Top | Cakes and Muffins

German Chocolate Cake

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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Here's my interpretation of a well-loved, old-fashioned dessert. It's basically a simple chocolate cake with a coconut-pecan frosting. More often than not, I make half of the coconut-pecan frosting to use as a filling between the two layers, then frost the outside of the cake with chocolate ganache.


    1. 1¾ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
    2. ¾ cup unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder
    3. 1 cup sugar
    4. 1½ tsp. baking powder
    5. 1½ tsp. baking soda
    6. ½ tsp. salt
    7. 1¼ cups buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
    8. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    9. 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
    10. ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
    11. 2 tsp. vanilla
    12. 1 cup hot, strong black coffee
    1. 4 large egg yolks
    2. 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
    3. 1 cup packed brown sugar
    4. 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
    5. ⅛ tsp. salt
    6. 2 tsp. vanilla
    7. 1 cup sweetened coconut
    8. 1 cup unsweetened coconut
    9. 1½ cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped


    1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans.
    2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    3. In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until just combined.
    4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat, either by hand with a large whisk or with an electric mixer on medium speed, for 2 minutes.
    5. Whisk in the coffee, about ⅓ cup at a time, and stir until completely incorporated. Batter will be quite thin.
    6. Pour an equal amount of batter into the two prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (20 to 22 minutes for cupcakes), or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out with a few wet crumbs on it. (The secret to this cake is erring on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking; if your toothpick comes out dry, then the cake is overbaked.)
    7. Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.
    8. Frost the cake: In a medium saucepan, whisk egg yolks with evaporated milk. Add brown sugar, butter, and salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil and is slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
    9. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours.
    10. Frost top of first layer and place second layer atop it. Frost top and sides of cake.