German Chocolate Cake Recommendations

Thanks to all who have suggested German chocolate cake recipes. I’m putting together a list so we’ll have them in one place.

german chocolate cake

The German chocolate cake from earlier this week was fabulous, despite having to strain the scrambled egg from the icing.

A few people have mentioned Trisha Yearwood’s German chocolate cake was their go-to recipe.  Looks good.

Bobby Flay’s German chocolate cake with cajeta got some votes, though I’d have to make it without the goat milk.

And one reader suggested Trish Boyle’s German chocolate cake from Diner Desserts — a book I just put on my Christmas list. Luckily, the recipe is on-line.

And finally, there’s a recipe Sue sent from an old set of Time Life books. I’ve pasted an adapted version below.  It’s very close to the traditional version, but with less sugar, more chocolate and a bit of chocolate in the icing.

German Chocolate Cake

6 oz German’s sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup water
2 1⁄2 cups cake flour, sifted before measuring (8.8 oz weight)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 lb butter, softened
1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk (canned)
12 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces and softened
2 ounces German’s sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped pecan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line them with parchment rounds and flour the sides. Set aside (I’ve had good luck with flour-added baking spray plus parchment).

Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and slowly pour hot water over it. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then stir until melted and smooth.

Sift together the cake four, baking soda and salt.

In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and stir in the melted chocolate. By hand or using lowest speed, add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk (beginning and ending with the buttermilk).

Beat the egg whites to almost stiff peaks in a separate bowl. Fold about 1⁄2 cup of the batter into the egg whites to lighten it up, then fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter among the three cake pans and bake on middle and lower racks for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Cool the cakes for a few minutes and unmold. Remove the parchment, invert cakes back to upright and cool on racks.

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a 2 quart saucepan until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, butter, and chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it is smooth and thick enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 minutes. Keep heat low or egg yolks will scramble. If this happens, you’ll have to strain. Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecan.
Let the frosting cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until thicken but not quite solid, stirring it couple of times.

Spoon about a third of the frosting on top of one cake. Spread it out almost to the edge. Place a second cake on top of the frosting, repeat with another third of the frosting. Place the last layer on top and frost just the top of the cake, letting a little drizzle down the sides. The frosting is too fragile and soft to frost the sides.

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  1. says

    My wife loves German chocolate cake. I’m going to have to surprise her by making some of these different recipes. I’m sure she won’t mind.

  2. says

    Don’t worry. It’s been mentioned multiple times, as has the one from Cooks Illustrated. This list was supposed to be recipes that were very close to the original — specifically, ones that used German’s brand chocolate. But since I have Bobby Flay’s on the list, I should probably add the two mentioned above.

  3. Louise says

    I just looked at the recipe for Tish Boyle’s cake from Diner Desserts which is posted at Lees’ Market. The recipe is all screwed up. It doesn’t include the coconut pecan topping, but the cake recipe isn’t right either. I have Tish Boyle’s “The Cake Book” and the recipe is in there too. It looks like all the right stuff. 🙂

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