German Chocolate Cake - Finger Licking Food - Finger Licking Food

The first time I had a taste of this luscious intense chocolate cake was when I made it for the first time a year ago for a friend. I had always heard how good the German Chocolate Cake tasted and wanted to really know what the hype was all about. Must say it’s not hype at all and true to every word used to describe it.

I made this again for my cousin’s birthday. She and her family were visiting us earlier this month.

German chocolate cake, originally German’s chocolate cake, is a layered, chocolate cake from the United States filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. It owes its name to an American chocolate maker named Sam German, who developed a formulation of dark baking chocolate that came to be used in the cake recipe. It’s a rich chocolate cake layered with a coconut-pecan frosting and frosted with chocolate icing.  Source: Wikipedia

This is one of those cakes which is a true labor of love. Takes a few hours from start to finish but well worth all the time. I used David Lebovitz’s recipe for this cake. Moist and delicious in every bite. 

German Chocolate Cake: 

Adapted from David Lebovitz’ recipe

You will need: 

For the cake:

4 oz semisweet chocolate chopped

6 tbsp water 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar

4 large eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

 ½ tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

3 oz butter, cut into small pieces

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped

1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the syrup:

1 cup water

¾ cup sugar

For the chocolate icing: 

8 semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1 ½ oz unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

Note: I only had Semisweet chocolate on hand and used that. You can also use a combination of unsweetened, bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate. Use only baking bars and not the chocolate chips. It makes a difference in both taste and texture.

Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the chocolate with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.

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

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

Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers completely. While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

To make the filling: 

Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3oz butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.

Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.) Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. It will thicken.

To make the syrup: 

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and cool. You could add dark rum, I didn’t since kids were going to be eating the cake too.

To make the icing: 

Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ oz of butter. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.

To assemble the cake: 

Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife. Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.

Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top. Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, use all of it. It may seem like a lot but trust me it’s necessary 🙂

The assembled cake can be chilled if needed. Bring to room temperature before cutting and serving. Left overs can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 3 days.