German Chocolate Cake Report Part 4

I made the CI cake this morning – not the icing, just the cake part. While it’s definitely less sweet than the original German chocolate cake, it’s not what I’m going for. And what I’m learning is this that you can’t just take a plain old chocolate cake, frost it with the coconut/pecan icing, and call it German chocolate cake.

For one thing, you should stick with the actual green box German’s chocolate from Kraft. Yes, it’s sweet and not as convenient as using semi-sweet, but it has a unique flavor to it that anyone whose grandma (Hello, Bessie!) made the original cake over and over would remember. See, now that I’ve tried the traditional against the new-fashion cake, it’s all coming back to me.

So despite all the complaining I did about the first cake, its texture is far better than the other. The cake flour plus the folded in egg whites gave it the light, ethereal texture that I’m going for – like the texture of cake mix cake but with better flavor. Yes, the egg whites were a pain, but they were worth it.

Furthermore, after eating an actual piece of the previous German chocolate cake, I’m less bothered by the sweet. It’s sweet, but not cloying. Maybe as little as 1 less tablespoon sugar would make it better? How much sugar could I remove from the original without wrecking the cake.

And finally, as much as I love sour cream in chocolate cakes, the buttermilk flavor is a key component to authentic German Chocolate Cake. We can’t take out the buttermilk.

So now I’m back to liking this version best even thought it’s sweet.

I’m going to make one final version and will report back. If the final German Chocolate Cake doesn’t work out, I’m going to call it a day and make a Tunnel of Fudge cake.

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  1. says

    Geez, Anna, you are gonna have a lot of german chocolate cake in your house!!! If I lived in Texas, I would come to your house and take one home!

  2. Rachel B. says

    Thanks for the report on CI recipe! I’ve never tried it yet, so it’s always nice to have someone give a “second opinion” on CI’s recipes. The good part of their recipes is that they’re usually aiming for something particular, and they get it right; the bad part is that if it’s not the result YOU’RE looking for, the recipe isn’t so “perfect”! :)

    Sometimes their process can give you helpful hints, but unfortunately the version posted online doesn’t have the three-page or so (!) account of the testing process of was in the magazine . . .

    I’ll be intrigued to see the next attempt!

  3. Priscilla says

    If you have Shirley Corriher’s Cookwise, she talks about formulas for sugar, flour, butter, eggs, liquid, etc. in cakes on pages 138-139. You could use the formulas to see how much you could cut the sugar without totally wrecking the cake. I have found the formulas to be very helpful in tweaking cake recipes.

  4. Heidi says

    I’ve made David’s recipe before – but I cut out the syrup and chocolate icing. They just aren’t traditional. It was good.

    I have a friend who served German chocolate surprise cupcakes at her wedding reception. OMG they are soooo good. Whenever I mention them to my husband he gets this gleam in his eye. Her coconut frosting uses evaporated milk and comes together very quickly and I often use it b/c it’s so not a hassle.

    I just want a German chocolate cake to taste like they always did growing up. 😉

  5. Sue says

    Wow Anna! You are truly amazing!! Thanks for trying that out and reporting back in such detail. I was considering baking the CI cake so my husband and son could try it. The rest would have to go in the freezer until a later date, but now you’ve saved me from making it this weekend. I can’t wait to hear your next report. I think you should take this one or the next one to the potluck, no matter what. It will be a scrumptious treat and your friends will be very impressed. No one will understand or appreciate the nuances the way you do. They’ll be impressed that you made them such a yummy cake.

  6. says

    Ha Ha! I know what you mean about trying to find the “perfect” recipe to go along with what you have in your mind! I like German Chocolate Cake but it is not my favorite. I have never made own but often they are dry and too crumbly when I have one. I am interested in your final recipe!!

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