Yes, I realize I just did an upside-down cake, but while that one is classic and traditional, this is a very unconventional take on a well-known and -loved cake. German chocolate may not have anything to do with Germany (it was named after a Mr. Samuel German), but it can’t be a coincidence that my family is a GCC-loving clan. For just a few moments, though, suspend your preconceived notions of German chocolate cake, and try my interpretation on for size. The recipe is one I found a long time ago in Taste of Home. It’s unique, unexpected, and it veganizes surprisingly easily.
This is one of my three favorite cakes of all time (you’ll find out in due time what the other two are) and while it’s one of the most caloric desserts I’ve got on here, it’s well worth a splurge. You can use the excuse that I did, and make it for a friend’s birthday.
1 1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pkg German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1T canola oil
1 Ener-G egg
1/2 block firm silken tofu, like Mori-Nu
1 pkg vegan cream cheese, like Tofutti, softened
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the coconut and pecans evenly into a greased and floured 13×9-inch baking pan.
In a blender, combine 2/3 of the tofu with the applesauce, canola oil, Ener-G egg, and however much water your cake mix calls for (probably 1 1/4 cup) and process until completely smooth. At this point, my blender was already dirty, so I decided to try something weird and make the whole cake in there. It worked! So, you can transfer the mixture to a large bowl and break out a whisk or hand mixer, or you can just dump the cake mix right into the blender.
Blend for about 2 minutes, then carefully pour the batter over the coconut and pecan mixture in the pan.
Set that aside, and clean out your blender (take this opportunity to taste the batter, ohh it’s good). Set the blender back up and process together the cream cheese and Earth Balance. (I have a good feeling coconut oil could work here as well.) Add the remainder of the tofu and blend again.
Add the sugar a cup at a time, blending until completely smooth. Carefully drizzle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan
Make sure it goes all the way to the edges. You’re probably wondering why we’re putting frosting on the bottom of an upside-down cake, but just you wait.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Check out what happens in the oven—the rich, weighty frosting sinks halfway down into the cake, et voilà, instant crème filling!
Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate or, in my case, a parchment-lined baking sheet. Before you say anything, yes, I admit I nibbled on one of the corners as the cake cooled. I just couldn’t wait. Only when I flipped the cake did I realize I couldn’t hide it in the picture, heh. Sorry.
Is that beautiful/amazing/mouthwatering/insert-yummy-adjective here, or what?! The coconut and pecans toast all on their own against the bottom of the pan, and lend the cake a pleasant crunch and chew. The cake part is kept super-moist by the applesauce and tofu, and the filling—oh, that filling! Super-sweet and rich, but with just the right amount of tang from the cream cheese. With every bite you sink your fork into, that gorgeous crème will ooze out to greet you. When you combine it all in your mouth, you’ll experience the gustatory fireworks that only a treat as hedonistic and indulgent as this can bring.
I really wish this last picture weren’t blurry, but maybe that’s a sign that you need to just go bake this cake yourself. Because you do. Oh, you do.
Yield: 20 slices. Per slice: 337 calories, 14.4g fat (4.8g sat), 50.8g carbs, 2g fiber, 2.2g protein.