German Chocolate Cake

18 Jul

I will be the first to admit that I’ve been terrible about writing on here. I’ve been having too much fun with the kids this summer swimming, playing with new puppy & hanging out with friends and family. I really thought once the kids were out of school I would have more time to write, but its been the opposite. This of course means I have to push back my deadline for publishing the cookbook, but life does that.

I made this German chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday last month and it turned out so good I had to share. While I was searching for recipes, I came across one made by Janae Do yourselves a favor and check out her blog. The cake was so good and this will be the only German chocolate cake I make from now on. I will warn you though …its very time consuming but definitely worth it!

I don’t really know the protocol for using someone else’s recipe, but I’m going to copy and paste the one I found on her site & show my adjustments using bold font. I’m hoping this is ok…I just didn’t want anything to get mixed up or lost by retyping.

I followed her recipe exactly because I was  out of my element with this cake and I wanted it to come out right.. I can’t say enough about this cake – it was so flavorful, moist and delicious. My husband and the kids loved it. My final product didn’t turn out as pretty as Janae’s but it sure tasted good!

You can find the original recipe here:



For the filling:
4 egg yolks
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk (I used low fat) – I used regular
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1½ cups finely chopped pecans, toasted

For the cake:
4 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate (I used semi-) , chopped fine
¼ cup cocoa, sifted
½ cup boiling water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting cake pans
¾ teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon table salt

4 large eggs , room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup sour cream (I used low fat), room temperature – I used regular

For the ganache:
6 ounces chocolate, chopped in fine pieces – I used semi-sweet
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed


For the filling:  Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk.  Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a medium bowl, whisk in vanilla, and then stir in coconut.  The mixture will seem too thin to serve as a cake filling; it will firm up in the fridge.  Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least one day, or up to 3 days.  (The pecans will be stirred in just before cake assembly to avoid them softening.)  Makes about 4-4½ cups.

For the cake:  Heat oven to 350 degrees with oven racks in the center of the oven.  Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa in small bowl; pour boiling water over and let stand to melt chocolate, about 2 minutes.  Whisk until smooth; set aside until cooled to room temperature.  (By the time you are finished make the rest of the cake batter, the chocolate mixture will be ready to use.)

Spray two 9-inch-round by 2-inch-high straight-sided cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line bottoms with parchment rounds.  Spray paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess.  Sift flour and baking soda into medium bowl or onto a sheet of parchment paper.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter, sugars, and salt at medium-low speed until sugar is resembles wet sand, about 30 seconds.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through.  With mixer on medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl halfway through.  Beat in vanilla; increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds.  With mixer on low, add the cooled chocolate mixture, then increase speed to medium and beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once (batter may appear to separate).  With mixer running on low, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined.  After the final flour addition, beat on low until just combined, then stir batter by hand, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, to ensure that batter is homogenous (batter will be thick).  Divide evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with and smooth surfaces.

Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool in pans 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto a wire rack; peel off parchment paper rounds and.  Cool cakes to room temperature before filling, at least 1 hour.  (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

To assemble:  Stir toasted pecans into chilled filling. Set one cake on serving platter, and with a serrated knife, cut the cake into two even horizontal layers.  Lift off the top layer and set aside.  Spread 1 cup of the coconut-pecan filling evenly on the cake layer, spreading it to the very edge of the cake and leveling the surface.  Carefully place upper cake layer on top of filling; repeat using remaining filling and cake layers.  Set aside.

For the ganache:  Combine the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir until chocolate melts and incorporates into the cream until it has a smooth, spreadable consistency.  If it is too thick to spread, add more cream, a splash at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.  Once finished, remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.   When ready, smooth evenly around the sides of the cake using an offset spatula or knife (place pieces of parchment paper beneath the edges of the cake to catch any drips on your cake platter, if you like).  If not using immediately, the cake can be refrigerated until ready to eat.  Bring to room temperature for twenty minutes before cutting and serving.


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