The BEST Low-FODMAP German Chocolate Cake Recipe; Gluten-free, Dairy-free

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Did you know that German Chocolate Cake originated in the United States? It gets its name from the slightly sweeter chocolate used in the recipe (named ‘German’ chocolate after Samuel German who invented it for Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852). I had never attempted to bake one before, and this recipe absolutely blew me away.

You are going to be as thrilled as I was with this low-FODMAP German Chocolate Layer Cake recipe.

Low-FODMAP German Chocolate Cake combines a moist and light low-FODMAP chocolate cake with sweet low-FODMAP coconut/pecan creamy filling.

And that filling, when made from scratch, is to die for.  So fresh and delicious.  Like a butterscotch, coconut and pecan swirled heaven. All covered in a decadent low-FODMAP chocolate buttercream frosting.  SO GOOD.

My low-FODMAP German Chocolate Cake recipe is wonderful for special birthdays, entertaining or any holiday.

This cake is guaranteed to impress… plus, nothing about it tastes low-FODMAP or gluten-free.

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Or check out over 300 more low-FODMAP recipes on the blog.  IBS-friendly!

Be healthy and happy,

Rachel Pauls, MD

Low-FODMAP German Chocolate Layer Cake; Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Although this recipe has not been tested a single serving should be low-FODMAP based on the ingredients

Modified from recipe by Analise G Roberts, “Gluten free Baking Classics, 2nd edition”

Serves 24

Prep time: 40 min

Assembly time: 20 min

Bake time: 40-45 min, plus cooling AS OVENS VARY, YOUR OVEN MAY TAKE MORE/LESS TIME

Total time: 1 hour 40 min, plus cooling


For low-FODMAP German Chocolate Cake:

  • 6 ounces Baker’s German sweet chocolate, chopped
    • Can substitute with 6 ounces semisweet chocolate and additional 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated into white and yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 & 1/4 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend flour (or your favorite low-FODMAP, GF flour). This is my preferred flour for its consistent baking results. See my low-FODMAP bake off blog for the reason why!
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum, if not added to your low-FODMAP flour choice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp low-FODMAP milk (such as almond for dairy-free or lactose-free) mixed with 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice (creates a low-FODMAP buttermilk)
  • 1 tbsp sweetened toasted shredded coconut, for garnish if desired
  • 1 tbsp toasted chopped pecans or pecan halves, for garnish if desired
  • Low-FODMAP Chocolate Buttercream frosting

For low-FODMAP German Coconut/Pecan Filling

  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups low-FODMAP milk (such as lactose-free or almond for dairy-free), or canned coconut cream
    • Note: This is NOT the same as ‘Cream of Coconut”.  Canned coconut cream is unsweetened, and can be purchased as the cream, or if you buy full fat coconut milk and chill it, you can skim the creamy layer from the top of the can and use that in recipes.  See my low-FODMAP Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe for details!
  • 3/4 cup butter or low-FODMAP vegan spread (for dairy-free)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded toasted coconut
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt


  • If desired, prepare the coconut/pecan filling the night before so it has more time to chill
  • Line two 9 inch round baking pans with parchment paper, grease parchment
  • Preheat oven to 350 F, place rack in center of oven
  • In small saucepan, melt sweet german chocolate with ½ cup water over low heat; cool to lukewarm
  • In a large bowl of electric mixer with flat paddle, beat canola oil and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition until mixture is pale yellow
  • Slowly add in melted chocolate and vanilla to temper eggs, on low speed
  • In a separate bowl combine low-FODMAP flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt
  • Add the dry mixture to the oil/egg mixture, alternating with the low-FODMAP buttermilk, beating well after each addition
  • In a second bowl, with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form (use whisk attachment)
  • Fold ¼ of the egg whites into creamed mixture; then fold in remaining whites, ¼ more at a time
  • Pour batter into prepared pans
  • Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (for 2 pans)
    • Adjust bake time if using 3 or more pans
  • Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely
  • Cool cakes on rack, or freeze until ready to decorate
  • You can prepare low-FODMAP German Chocolate filling while the cake is baking and chill at the same time as the cake

Directions for low-FODMAP German Coconut/Pecan Filling

  • If your pecans and coconut are not toasted, then put at 350 F for about 5-10 minutes and allow to cool
    • The coconut will toast faster, prepare separately or remove first and watch carefully
  • Place egg yolks in a large bowl; whisk to combine; set bowl aside
  • Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan
  • Gradually whisk in low-FODMAP milk or cream and butter or vegan spread
  • Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, 10 to 12 minutes
  • Remove from heat
  • Whisk a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture into the reserved egg yolks to temper yolks
  • Slowly pour warm yolks into the saucepan, stirring constantly
  • Cook slowly, stirring, over medium-low heat, until mixture begins to bubble, about 5 to 6 minutes
  • Remove from heat
  • Stir in shredded coconut, pecans and vanilla
  • Transfer filling to a medium mixing bowl, and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface so a skin doesn’t form
  • Chill until set, about 1-2 hours in refrigerator

When ready to frost and fill low-FODMAP German Chocolate Cake:

  • Place the bottom base layer on cake plate, and place the low-FODMAP German coconut/pecan filling on this layer, repeat as necessary, if doing a multi-layer cake
    • You will have enough filling for 2 generous layers
      • I had saved about half the coconut pecan filling to ensure I would have enough to decorate the top layer and still ended up with extra at the end.  Feel free to make your center layer thicker than the one I did, if you like!
  • Frost top and sides with low-FODMAP Chocolate Buttercream frosting,
  • Garnish with additional coconut filling, shredded toasted sweetened coconut, or chopped pecans

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