazing!!!!
If I just make the cake itself without the frosting will it taste good.
Yes. That’s just chocolate cake.
I’m planning to make this recipe and I’m wondering if the xanthan gum is required. Does it alter the taste any?
Does not alter taste and yes you can skip it. It does help to keep the cake from crumbling as there is no gluten.
so delicious! I can’t believe how moist and yummy this recipe is! Even my husband liked them, and gives me grief about “fake food”:)
Best ever! Most low carb cakes are dry, and this is heavenly!!! Thank you!!!
Forgive me for not including this question on my previous reply. Just wondering if its possible to freeze the frosting as I still have plenty. Since I made cupcakes instead of the cake and only used the frosting for the top, I can probably cut the recipe in half and still have more than I need.
I will take note of that in the recipe.
Was planning to make this recipe sometime later this week but after reading all the positive reviews, I decided to make it right away. This was one of the best German chocolate cake/muffins recipe I’ve had. Kudos to you. My only disappointment is that it’s taken me 2 years to find you. Looking forward to many more of your awesome recipes. Thank you
Just came across your recipe and plan on making it this week. Hard to believe that there’s `s only 1 net carb per serving. So I’m wondering if the frosting was included in the nutritional breakdown?
I just recalculated again on My Fitness Pal. It’s very hard to do because cupcakes are one thing, triple layer six inch cake another thing due to amount of frosting. The double recipe is 3 net carbs. The recipe shown for a triple layer six inch will give you 14 servings and is 2 net carbs. The recipe for 12 cupcakes is 2 net carbs.
The frosting is mainly butter, heavy cream, unsweetened coconut, pecans and while high in calories, very low in carbs.
Thank you for this, absolutely perfect and I really appreciate the time and effort it takes to develop these recipes, very generous of you to share them with us! Delicious!!!
This recipe was AMAZING! I’ve been searching for a good low carb cake for the past 1 1/2 yrs. This is going to be my go to from now on. The only thing I did different was use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, and I only did that because I like that extra dark flavor. The frosting, ohhhhhhh myyyyy gooddnneesssss, the frosting is so PERFECT, I don’t have the words to express how good the frosting is. I’m going to have fun figuring out all the ways to use it. Thank You So Much!
I’m so glad. Please check out all of my keto cakes. I have a keto bakery and the recipes are great. As far as cocoa powder, I used to use Hershey’s Dark, but they changed their formula so I switched. Whatever works for you.
I made these for my husband’s birthday. They were amazing!!! I made it exactly as it was written.
Stephanie, THat’s so great. Thanks for letting me know.
Definitely a great dessert!!
Should the Pecans be toasted? Thanks for your time!
You can toast the pecans but you don’t have to.
Thanks for the recipe! Can cold coconut oil be substituted for the butter in the frosting? I tried the recipe with coconut oil instead of avocado oil, and heavy cream instead of coffee and it was delicious! Next time I may use water instead of heavy cream as I did find the end result a bit oily for my taste (of course, it may simply have been my substitution at fault, not your recipe!).
I can’t recommend heavy cream to replace coffee. You added a lot of extra fat. Coconut oil in my opinion doesn’t make a great bake but if you like it, use it. As far as frosting, I cannot recommend coconut oil replacing butter. The original cake recipe is not oily.If you’re using coconut oil, skip the heavy cream and reduce the coconut oil by about 2 tablespoons. The coffee also helps the chocolate bloom. Use boiling water instead of heavy cream.
Thank you for the reply! I will definitely be making this again, so I maybe I will try with coffee next time (I didn’t have any in the house). Is avocado oil my only oil option, as you don’t think coconut oil works as well?
Hi I don’t like coffee. At all! Not even coffee flavored anything. Lol. Is there something else you could recommend to use? Thanks 😊
Just skip it. It’s only a small amount. You can use boiling water instead.
This cake is the BOMB!!! German chocolate cake has always been my favorite but because I’m on a low carb diet I didn’t even consider it being on the menu. I made this for Xmas and got rave reviews! No one knew it was keto (low carb). I’m making my second one today! Thank you thank you thank you!
Thank you for letting me know. We worked hard on this recipe. I’m so glad you love it.
So Delicious!!! Angela thank you so much for this recipe. Today’s is my husband’s bday I made this awesome cake and KETO!!! OMG Amazing!!!
Thank you Lidia. So glad.
Did anyone get the calorie count?
Calories per 1 of 12 is 430.
LOVED this cake!! Wow, if I didn’t make it, I wouldn’t have known it was keto. The icing would be good as fudge, too. Thank you for developing and sharing your keto recipes! This recipe will definitely be made over and over–when I have a lot of people to eat it. I wouldn’t trust myself with it around. Amazing.
Wow! These are so delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks Kayla. So glad you enjoyed.
Can you use a different brand than granulated Swerve? I have Monk Fruit granulated sweetener. Do you know if that would work just as well?
Yes. Is that Lakanto brand?
Yes, it is!
Love this cake, but the frosting came out a bit grainy. Do we pack the brown swerve or loosely pack? I packed it like I would brown sugar and am thinking this may have caused the graininess when it cooled.
I’m not sure what happened. Did you cook it long enough? Next time add in some more heavy cream. That seems to always help.
Susan I always read when making candy or icings to use a wooden spoon to stir it, because a metal spoon causes some sort of chemical reaction with the sugar that causes crystallization. I hope this helps.
I’m not sure if that matters, but I always use a wooden spoon to stir. The most important thing in this recipe is COLD BUTTER. I have made this recipe so many times and the one time I forgot about cold butter I had issues. I never had issues using the cold butter.
Delicious! We just started a low glycemic diet on Monday. Today is Hubby’s 70th birthday and German chocolate cake is his favorite. Several family members are eating low glycemic diets, too. So, our “pot luck” for the birthday party was all low carb. The cake was perfect! Thank you for sharing!
Cake is delicious. How would you store the cake, in the refrigerator or can it be left out?
You can leave it out. I did for about four days. However, you can put in fridge. Just need to give it 30 minutes once you do.
The swerve in the cake granulated, powdered or brown?
The swerve in the cake, is it brown, granulated or powdered
This was fabulous! We couldn’t make it make last for 12 servings. Don’t be fooled. You are going want a slice the size of your face!
It was my husband’s birthday. We started Keto earlier this year so he was disappointed that he wasn’t getting his German Chocolate Cake – the only time we eat cake. Imagine his surprise when I presented this cake to him and it was Keto!! It was delicious. Very easy to make, recipe is fabulous. The frosting is to die for. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
OMG!!!This is is most delicious cake EVER! I could eat the frosting by the cup full ( you might want to double recipe so you can!)
Seriously I would give it 6 stars if I could.
Thank you so much!
I have double all ingredients for the cake (12 eggs!!) and batter soup thin. I have it still in the oven trying to get it to bake thoroughly (did 30 minutes, then 20 now working on 10 more minutes) Smells great, edges too dark by center is now done
Curious if I should have made 2 single recipes instead of doubling?
The. Best. Keto. cake recipe I’ve made yet! The cake is moist and not too chocolatey (which is grand in my book!). The frosting? OMG! I could eat it like candy. I will try reducing the amount of butter the next time I make it, though. There was so much excess butter floating on the top. I stuck the bowl of frosting in the frig for 30 minutes, then in the freezer for another 30-45 minutes to get it thickened enough to frost the cupcakes.
I don’t have a problem with the frosting, many on Pinterest post pictures of it. BUT I will make it and see step by side what might be the problem with the butter. You should be able to pour it over the cake right away no problem.
You HAVE to use cold butter. I remade this three times with COLD butter and it was perfect!
I had the same problem with the better! I did your double recipe for the 9 inch layer cakes. It did perfectly while Bringing it to a boil And then I added in the pecans and coconut and stirred and set it to the side while I went to get the cake ready. Looked perfect until after a few minutes of cooling the butter started separating out. I hurry up and put on the frosting before it cold anymore but ended up having to pour off at least a half a stick of butter that separated. Still turned out yummy! I’m just wondering about the three sticks of butter for the double recipe being too much? Thank you for the recipe! my diabetic husband thoroughly enjoyed having a German chocolate cake for his birthday!
I’m going to go in and rewrite recipe. I still stand by the COLD butter. I have never had my butter separate. I will make a video of this and hope it helps.
Amazing! I made these today for my husband’s birthday. He loves German Chocolate cake and these did not disappoint! I did make two substitutions. 1) I used Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener in the cake batter 2) I used coconut oil instead of avocado oil and it only enhanced the coconut flavor in the final product. The batter did make 24 cupcakes for me. And the frosting is just a bit too much for that many cupcakes. But I’ll happily find another way to use the cup or so that’s leftover. I suspect that the recipe as written will make a perfect two layer cake with just the right amount of frosting for the top and the middle. The frosting seems too thin immediately after cooking. I just let it cool and it thickened up beautifully. This is a keeper recipe for sure!
Am I just missing it…??
I don’t see how many eggs to use.
In recipe. Says six eggs.
Angela, hello, I’m new to baking so I have a question regarding your recipe.
1.) It states to add cooled coffee-explain?
2.) I’ve seen regular German Chocolate recipes that add hot water after batter complete to add a deeper chocolate flavor. Can you do that with your recipe? How? How much water?
I would follow the recipe as stated. I say cool the coffee because you’re adding it to beaten eggs.
Google says 2 cups of almond flour is 192 grams. So 260 grams would be 2.3 cups. Have you (or anybody) made it with 2 cups? Does it turn out?
You could make it with 230 grams or about 2.25 cups. I’ve done that in the past.
This cake is melt in your mouth and absolutely delicious! I made it for my husband’s 40th birthday. Him and my boys loved it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Absolutely delicious! This tastes better than a regular German Chocolate cake!
Thank you. So glad you liked it.
OH MY GOSH!!! This by far the best keto chocolate cake recipe I’ve tried to date. It is so moist! It’s not bitter with too much chocolate and did I mention it’s so moist! The frosting is a bit disappointing in that as it cooled it became a bit grainy. Could be the sugar I use or cooking technique. So, I substituted about 1/4 of the sugar for mesquite powder which I find takes some of the edge off of the non-sugar sweeteners. I used Sukrin white sugar substitute for the cake and Sukrin gold for the frosting (also subbing 1/4 of the recipe with mesquite). The flavor and texture of the frosting when warm is absolutely marvelous. For baking I prefer using Allulose but as it’s difficult to get in the UK without spending way too much, I bought the Sukrin to test it. I think I’ll continue with Allulose. But this recipe is just to die for anyone doing Keto or low carb. Just wonderful!
Alice, I’m glad you like the cake. Not sure what mesquite powder is?
I just had to post and thank you for this recipe. I’ve never had German chocolate cake, but it’s my friend’s favorite and he’s on the keto diet, so I made these cupcakes for his birthday. He loved them and his dad said he’d pay me to make more. LOL
Side note: I did use coconut sugar instead of swerve, regular whole milk (yes, I know, not entirely keto), and coconut oil instead of avocado. I had enough batter for more than 12 cupcakes and they were sunken in. They weren’t the least bit dry or overcooked. In fact, the center was slightly soft.
I improvised and filled them with the icing. Any tips on how to avoid the sunken cupcakes?
Thank you again.
Coconut sugar and whole milk are not keto. Especially the coconut sugar. For every 100 grams of coconut sugar, 75 are carbs. You may have added up to 10 more carbs per cupcake. The only reason it sunk in the middle is either opening oven too soon to peak and most likely underbaking.
will this frosting be good enough for a 2 layer cake, assuming you needed more frosting for piling high ? I m not looking for such high pile frosting on top..Just looking at moderate amount and use remaining to sandwich between 2 layer cakes
Yes it should be plenty.
This looks delicious. Is there a viable alternative to use in place of the coffee? I am not a fan of coffee. Just curious. My birthday is coming up soon and I would like to stay keto.
You can skip the coffee.
I made a triple batch of the frosting cuz I need to fill and frost/cover a cake… it separated so tomorrow I’m going to have to figure out what to do with it to get it to be the ooey gooey kind of frosting the German chocolate frosting should b 🤣
Love this recipe!!! Best German Chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted! The only change I made was using walnut oil instead of avocado oil (not stocked in local grocery). Everyone raved about the cake. This is definitely a new family favorite. Thank you!!
The best!! Keto or not, all family loved it. The recipe works great
I am going to make this today for my dad’s birthday. He is diabetic and German chocolate is his favorite cake. If making a 9×13 cake will I need to double the recipe?
I made double the recipe and it worked great! He loved it. It did seem that the icing was trying to separate a bit. I’m not sure where I messed up there but I managed to make it work.
Sarah, You may have overcooked the frosting. I’m glad this worked out.
The recipes says it makes 12 cupcakes but I got 24 cupcakes from it. Just checking to make sure that the macros are calculated based on 12 or whether it’s 24. If it’s based on 12 then I get to have 2!! They are super yummy!!
Hubs and I LOVED this recipe. Moist cake – no coconut flour aftertaste. Does not taste like a “keto” dessert at all!! Question though – I’m getting much higher nutrition numbers when putting the recipe into Lose It app. Fat 53.1, Total carbs 38.9, Fiber 5.9, Protein 11.4, Calories 541, per serving (12 servings). Are your calculations for the cake only, not including the frosting?
I made this for my Dad’s birthday. He loves German Chocolate Cake but he’s also a diabetic and not very disciplined, so it’s up to the rest of us to feed him well when we can. I’m also on a Keto diet and wanted to celebrate. Let me say, it was a HIT! There was also a regular chocolate cake on the table and there was regular chocolate cake left at the end of the night. Even the kids loved it.
That’s wonderful. I have lots more good cakes coming.
How much is 260 grams of Almond Flour in cup measurements? And Is there instructions on how to make the frosting? Do you melt the butter and cream then add the eggs slowly??? Would love to try this recipe but need a little more guidance.
I fixed the recipe to include instructions. 260 grams is 2 cups of almond flour.
I wondered the same thing. When I looked it up online it said 1-1/3 cups. But I’m thinking that’s volume instead of weight? I’ll try the 2 cups like you said. Also the cake pictured would be double the macros, right?
I need this to be dairy free. So, I figure I can use plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, or maybe unsweetened plain almond milk yogurt. But can I use coconut milk? Or what coconut cream do I use? And then I can use plant based butter.
Thank you. Regina
I would replace the milk and sour cream with either almond milk or full fat coconut milk (see how 1/2 cup looks). It WILL be a thick batter. Don’t exceed one cup of coconut milk. As far as the frosting….use coconut milk and plant based butter.
This looks amazing!! Would you please clarify if coffee is liquid or powdered and when it is added to mixture?
The coffee is liquid.
At what step do you add in the coffee? It’s not in the recipe. Thanks! Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
I fixed it. Add in before the sour cream.
Can’t wait to make this cake, it’s my favorite!!