German Chocolate Cake

Cooking inspiration can come from a number of places. Perhaps, tonight’s idea for supper came from a recipe you saw in a magazine or cookbook. Or maybe it was on one of the many cooking shows available on cable or Dish TV these days. My latest came from Facebook.

A friend, LoAnn Stadstad, said that her banana bread and German chocolate cake was just about ready for beet harvest — when it starts back up. That sounded pretty good to me, especially the latter.

It wasn’t too long ago that I made some banana bread. But it’s been awhile since I’ve tried my hand at a German chocolate cake, which just happens to be my favorite.

My mom used to make me a German chocolate cake for my birthday when I was growing up, and my affection for it hasn’t waned over the years. I especially like the frosting.

The last time I made a German chocolate cake was a half-dozen years ago. I prepared it for a Humane Society fundraiser at which cakes were auctioned off. I don’t remember how much mine went for, but it was probably more than it was worth. And I don’t recall the exact recipe or what was the source.

Well, I’m ready to give it another try after reading LoAnn’s FB entry. And here’s the recipe that I’m going to try. It’s from Hershey’s, the chocolate people, so it should be pretty tasty.

German Chocolate Cake
¼ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
½ cup boiling water
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see note)
Coconut Pecan Frosting (recipe follows)
Pecan halves (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together cocoa and water in small bowl until smooth; set aside. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with chocolate mixture and buttermilk, beating just enough to blend. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Prepare frosting; spread between layers and over top.
Note: To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.
Yield: Serves 10 to 12.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups Mounds Sweetened Coconut Flakes
1 cup chopped pecans
Stir together sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and butter in medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature.
Yield: About 2 2/3 cups frosting.

5 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cake

  1. This is also my families favorite cake by far, Do you think it would work if I put it in a 13×9 cake pan instead of the fancy layer cake you have pictured? Thank you soo much for the recipe, I was looking for a good dessert one to follow our ham dinner tonight and this is just perfect!

    • I’ve never tried to make a German chocolate cake without layering it. It might be worth a try.

    • My mom would make German chocolate cake in a 13×9 all the time, so I can assure you it does work! I think the baking time is a little different, though, so probably best to keep a closer eye on it.

  2. I havve never heard of making German Chocolate Cake without using German Chocolate. To me this would just be a regular chocolate cake. German chocolate is purchased in about a 4 ounce bar which would be a similar amount of chocolate to 1/2 cup cocoa but German chocolate is much more robust with a very smooth flavor.

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