I never liked German chocolate cake growing up. My chief complaint? Too sweet. It wasn't until I learned about the magic of sugar cookery that I realized I could exact control over the frosting. By using a dark amber caramel as the base, a once-too-sweet-classic gets updated to a sophisticated, grown-up dessert. Use rich, canned coconut milk instead of traditional heavy cream and you now have gluten free, vegan German Chocolate Cupcakes!
Vegan Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line cupcake pans.
Mix together oil, cold water, vanilla and vinegar. Add the Cheatin' Wheat Vegan Chocolate Cake Mix and whisk until smooth.
Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full and bake 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly.
Vegan German Chocolate Frosting
Preheat your oven to 300°.
Spread the coconut in an even layer on a sheet tray. Toast the coconut in the oven, stirring every couple of minutes, until light golden. Coconut burns easily so stay attentive. Remove from oven and set aside.
On a separate tray, toast pecan pieces until they begin to smell nutty and delicious (color = flavor!). Remove from oven and set aside.
Now it is time to make the vegan caramel that will serve as the base of the frosting. In a heavy duty medium sized pot (do not use non-stick), combine sugar, water and corn syrup. Stir gently until the sugar is thoroughly mixed. Using a pastry brush (or your fingertips), clean the sides of the pot with cold water making sure there are no stray crystals stuck to the side. Place the pot over high heat and cook until amber in color, approximately 340°. ***Once you have placed the pot over heat, Do Not stir or swirl the pan while this mixture is cooking.
While the sugar is cooking, combine coconut milk, vanilla and salt into one container. ***You want to shake the can or stir the coconut milk before measuring. Yes, you want all the fat in the product.
Once the sugar is ready, slowly add the coconut milk mixture to the boiling sugar. *** The mixture will spatter and bubble violently and produce a lot of steam – BE CAREFUL! Once all the liquid is added, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and whisk until smooth. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before dolloping onto the cupcakes.