German Chocolate Cake the recipe critic 2022
Homemade German Chocolate Cake, with two cake layers made from scratch, a gooey coconut-pecan topping, and fudge frosting is everyone’s favorite cake.
Everyone loves a good homemade cake. Some may consider it the best dessert there is. And if you are as much of a cake fanatic as I am, you will surely want to make a perfect Tres Leches Cake or a Marble Bundt Cake.
German chocolate cake
I love homemade cake. I can always tell the difference between a homemade cake where everything was made from scratch. I grew up on box mixes and icing from a tub, but once I realized how wonderful baking was, I’ve never looked back.
I had some extra cake and asked my friends if they wanted any. I couldn’t believe how many people said that German chocolate was their absolute favorite! Many people said that it had been their favorite since they were kids!
What is different about German chocolate cake?
There are quite a few differences between a German chocolate cake and a traditional one.
First of all, the chocolate in the cake slice was meant to come from a chocolate fudge. It is different than milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate. If you see any recipes that call for chocolate chips or cocoa powder, know that you will not buy a cake that tastes like an authentic German chocolate cake. In my opinion, milk chocolate is as close as you can get unless you did what I did and used a combination of semi-sweet and blonde chocolate (which I think is the perfect match for this recipe). See how light the color of the cake is? Buttermilk is also a common ingredient in German chocolate cake.
Second, German Chocolate Cake is known for its custard-like topping packed with pecans and coconut. I am a huge fan of coconut, and I love making coconut ice cream and pudding.
Third, chocolate frosting is often seen on German chocolate cake; however, it is optional. I’ve seen cakes that get covered in the coconut shell without any frosting, and for me, that’s too much. I also think a super creamy buttercream frosting (like what you might get from a grocery store bakery) is a very poor choice for this cake. No. The only way to do this is with a dark, rich icing, like chocolate icing, like the one I’ve used. It is the perfect complement to the subtle flavor of chocolate in the cake.
Why is it called German chocolate cake?
Do you think this cake originated in Germany, and that’s why it’s called German Chocolate Cake? No
After an American baker named Samuel German, this cake was originally called the German Chocolate Cake.
Does German Chocolate Cake need to be refrigerated?
The best way to enjoy this cake is right away, but I was surprised at how well it was kept. I kept my cake in an airtight container at room temperature, and we enjoyed it for days.
If it makes you feel better to refrigerate the cake, you can certainly do that, but I kept it at room temperature, and it was fine.
Do you love homemade chocolate desserts? Try these:
German chocolate cake
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour 15 minutes
Homemade German Chocolate Cake, with two layers of cake made from scratch, a gooey coconut-pecan topping, and fudge icing is everyone’s favorite cake.
- Cooking spray for greasing pans
- 4 oz milk chocolate alternately I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate and 32% blonde chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- One teaspoon baking soda
- One teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- Four large eggs separate yolks and whites
- One teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
Stuffed and covered with coconut and pecans
- Three egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- One tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of coconut flakes and without sugar
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts
For the Chocolate Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- One teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cakes:
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Cut rounds of parchment cooking paper to fit each pan, then line the bottoms of the pans with the paper.
- Cut the chocolate into large pieces. Gently heat the heavy cream on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave on 50% power until almost boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate and sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Stir to combine (chocolate should be completely melted by the time you do this. If not, you can microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments). Let the mixture cool.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt until blended in a medium bowl. Set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy; set aside. Note: You can’t over-mix the butter and sugar, so be sure to keep mixing until very light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed to make sure it’s fully mixed.
- Reduce speed to medium and add one egg yolk at a time into the sugar mixture until blended. Reduce speed to low and mix in melted chocolate and vanilla. With speed still low, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk until fully incorporated. Once all the ingredients have been mixed, increase the speed to high for just a few seconds to bring them together. Transfer this batter to a large, clean bowl and wash out the stand mixer bowl you were using.
- Add the egg whites to the stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Don’t over mix. You want the whites to be light and fluffy so that when you stop mixing and pull out the whisk, the spout it raises will pop out of shape. If you mix too much, the whites will break.
- Add the egg whites to the batter and fold it with a rubber spatula to turn the batter over the egg whites, continuing until all the egg whites are completely mixed. Be as smooth as possible by using the least amount of mix required. To fully incorporate
- Pour batter into pans, using a rubber spatula to scrape batter from the bowl. Spread the dough evenly on trays and smooth the top of the dough.
- Make sure oven racks are adjusted, so cakes bake in the center of the oven and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cakes should also start to pull away from the sides of the pan once they’re cooked.
- Cool cakes in pans on cooling rack When pans and cake are still warm but cool enough to touch, remove cakes from pan by placing your hand on the cake, inverting pan to release, then return to cooling rack parchment side down. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the coconut topping:
- Stir together the egg yolks, sugars, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan until well blended. Cook over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, frequently stirring, until thick and bubbly. Add the coconut and walnuts. Let cool about 30 minutes, occasionally beating with a spoon, until mixture is spreadable.
To make the glaze:
- Add the butter to the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the paddle or whisk attachment, beat until light and fluffy Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to combine. With the mixer running, add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Once combined, increase speed to high and mix until fully blended and smooth. The frosting will be thick.
To assemble the cake:
- Remove parchment rounds from cakes. Place one cake layer, rounded side down, on a cake plate. To keep the plate clean, you can slide strips of parchment paper under the edges of the cake while it freezes, then remove them once the cake has been decorated.
- Spread half of the coconut mixture over the top of the cake. Add the second layer and pour the rest of the coconut mixture on top. I left about an inch of space around the edge of the cake for the frosting.
- Add the chocolate glaze to a round cake with a star tip—pipe stars around the top edge of the cake. Pipe the remaining icing around the sides to cover, then use a spatula to smooth, careful not to touch the stars on top.
- Store the cake in an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions: German Chocolate Cake
What is different about German chocolate cake?
Chocolate Cake is famous for its filling-it has a rich, sticky-sweet custard studded with coconut flakes and chopped pecans. Of these three cakes, German chocolate is the only one that relies entirely on melted chocolate, as opposed to cocoa powder, for its flavor.
What defines a German chocolate cake?
What flavor is German chocolate cake?
What is German Chocolate Cake? The name German chocolate cake is a little deceiving as it is not actually a German dessert and traditionally the cake is a lighter colored cake with a mild chocolate taste and the entire cake is usually covered in coconut pecan frosting.
Is German chocolate cake really a German dessert?
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the German chocolate cake, which is certainly chocolate – and coconut and pecan – but is decidedly not German. The name comes from Sam German – who was either an American or an Englishman, depending on what you read.
What is the difference between devil’s food and German chocolate cake mix?
A regular chocolate cake mix is flavored with milk chocolate. A devil’s-food cake is richer and darker, and has a strong cocoa flavor. German chocolate (a favorite here in south Texas) usually is a lighter-colored cake with a flavor of mild chocolate.
What is the difference between German chocolate and milk chocolate?
The proportions of chocolate liquor and sugar differ between these two types of chocolate. They also differ in flavor and their cooking and baking applications. German sweet chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate and has a milder chocolate flavor.
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