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Hi Bold Bakers!
Since it’s been a while since I made a cake, I decided to go Bigger and Bolder than ever before and take on the classic American German Chocolate Cake.
This cake is loved by all who know it and has been highly requested, so I’m so excited to be sharing my recipe — my tips and tweaks on this classic means it’s not your grandma’s recipe anymore, it’s my Rich German Chocolate Cake. This cake is made with melted chocolate, then filled with a thick custardy mixture of coconut and toasted pecans. Complete with my Best Ever Chocolate Fudge Frosting, this is by far one of the most decadent cakes I have ever made.
What is a German Chocolate Cake?
Some of you might not know what a German Chocolate Cake is, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t either until I recently. The cake itself is a super chocolatey and moist cake, thanks to a mixture of melted chocolate and water that gets added into the batter. In addition to being chocolatey and rich, my German Chocolate Cake recipe makes everything light and tender.
It’s the buttermilk that tenderizes the batter and the whipped egg whites that add air into the mix. The result of all these components is a very unique sponge. What makes a German Chocolate Cake next level is the filling that’s layered between the cakes. Instead of being filled with frosting or buttercream, this cake is filled with a super thick custard made of coconut and pecans. The base of the custard is evaporated milk, butter, sugar, and egg yolks, so that alone should tell you how rich this filing is. This combination is what MAKES this cake.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s not at all German? The inventor’s name was Sam German, so this is an American cake through and through!
I don’t like nuts, can I still make the frosting?
If you are allergic to pecans or don’t care for them, feel free to swap them out for another nut — walnuts would also go very well here. Whatever nuts you do add, just be sure to toast them before adding them into the custard as this will make sure their flavor is fully developed.
If you don’t want to use nuts you can leave them out and make the filling with just coconut.
How to Line A Cake Tin
I know it might seem self-explanatory, but I get a lot of questions about how to properly line a cake tin. For this cake, and all my others, I use my GoodCook 9 Inch Cake Pans. These pans are non-stick and heat super evenly, which makes for the perfect bake.
In addition to having the right pans, I ALWAYS butter and line my tins. There is nothing worse than taking the time to make a gorgeous cake only to take them out of the oven and find them sticking to the pan. For this reason, I generously butter my pans all along the bottom and the sides. Then I line the pan with a round piece of parchment I cut to the size of the pan. The butter will help the parchment round stick to the pan and just add that extra insurance to the side.
No matter what cake you’re making you’ll want to prepare the pans this way.
Why did my cake sink in the middle?
This cake does involve a lot of steps, but there is a reason to the rhyme, as each part plays a very important role. The texture of my rich German Chocolate Cake is one of the best parts so you want to be sure to take care of each step. This means whipping the egg whites patiently, really allowing the chocolate and water mixture to cool before adding to the other ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing, because this is hugely important and often overlooked.
Lastly, be gentle when folding the egg whites into the batter to ensure they add the right amount of spring to your cake. If you take your time, the batter will do the work for you and bake evenly. If for any reason you experience uneven baking, it may be due to over mixing the batter, not placing the cake in the middle rack of the oven, or opening the oven door while baking. All of these things are small considerations you want to take that add up and make a big difference in the final product.
Can you make this in the microwave?
While I do have many microwave cake recipes, this is not one I suggest making in the microwave, as the batter is a lot more complex in texture than your average cake. It’s really important that it be baked in the oven for the full amount of time.
How to decorate a German Chocolate Cake
German Chocolate Cake is somewhat rustic, so I like to keep the decoration simple and allow the lovely coconut and pecan filling to peak out. Plus, then whomever I’m serving it to knows it’s not just any old chocolate cake.
After generously topping each layer or cake with the filling, I like to finish the sides of the cake with my Best Ever Fudge Frosting. For the top of the cake, I like to leave the filling showing and just pipe some frosting along the outer rim of the cake. It will look beautiful.
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