Did you know that German chocolate cake isn't actually German? Its name comes from the brand of chocolate originally used in the cake—German's Baking Chocolate—developed by Samuel German, an English American chocolate maker. I love the taste of German chocolate cake, but I find the sticky coconut pecan frosting overly sweet. This lighter version skips the frosting, adds nuts and coconut to the batter, and includes zucchini to make the cake super moist. An accent of chocolate, in the form of mini chocolate chips, completes this stunning gluten- and dairy-free remake of an American favorite.

Makes one 9-inch loaf


  • 3⁄4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cup-for-cup replacement gluten-free our blend, such as Steve's GF Cake Flour
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1⁄2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1⁄2 cup raw pecans
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

    Sift the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the honey on high speed until it lightens in color, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, add the oil, and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding the next, then add the vanilla and beat to combine.

    Turn the mixer off, add the flour mixture to the bowl, and mix on low speed until the ingredients just come together. Turn the mixer off, add the zucchini, then beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate chips, pecans, and shredded coconut and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mix again brie y with the spatula to thoroughly combine so the batter is creamy and somewhat loose.

    Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and, using a small metal spatula, smooth out the surface.

    Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top, and the center cracks but holds its shape when lightly pressed with a finger.

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