German's Chocolate Cake

My mother and I were searching for a German chocolate cake recipe to make for our Christmas day dinner and she found this one on the Taste of Home website. This one is a really good and classic German chocolate cake recipe.  It is straightforward and fairly easy to make.  This was my first attempt and it turned out delicious.  

By the way, for anyone wondering about the origins of this cake - it actually has nothing to do with the country Germany.  The cake is named after an American by the name of Sam German, who worked for American Baker's Chocolate Company. He developed a type of sweet baking chocolate in 1852 and Baker's Chocolate Company named this sweet dark chocolate after him.  The recipe, originally called "German's Chocolate Cake" appeared years later, in 1957, in a local Dallas, Texas newspaper (the " 's" was dropped over the years). A homemaker sent the recipe to the local Dallas newspaper but the actual recipe's origins are unclear.  

Adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 12 servings




For the cake:

  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped Diamond of California® Pecans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Step 1: Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper and set aside. 
Step 2: In small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat; cool.
Step 3: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Step 4: Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Step 5: Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. 
Step 6: Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Step 7: In a small bowl and with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into the creamed mixture; fold in remaining whites.
Step 8: Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Step 9: For frosting, in a small saucepan, heat the sugar, milk, butter and egg yolks over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. 
Step 10: Remove from the heat. Stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. 
Step 11: Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.


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