German Chocolate Cake. A moist, sweet chocolate cake with a toasted coconut and pecan filling, and topped with rich chocolate buttercream. This cake is the stuff cake dreams are made of.
I love making birthday cakes for my friends. Especially for friends who appreciate cake, and for friends who have strong preferences about what they like. My friend Jayme falls into both of these categories. Jayme is appreciative of dessert, loves German chocolate cake, and her birthday was last week. I really like Jayme, so I wanted her to have the best German chocolate cake of her life.
Oddly, for as much dessert as I have eaten in my life, I have never had German chocolate cake. Or at least that I can remember. So, I decided to start off the cake development with some research. I looked through multiple cookbooks and internet sources, and it seems that the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate box recipe is the gold standard for German chocolate cake. Everyone seems to defer to that recipe. Being new to the German chocolate world, I decided to start there. And let me tell you, it was amazing.
I did a few little tweaks to the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake recipe, but y’all, that thing is pretty legit as it is. I melted the chocolate in the water as their recipe directed, and thought, “that’s going to be weird.” Then I tasted it and then thought, “I want this chocolate water every single day forever.”
I did some of my usual cake tweaks here and there, toasted the pecans and coconut, since toasting makes everything better, changed the filling to something I found delicious but not diabetic inducing, and added on a rich chocolate buttercream. I was satisfied. Jayme was satisfied. Life is good.
And on a side note, I was so in love with that chocolate water, I purchased some more boxes of Baker’s chocolate so I can starting finding other ways to incorporate it into my life. Stay tuned for those recipes. But in the mean time, don’t be overwhelmed by the long list of directions for this German Chocolate Cake. It takes some time, but is not difficult, and will be well worth your efforts!
German Chocolate Cake
- 4 ounces Baker's German's sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 large eggs yolks and whites divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 3/4 plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups sweetened coconut
- 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
- 4 egg yolks
- 12 can evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3-4 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3, 8" cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour sides (I use baking PAM for this).
- Place chocolate and water in microwave safe dish. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is fully melted into water. Set aside.
- Using mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. About 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- Use mixer to beat together butter and sugar until light in fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time until well incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl after each addition as needed.
- On low speed, add in vanilla extract and chocolate mixture. Once incorporated turn to high for about 30 seconds.
- In medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.
- Alternate beating in flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture. Use spatula to scrape down sides as needed.
- Once well mixed, fold in egg whites until well incorporated.
- Divide among prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Place pecans on one prepared baking sheet, and coconut on the other. Bake pecans for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Bake coconut for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir coconut every 3 minutes. Make sure you watch the coconut closely as it can burn easily.
- Set pecans and coconut aside to cool.
- In a large sauce pan, whisk together egg yolks, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract.
- Place sauce pan on stove over medium heat and add sugar and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in toasted coconut and toasted pecans.
- Allow mixture to cool until thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes (can speed this up by placing in a different bowl in the refrigerator and stirring frequently).
- Using mixer, beat together butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
- In small bowl, stir together cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat mixture into butter about 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down sides after each addition, until well incorporated.
- Beat in milk or heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Level cakes. Place one layer on a 10" cardboard round or cake stand. Use a pastry bag to pipe a boarder of frosting around outside of layer. Fill inside with 1/3 of filling. Place a layer on top of this and repeat. Place final layer on top.
- Use a thin layer of chocolate frosting to cover entire cake. Place in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Remove and frost sides of cake. Use a pasty bag with decorative tip to do a tall boarder around outside of top layer (I used a Wilton #22 for top and bottom decor).
- Fill inside of frosting boarder with remaining 1/3 filling.
If you enjoyed this German Chocolate Cake recipe, you might also enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:
Items used to make this cake:
Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Round Cake Pan, 8-inch I use these for all my 8″ cakes as I believe they bake well
Parchment Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans 8-inch These cut out a lot of time in my cake making process
Kitchen Aid Mixer My go to for all mixing, especially things like frosting
Wilton Buttercream Tip Set These make buttercream frosting look beautiful
Wilton Pastry Bags I use the 12″ bags for almost all frosting
Wilton Cake Turntable Great for frosting and decorating cakes
Wilton 8-Inch Cardboard Cake Circle For stacking the cake