Tag Archives: german’s chocolate cake

Update on the German Chocolate Cake

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I wasn’t satisfied to leave the cake recipe as a failure (see Birthday Cakes); I wanted to ensure that it wasn’t entirely my fault that the cake split and was like it was. So I remade that same recipe, after searching the internet for a different recipe for German Chocolate Cake. It is very interesting that all the recipes I found were nearly identical with only a couple small changes. For example, one recipe said to place the tiers on the rack to cool with the wax paper side down, and another recipe said to use sweet chocolate instead of using German’s chocolate.

I made the identical recipe as before, and it did come out better. It did not split as it had the first time I made the recipe. So I did learn something. I learned, among other things that the cake tiers must be kept level. This means that when they are being taken out of the pans, you need to put your hand way down in the pan against the cake so it does not have a chance to bind as the bottom comes free on one side before the other.

I also learned :^) that this recipe will help you redecorate your kitchen in either white or chocolate- or both. We all know that when too much flour is put into the stand mixer at once, the beater will cause it to fly out of the mixing bowl. But the other place this recipe can get you is when you add the melted chocolate to the creamed butter and sugar. In both cases, I found it much better to fold the new ingredient into the cake batter with a rubber spatula before turning the beater on to mix the dough.

There is still a problem with the cake tiers sinking in the center. It appears that the outside of the cake rises and crusts but the center doesn’t stay up. I need to think about that some more; it could be as simple as the amount I am mixing the batter; I know that the cake mix boxes very carefully say to mix on speed 2 for only 2 minutes. I am not certain what happens when you over mix the flour and baking soda.

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Because everyone seems to have the same recipes for this cake, I will give it here with all of the above insight into making the cake.

German’s Chocolate Cake


  • 4 oz. German’s chocolate
  • 1/2 cup fresh coffee
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. Prepare 3 8-inch round pans with wax paper to cover their bottoms; spray the sides with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Convert the milk to “butter milk” by adding the lemon juice to it. Set aside.
  4. Microwave the chocolate in the coffee until almost melted; after 1 minute, stir the mix until the chocolate is totally melted. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
  6. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt) into a bowl and set aside.
  7. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  8. Add the egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.
  9. Add the vanilla.
  10. Stop the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate until it is no longer liquid, then restart the mixer to blend it into the batter.
  11. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Stop the mixer, put some of the flour mix and milk in, and fold it under. Then restart the mixer and blend it into the batter. Continue doing this until all the flour and milk mixes are in the batter
  12. That finishes using the mixer. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  13. Pour the batter into the prepared pans; bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.
  14. Immediately run a knife or small metal spatula around the edge of each pan to free the cake from the pan’s edge. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes.
  15. Remove the cakes from the pans and finish cooling on wire racks. Be very careful to not let the cake bend during this operation; insert your hand all the way against the cake before turning the pan upside down.
  16. Cool the cakes completely before frosting

Coconut-Pecan Frosting


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 7 oz. coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Chop the pecans
  2. In a large sauce pan, beat until well blended the egg yolks, milk and vanilla.
  3. Add the sugar and butter. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown. Stir constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and add the coconut flakes and chopped pecans.
  5. Cool to the desired spreading consistency

Assemble the cake by placing the first tier top down on the serving plate. Remove the wax paper from the now top, and place 1/3 of the frosting on the tier. Spread the frosting to the edges of the tier.

Place the next tier on the frosted first tier, remove the wax paper and again place 1/2 the remaining frosting on the tier and spread to its edges.

Repeat for the final tier, removing the wax paper, and using the remaining frosting.

Birthday Cakes

For our clan here in Northwest Oregon, August and September seem to be occupied with the birthdays of the adults. It starts with Jeff in mid-August, followed very shortly with Jenn (and if she comes down from Seattle- Mindy) and then Kris. Finally, in mid-September is James. That is four or five cakes I try to make over the month period.

bachlor buttons 002

This year, Jeff wanted his usual. He has the Angel Food cake with whip cream and strawberry frosting. I took a picture of it two years ago and posted it last year. This year, I tried something different; unfortunately, I forgot to photograph it. What I did was try to convert the angel food cake to a layered cake by slicing it in two places. Then I mixed two thirds of the strawberries and whip cream to make filling, and used the last third of the whip cream to top the cake, and put the last third of the strawberries on top of the whip cream- these were whole strawberries whereas the first two third were chopped. I didn’t frost the sides of the cake, but left them showing the angel food cake. I liked the results, but I must say that slicing horizontally the cake was a bit tricky; the cake is so soft that it moves with the cutter rather than giving into the cutter.

For Jenn’s birthday, she wanted the Bacardi Rum cake again. Again, I first made this in 2012, and then added the post to this blog last year. There is not much to say about that cake except that I cooled it longer in the pan and it came out beautifully. There was no need to paper the bottom of the tube pan.

Kris wanted chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, with bachelor button decorations. Way back when I was taking the cake decorating class and we did flowers, Kris saw my bachelor buttons and fell in love with them. Well, I gave her what she wanted.

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Finally James wanted a German’s Chocolate cake. When I first told Mindy what I planned she said “NO, you have to do it in the historical manner”. So I looked up recipes on the web and found one by Kraft that seemed reasonable. It wasn’t altogether reasonable. It starts by lining the bottom of the pans with wax paper; luckily I was following the directions to the letter. In my humble opinion, the cake did not rise like I expect a cake to rise, and it was very soft. Without the wax paper, the layers would have fallen apart when I took them out of the pans; they bent and cracked, but the wax paper held them together. I didn’t take the wax paper off each layer until it was in-place on the cake board/lower layer. Even then, the layers wanted to split and slide apart. I think next time I do a German’s Chocolate I will start with a cake mix rather than a recipe from scratch like this one.

german choco best

Look carefully in the picture and you can see the middle layer trying to slide apart.