The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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German Chocolate Cake

4.60 Mitt(s) 5 Rating(s)5 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 55 votes, average: 4.60 out of 5

Prep:

Cook:

Level: Intermediate

System:

16

Description

Lots of steps, but nothing too complicated, and this is the best German Chocolate Cake I’ve had! I like to let my coconut filling and frosting sit over night, but you can just cool it to room temperature.

Ingredients

  • CAKE BATTER:
  • 2 ounces, weight Bittersweet Or Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
  • 2 ounces, weight Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Water
  • 16 Tablespoons (2 Sticks) Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 1-½ cup Sugar, Divided
  • 4 whole Eggs, Separated
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Buttermilk, Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • _____
  • FILLING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 whole Egg Yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-⅓ cup Unsweetened Coconut (I Used Sweetened, Because I Couldn’t Find Unsweetened, And Because Of This I Used A Little Less Sugar)
  • 1 cup Pecans, Toasted And Finely Chopped
  • _____
  • FOR THE SYRUP:
  • ¼ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Dark Rum
  • _____
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • 8 ounces, weight Bittersweet Or Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream

Preparation

(adapted from David Lebovitz)

FOR THE BATTER:

1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.

4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.

7. Carefully fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible. Don’t overmix!

8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake layers completely.

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 6 tablespoons butter, salt and toasted coconut in a large bowl.

2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon.

3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Refrigerate overnight. Add the pecans when ready to assemble the cake, so they don’t get soggy.

TO MAKE THE SYRUP:

1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.

TO MAKE THE ICING:

1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of butter.

2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for one minute, then stir until smooth. Refrigerate, tightly sealed, overnight. When ready to use, bring to room temperature, and whip to form a spreadable frosting.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife, so you have four cake layers.

Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread a thin layer of frosting, then ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to frost and fill to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.

Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, a thin layer of frosting, and ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.

Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping. It seems like a lot of frosting, but use as much of it as you can!

2 Comments

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Avatar of jonellbelle

jonellbelle on 6.20.2010

My husband requested German Chocolate Cake for Father’s Day, so this is the recipe I selected. I can’t recall ever making a cake before that didn’t start with some sort of box mix, so this was definitely a challenge! But, I must say, it came out great! I was so proud of my masterpiece, and my husband really liked it. I would definitely make this cake again. Special notes to anyone (especially beginners like myself) looking to make this cake: 1) PLAN AHEAD and read the recipe before you start. There are a couple of “chill overnight” and “bring to room temperature” steps, so you have to make time for that. 2) I didn’t use the rum in the syrup because I already felt like I was on “ingredient overload” with all of the other components. It still tasted great, but now I’m curious to see what the rum would add to it. 3) I didn’t take Mary Gene’s advice and use ALL of the chocolate frosting. I wish I had! The frosting is really good. I would add more of it to the layers next time I make the cake. Great cake for a special occassion!

Avatar of MaryGene

MaryGene on 1.27.2010

I made this for my hubby’s birthday….definitely an undertaking, but WORTH the effort!! YUUUUMMMM!!!

5 Reviews

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Avatar of george

george on 7.16.2014

I made this for my husbands birthday as well (what’s with these guys and their love for coconut and chocolate??). I read through the reviews so I knew to read through the recipe (a technique I’m still perfecting). I was glad I did because there are a lot of steps that are good to read first (e.g. “refrigerate over night”). Over all, the cake was fun to make and delicious. It is a bit daunting due to the many steps but the recipe does rate it at the intermediate level to start. I think it’s safe to say, it will take you longer than 45 minutes but, if you have the time and want to learn some great things (e.g. an awesome chocolate frosting recipe/technique), this is a great recipe! Thank you for sharing! I will be tucking this away for future events!

Avatar of 4xtfun

4xtfun on 12.16.2011

This cake is really yummy. The cake itself was really moist and full of flavor. The only Neg I have is the Coconut and peacon. It was too rich (sweet) for us local Germans.

Avatar of krypto

krypto on 10.25.2010

I made this for my husband’s birthday. The filling was to die for and the cake was very moist. I WILL make this again…soon. :)

Avatar of highmountain

highmountain on 9.24.2010

We just had this cake tonight. It is the best from scratch cake I’ve ever made. I even froze the cake layers for two days before assembling the cake and I think it turned out fine. Thanks for a great recipe.

Avatar of texaslea

texaslea on 6.8.2010

This cake made me cry.. many times. I am a box mix kind of gal but a special occasion called for a special cake and this one was it! I cried first when I printed the recipe and it was 3 pages long. I cried again when I realized it would take ME much longer than 30 minutes prep time and that the filling and frosting should both be made a day in advance. I cried as I gathered all the decadent ingrediants and my love handles trembled with excitement. I cried as I followed each step precisely because this was way more involved than any box mix! I cried at how beatiful this cake turned out. I cried with joy at the oohs and ahh’s it recieved and I cried again when I woke up this morning and had the last piece of this masterpiece for my breakfast. It was so delicious cold that I wish I still had some left for lunch!

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