German Chocolate Cake

german chocolate

How to make German Chocolate Cake

My Dad’s favourite was German Chocolate Cake with caramel, coconut pecan frosting. It’s fitting that German Chocolate Cake Day is so close to Father’s Day. This chocolate cake just melts in your mouth and the nutty frosting is sweet and satisfying. I make this as one big rectangular cake for sharing.  You can make a layer cake but then double the frosting recipe so you have enough to sandwich in between the layers.

German Chocolate Cake is a great alternative to Mississippi Mud Cake which some people find too sweet.  German Chocolate does have more of a balanced taste because of the butter nutty frosting.  Additionally, this cake needs no accompaniment of ice cream, cream, custard or coulis because it is so soft and squidgy.

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german chocolate

German Chocolate Cake

Use a 9x13 2-inch deep baking tin, two 30 cm round sandwich tins or 24 cupcakes. Double the frosting recipe if you are going to bake as a layer cake.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
CourseDessert & Bakery
CuisineAmerican
Servings1 cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 400 grams caster sugar
  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 150 grams cocoa powder I used Cadbury Bournville Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 ml milk whole or semi-skimmed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 200 ml hot water

Frosting

  • 200 ml evaporate milk see Tips
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks beaten (reserve the whites for another use)
  • 75 grams butter unsalted, room temperature, use real butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 100 grams desiccated coconut
  • 100 grams pecans chopped

Equipment

  • KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
  • Large, Non-stick Sauce Pan

Instructions

Cake

  • Prepare the cake tins
  • Prepare Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer with the paddle attachment
  • Pre-heat a fan oven to 170C
  • In the mixer bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with spoon until well combined.
  • Add all remaining cake ingredients EXCEPT the hot water to the bowl.
  • Turn on the mixer to medium and beat ingredients together until well combined.
  • Turn mixer to low and slowly add in the hot water.
  • After water is combined, keep mixing for another 1 - 2 minutes.
  • Pour into prepared tins and bake until done. Time will vary depending on your oven and cake tin selection. Cupcakes check at 15 minutes, cakes check at 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before turning the cakes out of their tins (if desired) and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  • Check your ingredient amounts. Remember to double the frosting recipe if you are making a layer / sandwich cake.
  • In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk and cornstarch and mix well.
  • Add sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla.
  • Cook on medium until frosting achieves a slow boil. Then stir constantly for about 10 minutes until the frosting is thick.
  • Remove from hob.
  • Mix in pecans and coconut.
    german chocolate cake
  • Let frosting cool completely but ensure it is at room temperature when ready to frost the cake(s).

Presentation & Plating

  • Set cake in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to set the frosting.
    german chocolate
  • This is necessary if making a layer cake else it may spill all over when slicing. Optional for cupcakes and sheet cake but it does ensure easy cutting and plating of the cake.

NOTES

Tips:
  • You can make the frosting a day ahead and pop it in the fridge.
  • Make sure butter is at room temperature before starting the frosting
  • If you don't have evaporated milk, you can use whole or semi-skimmed.  Just double the amount and let it simmer until the quantity of evaporated milk is achieved.
  • Ensure the cake is cool before frosting
  • Store in the fridge until serving
  • Always make a cheeky ramekin dish for yourself and share the big cake
These pictures are from two different batches.  In the batch with the lighter frosting, I didn't have evaporated milk so used the substitute above.  Evaporated milk made for a much better caramel colour.
Tried this recipe?Mention @AmericanRecipes.co.uk or tag #AmericanFoodUK