Each year I make THE most decadent cake for Derek’s birthday – German Chocolate Cake. Now this cake is definitely a labor of love. It takes a whole day to make because of the various steps – baking the cake, making the filing, and making the frosting. It’s a three step process, but it’s well worth it. Once you make this cake, you may not want to purchase another store-bought german chocolate cake again.
Note: If you have a food scale, that would be best. The recipe calls for ingredients to be in ounces vs. cups/spoons.
For the cake:
- 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons water
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (Don’t have buttermilk? Use 1 cup of whole milk mixed with 1 tbsp of white vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter two 9″ cake pans and line them with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt both chocolates together with 6 tbsp of water. You can either use a double-boiler (or a makeshift one like I did – hehe) or the microwave. Stir the chocolate until smooth, then set aside until room temp. Afterwards, beat the butter and 1 1/4 cup of sugar, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. I like using a fork – call me old fashioned. Beat in the melted chocolate then add the egg yolks one at a time.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in half of the dry ingredients with the butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Now, for the stand mixer! Make sure the metal bowl is chilled, this actually helps a lot in beating egg whites. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks, then add 1/4 cups of sugar until stiff.
Carefully, fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter. Once incorporated, then fold in the remaining egg whites. After that, divide the batter into the 2 cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes. Unless you live in an apartment complex with veryyy old appliances, then it might take an hour.
For the filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces (or 6 tablespoons of butter)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
For the syrup:
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
This is my favorite part of the process, because after mixing all the yummy coconut and pecans, I get to lick the spoon clean. It’s my guilty pleasure. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. In another bowl, put 3 ounces of butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl. (I toast the coconut on the stovetop. It’s super easy. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!!!)
Heat the cream and cook the mixture, making sure to stir constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken and coat the spoon. If you have an instant-read thermometer (another handy kitchen gadget), you can use that to check on the mixture. You want 170 degrees. The custard then gets pour on top of the coconut mixture. Stir until all of the butter is melted and cool the filling to room temp. As for the syrup, I’m missing a photo for the syrup, so you just have to use your imagination. The syrup is super easy! In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water until sugar is melted. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.
For the chocolate icing:
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 ½ ounces unsalted butter (3 tablespoons)
- 1 cup heavy cream
By now, you probably have gone through all of your preparing bowls but you’re in the home stretch! Place 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with corn syrup and butter. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it begins to boil. Remove and pour over the chocolate. Let it stand for a minute or two, then stir until completely smooth. Let it cool to room temp.
Once all of the various parts of the cake are cooled, you can start assembling the cake! Cut both cake layers into half. Place the first layer on a cake plate, brush with the syrup, and then spread about a quarter of the coconut filling over the layer. Repeat with each layer. For the top layer, spread the remaining coconut filling. Spread the chocolate frosting all over the sides, filling in the layers. With the remaining frosting, you can pipe it all over the top around the coconut filling. Also, use all of the frosting. It’s amazingly good.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! An amazing German Chocolate Cake. Even though it does take a lot of preparing, cooking, boiling, and mixing, it is well worth it. Hope you enjoy!
‘Til the next time.