Treat of the Week: German Chocolate Cake

There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Grey.  As a boy (and sometimes still as an adult) I always imagined that party was for me.  You see, today is my birthday.  Now, I won't bore you with the usual Christmas birthday grumblings.  Instead I'll just relish in the idea that the "click-clack" sound of Sleigh Ride was written just for me. Mind you, this birthday is no ordinary birthday.  Today I turn 45.  Those of you who know me well and are aware of my obsession fascination with the number nine understand why I am so excited about being 45... nevermind that fact that it happens on 12.21.12.  I'll let you do the math.


But what to make when my birthday falls on the Treat of the Week day?  I know it will be another 6 years before it happens again.  So... a birthday cake? some skyscraping sugar sculpture? No. I settled for one of my favorite childhood desserts... German Chocolate Cake.

This cake is simple, stylish (in a retro way), and super delicious.  The texture of the icing is really what sets this cake apart and makes it seem so decadent.  It'll be the perfect ending to a perfect day.

savour... giddy-yap let's go

Before you get too excited I must tell you that this is not a cherished recipe that I made up or have guarded for years.  I used a recipe from one of my most trusted and valued sources... Taste of Home.  These folks have an enormous collection of recipes and every one I use turns out perfectly.

You'll find the recipe below, but if you are looking for more baking inspiration, be sure to check out their site.

German Chocolate Cake (from Taste of Home)

The ingredients:

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
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the icing:

  • 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 pecans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


The method:

For the cake:

  1. Grease 9 inch round baking pans. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add egg yolks on at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Add melted chocolate and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.
  6. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
  7. Alternate addition of dry ingredients and buttermilk in thirds, beating after each addition.
  8. In a small bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the batter.  Add the remaining egg whites and fold gently.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until center of cake passes clean toothpick test.
  10. Remove and allow to cool in pans for at least 15 minutes before turning out on wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing:

  1. Place sugar, milk, butter and yolks in a small saucepan.  Whisk over medium heat until mixture is thick and golden brown.
  2. Remove from the heat and add coconut, pecans, and vanilla.  cool until thick enought to spread.