This was my birthday cake this year, it just might be my favorite cake ever!
You’ll notice that this isn’t called “German Chocolate Cake”, that’s because there is nothing German about it, it is an all American dessert. In the 1800’s a man by the name of Sam German, developed a dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s chocolate company. This cake was named for him.
As much as I love this cake, in my experience there are more bad versions of this than good ones. Grocery stores tend to carry a chocolate layer cake with a little coconut pecan icing slapped on top, THAT’S THE BEST PART! Many recipes just aren’t chocolaty enough for me, I set out to fix that. I found a recipe that had twice as much chocolate, and I split it into 4 layers and spread coconut pecan icing between each. YUM!
Get out your printable recipe and let’s get started!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your pans, line the bottoms with parchment. This is such a fudgy cake that I really recommend the parchment on the bottom.
First lets start by melting the chocolate, since we’re going to have to let it cool. I didn’t use “Germans Chocolate” in this recipe, it costs double what the semi-sweet costs, and there really isn’t enough difference to justify the price. So go ahead and use the semi-sweet instead, it will work wonderfully.
Combine the chopped chocolate and water in a microwave safe bowl.
Pop it in the microwave and melt using 30 second increments, stirring well after each increment. Be careful not to over do it, you don’t want to burn the chocolate, because there is no saving it.
Set aside and let cool down.
Combine your dry ingredients and give them a stir. Set aside
I know this takes lots of bowls and is a fairly big project, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Now take the soft, room temperature butter and sugar and cream with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes scraping bowl as needed.
This is not creamed enough, it’s still a bit clumpy.
This is more like it.
Why is this important? In a creaming method cake this is the beginning of building the structure. Improper creaming and not creating bubbles can cause a cake to have a cornbread type texture, definitely not what we are going for here.
Now that we have the creaming done properly, let’s add the egg yolks, one at a time beating until well combined.
Once the egg yolks are mixed in, add the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract. Make sure that the chocolate is cool, we don’t want to melt the butter and ruin that creaming that we did.
Mix it in well.
Next we’re going to add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. We’re going to alternate these. This accomplishes two things, first, if you added all of the liquid to the butter mixture, it would separate, if you added all of the flour first, it would be too thick, and hard to incorporate the liquid. This also insures a nice, smooth batter.
Always start with 1/3 (just eyeball it) of the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
then when the first addition of the flour is mixed in, now add half of the buttermilk.
Repeat this process until all of the flour and buttermilk are added.
Set this aside, and get another bowl ready…
Now with very clean beaters and clean bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks
Once stiff peaks have formed, place into the bowl of batter, and carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
Until no streaks remain, making sure that you are pulling all of the batter from the bottom of the bowl.
Now pour into your prepared pans and bake.
Now how long do we bake this? I don’t know. Every oven is different, different pan sizes will make a difference, there are too many variables to give an exact time. I would start checking around 25-30 minutes and keep checking until a toothpick come out almost clean with no batter, but a few moist crumbs are OK.
once baked, let them sit in their pans for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, loosen the cakes from the pans by running a thin knife around the edges, and invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Let cool completely.
Now the coconut pecan icing recipe is enough to frost and fill a 2 layer cake, but I love to split the layers and create 4 thin layers, for a great cake to icing ratio, so I only had enough to fill and top, and had to cover the sides with buttercream, if you want a 4 layer cake and have it covered entirely with coconut pecan icing, feel free to double the coconut pecan icing recipe.
This is such a rich and fudgy cake, it was everything that I was hoping for in a German’s Chocolate cake, I know that it is a bit of a procedure, but for me it is soooo worth it once in a while. I hope that you give it a try.