I’ve always made German Chocolate Cakes as layer cakes, but a couple of years ago I started baking for a charity and needed a cake that was a little easier to carry and that could be made in a disposable cake pan. And that’s how Potluck German Chocolate Cake came to be. It’s a single layer German Chocolate Cake you can serve right out of the pan. It may not be as stunning as the round version, but nobody seems to mind once it’s on their plate.
Freezing German Chocolate Cake
You can serve the cake the day it’s baked. However, I like to make the cake ahead of time, freeze the whole thing, cut it into portions while frozen, then fit the frozen portions back into the cake pan before serving. This makes it faster and easier to plate, plus the portion sizes are equal. Also, this cake is so moist that cutting while frozen gives you neater slices.
This one was cut while frozen.
While this one was cut thawed.
Cutting and Stacking
Another thing you can do is cut the 9×13 inch cake in half, stack the halves, trim the edges and brush the sides with chocolate glaze. Of course it’s no longer an easy-to-serve potluck cake at that point, but you get kind of an Inside Out German Chocolate Cake with extra chocolate.
Potluck German Chocolate Cake
- 6 oz German’s Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (200 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 oz 170 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 3 large eggs separated
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 large egg yolks lightly beaten
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar (190 grams)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened** (114 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 chopped roasted pecans feel free to use more
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut toasted (use more if desired)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Have ready a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Chop the chocolate. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and add the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt in the water and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- While chocolate cools, weigh out the flour and mix it with the salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy.Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla and stir until well mixed, scraping bowl often.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, stirring until flour is absorbed.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold them into the batter.
- Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.
- In a large saucepan (I use a 3 quart), whisk together the egg yolks and evaporated milk. Add sugar and softened butter. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 12 minutes.
- Mixture will start to boil after about 5 minutes, and from that point you just want to maintain a gentle boil, stirring well, for the next 7 minutes. Mixture will thicken and become more dense and may brown a little around the sides.
- Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans, coconut and vanilla. Also, taste test and add more salt if needed.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and let stand, stirring occasionally, until you feel it’s thick enough to spread on the cake.
- Spread mixture over the top of the cake.
Sue, thanks for taking the time make it and post a comment. I was anxious to get a review of this one from another baker. That’s a good point about being gentle with the frosting because the cake is pretty delicate.
Everyone loved this cake. This is the first time I’ve made German Chocolate Cake in a 9×13 pan. It won’t be the last. It’s a keeper recipe. 🙂
Next time I make this I hope I remember to put the frosting on more gently. I almost ripped the top of the cake. Once I realized I didn’t have a problem. I just wasn’t careful starting out.
Are you freezing this before or after frosting it? I might make this for summer birthday celebrations next weekend.
I will definitely try this some day! So many great ideas in this post.
When I was in H.S. our German teacher are always made two German Sweet Chocolate layer cakes for bake sale fundraisers. They always looked so good and were the first things to go. I think of her every time I see a recipe for this cake. My husband is also a huge fan of this cake and I don’t make it often enough.
Linda, I’d love your opinion on the cake. The coconut frosting is really good. Honestly, I should try making the original Kraft/German’s version as a 9×13 just for comparison’s sake. If I recall, that one is a bit sweeter and a little less chocolate-y, though very good.
Anna, this looks great. I laugh about triple batches of Frosting made in a big pot and frozen to use up 12 egg yolks. Yours uses one less so I’d have to do a quad batch. HA But the trade off is 12 egg whites and that’s homemade angel food cake. It’s a great way to avoid the “what do I do with 12 yolks (or whites)” in the kitchen. I’ve always used the recipe that comes with the bar for the frosting. Guess I’ll have to try this one too. Maybe I’ll have a new favorite. I love the idea of baking it 9×13 then freezing it and stacking it for an interesting square cake. Great idea! Bet the cake is moist from the freezing too. Thanks for all the great recipes (I scoured your favorites over the weekend) and this new one too!