July 20, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

As I mentioned yesterday, my son and my husband's birthdays were last weekend.  Every year I make one cake - one they both like.  This is sometimes not an easy task, as my son's tastes seem to change every year and my husband is a creature of habit (meaning he likes certain things cooked a certain way ALWAYS).  

This year I got lucky.  I threw out the possibility of making a German chocolate cake, and they both got excited - SCORE!  That was much easier than in previous years!  So, I went to my recipe box to find my grandfather's recipe for German chocolate cake.  My grandfather is 100% German and he loves to cook.  He's been making his own wine and jams since as far back as I can remember.  I am sure he didn't invent this recipe, but I don't care....it's special because it's the one he uses and because he gave it to me.  He lives in Pennsylvania so I don't see him often, but I was lucky enough to have lunch with him the other day.....GEEZ, I should have brought him some cake but I didn't even think of it!  Anyway, he's visiting my aunt in Maine and we all met up because my son is spending a couple of weeks with her also.  It was a lovely lunch and I realized as I sat across from him, listening to some of his stories from when he was a kid, how it means so much more at this point/age to spend time with him than it ever did before. 

This cake is moist and dense, and the frosting is thick and full of caramel, coco-nutty goodness.....it's just so delicious.  Definitely a favorite in our house.  Thanks for the recipe Gramps!  Love & miss you tons ♥

German Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
1/4 salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup water
1, 4 oz package of Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks 
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350, and butter & flour your cake pan/pans (for some reason when I make this cake I always use a bunt cake pan) and set aside.  In a medium saucepan add the chocolate and water.  Heat on low, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the chocolate and vanilla until combined.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating after each addition until smooth.  

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites into batter until combined.  Pour batter into your cake pans, and bake for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Run a spatula between cakes and side of pan, and set aside to cool.  It doesn't have to cool completely before removing from the pan, but I'd wait at least a half hour.  After removing from pans, place on wire rack until cooled completely.  Frost with coconut-pecan frosting (see below for recipe).

Coconut-Pecan Frosting:  1 1/2 sticks butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk, 4 egg yolks slightly beaten, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 (7oz) package shredded coconut (about 2 2/3 cups) and 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans.  Add everything except the coconut & pecans to a medium saucepan.  Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown.  Remove from heat and stir in the coconut & pecans.  Cool to room temp before using.  


  1. Thanks for sharing your beloved recipe with me.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. It does look delicious and I like that it's not a layer cake.

  3. I have always associated German cuisine with crockpot dishes, simmering flavor and potatoes. Of course, i know very very little. As such I am so excited to try this sweet German choco cake. This is the only German inspired recipe I will be adding in my file that is not savory. Say my thanks to your grandpa too. I will have to try ths soonest.

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  4. Good Golly, this looks dangerous!!! German Chocolate Cake always reminds me of my mom. She used to make it from scratch when we were growing up. I'd love to try your grandfather's recipe!

  5. Hate to break it to you, but German chocolate cake was originally called German's Chocolate Cake and is not actually from Germany, but created by a man called German. I am American, but have been living abroad in Germany for 4 years. I was shocked that no one knew what I was talking about when I asked for German Chocolate Cake, so I did some research. Also, crockpots are really hard to find here, I had to order one from a woman who changes out the electric component from American ones and sells them for a crazy high price to Americans who live in Europe.

    Despite the fact that it is not German, your recipe looks great and I am excited to try it! I am in love with your site and have been saving a bunch of recipes to try for the holidays. :-)

    1. Thanks for that little tidbit Alyson! Hope you enjoy the recipes & thanks for visiting :)

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  8. What type of pan did you use, bundt or domed? I don't see that information anywhere. Also, how long did you bake it? Thank you.

    1. I used a bundt pan, but you could use two 9" cake pans. Cook approximately 30, or until cake tester comes out clean