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.

Keto German Chocolate Cake 1 from Spinach Tiger

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.

Double Layer Keto German Chocolate Cake from Spinach Tiger

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 or olive oil
  • 9 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Layer Keto German Chocolate Cake from Spinach Tiger

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.

Swerve with Packaging

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 

Keto German Chocolate Cake (Low Carb) #ketogermanchocolatecake #lowgermanchocolatecake from #spinachtiger

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 German Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
4.58 from 73 votes

Keto German Chocolate Cake

Makes an ample one layer cake, an 8 inch double layer cake, a 6 inch triple layer cake or 12 cupcakes. Use the double recipe (above in blog post) for a 9 inch double layer or a 13 x 11 cake).
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Keto Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Author: Angela Roberts


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. Set Aside
  • Beat eggs until frothy about two minutes.
  • Stream oil in. Add Swerve.
  • Put cocoa powder in bowl. Add in boiling water. Stir. If using espresso powder add that in here too.
  • Add in sour cream to cocoa mix.
  • Add vanilla to cocoa mix.
  • Add cocoa mix to mixer (egg mixture).
  • Add in remaining 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 Topping

  • Add a few tablespoons of water to coconut. Mix with hands. This helps plump up unsweetened coconut. Squeeze excess water out. Set aside.
  • Make sure your butter is cold and cut I can't repeat this enough times.
  • Cut butter into 8 pieces. Place back in fridge to keep cold.
  • Mix egg yolks with heavy cream before heating. Add to sauce pan. Add salt, Swerve brown sugar in sauce pan stirring constantly over medium heat. Add butter. Keep stirring on low heat
  • 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.


Brown Sugar: If you don’t have Swerve brown sugar, use 1 teaspoon of Black Strap Molasses and Granulated Swerve Sweetener. 


Serving: 1of 12 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Fiber: 3g

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

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  1. The instructions say to add boiling water to the cocoa powder, but there is no boiling water on the ingredients list. How much boiling water should be used, or can I skip the water? Thanks!

  2. 2 stars
    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.

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 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

  5. 5 stars
    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.

  6. 5 stars
    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!!

  7. I’m planning to make this recipe and I’m wondering if the xanthan gum is required. Does it alter the taste any?

  8. 5 stars
    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”:)

  9. 5 stars
    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.

  10. 5 stars
    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

  11. 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?

    1. 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.

  12. 5 stars
    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!!!

  13. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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.

  14. 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!).

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

      2. Hi I don’t like coffee. At all! Not even coffee flavored anything. Lol. Is there something else you could recommend to use? Thanks 😊

  15. 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!

  16. 5 stars
    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!!!

  17. 5 stars
    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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

    1. 5 stars
      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.

      1. 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.

  20. 5 stars
    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!

  21. 5 stars
    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!

  22. 5 stars
    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.

  23. 5 stars
    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.

  24. 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?

  25. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

  26. 5 stars
    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!

  27. 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?

  28. 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?

  29. 5 stars
    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!

  30. 5 stars
    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!

  31. 4 stars
    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.

    1. Kristen
      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.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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 🤣

  35. 5 stars
    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!!

  36. 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?

    1. 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.

  37. 5 stars
    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!!

  38. 5 stars
    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?

  39. 5 stars
    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.

  40. 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.

      1. 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?

  41. 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

    1. 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.

  42. This looks amazing!! Would you please clarify if coffee is liquid or powdered and when it is added to mixture?

      1. At what step do you add in the coffee? It’s not in the recipe. Thanks! Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

          1. I may be losing my mind, but I still don’t see anything regarding the coffee (dry/liquid, when to add) in the actual recipe instructions. This means that I’ll have to print the recipe and add handwritten notes, or that any time I want to make the cake, I’ll have to scroll down in the notes to the point where you answer these 2 questions. I like to follow a recipe from my laptop or phone. It would be appreciated if you would edit the ingredients list and instructions to make the use of coffee clearly stated. Thanks!

          2. I went in and changed recipe to my new revised. You can skip the coffee altogether or use some espresso powder. I hope that helps. After making the chocolate cake several hundred times for my bakery, I improved the recipe.

4.58 from 73 votes (43 ratings without comment)

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