Yesterday Sue and I posted pictures and opinions of a German Chocolate Cake recipe from an old Time Life Series book. We loved the cake, but not its appearance. The icing had melted chocolate in it, which tasted good but made the cake slightly monochromatic. But since the cake was so tasty, I tried making it again a new way.
This is a half version of the Time Life recipe (though I did things in a different order), with a non-chocolate coconut-pecan icing. I added a little brown sugar to give it more depth of flavor and I toasted the pecans. The icing recipe as written below makes enough to cover the bottom and top layer. If you want to cover the whole cake, you can double it. Let me know if you make it! I’m really happy to have a smaller German Chocolate recipe since most are 3 layers. Also, if you really like the flavor of GCC and want to simplify things, you could probably make this in a 9 inch square pan.
Update: Since posting this I’ve made it several times using two 8 inch round layers. It’s a small cake, but a good size for us. I sometimes cut the cake in half and freeze it for eating later. The slice in the photo above is still partially frozen, but should be thawed out in time for dessert!
Small German Chocolate Cake
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 oz German’s sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups cake flour sifted before measuring (weight 5.25 oz)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs separated – room temperature
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar – divided use
- 4 oz unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 large egg yolks lightly beaten with a fork
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 3 ½ oz weight sweetened shredded coconut
- Boil the water in a small saucepan or large microwave-safe measuring cup. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth, then let sit for about 20 minutes to cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 2 8 inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with circles of wax paper or parchment, then grease again and dust with flour.
- Stir together the already-sifted cake flour, baking soda and salt.
- In bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until peaks are almost stiff. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Scrape the whites into a second bowl while you prepare the batter in the bowl you just used to whip the whites.
- Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Beat well and scrape sides of bowl. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the melted chocolate. On lowest speed or by hand, stir the flour mixture and buttermilk into the batter alternately, starting with the flour mixture and ending with the flour mixture.
- Fold about 1⁄3 cup of the batter into the egg whites, then fold the egg whites into the batter, keeping it as light as possible.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 28-30 minutes; test it with a toothpick a few minutes before. Cool the cakes for about 5 minutes. Turn from pan onto wire rack. Remove parchment and finish cooling.
- Prepare frosting: Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. I use one that is 3 quarts.
- Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together off heat, then add to the butter in saucepan, followed by the evaporated milk. Cook mixture over low to medium low heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly (5 to 10 minutes -- for me it always takes 5).
- Pour this mixture through a strainer into a clean bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Lay a small piece of parchment paper over the top as you would if you were cooling pudding, and let cool at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Stir in the coconut and pecans and transfer to refrigerator to chill and thicken (takes a few hours).
- To assemble cake, spoon the icing over top and bottom layer and stack.