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German Chocolate Cake

En español | I have always loved German chocolate cake. My mother loved German chocolate cake. So its appearance with candles after a birthday meal was not uncommon. The cake has nothing to do with Germany. A recipe for German's chocolate cake appeared in a 1957 Dallas newspaper. The recipe, which was submitted by a reader, used Baker's German's sweet chocolate, named for Sam German, an early confectioner at the company. After the recipe was printed in the Dallas paper, there was such a run on German's chocolate that the recipe was printed on the wrapper. This recipe is adapted from American Home Cooking by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (Broadway Books, 1999).


2 cups cake flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk


Coconut-Pecan Frosting

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

1 1/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 cups shredded coconut

1 3/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of three 9-inch round cake pans. Add wax paper or parchment cut in circles to fit the pans, and grease and flour the paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Melt the chocolate with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently and remove from heat while a few lumps of chocolate remain. Continue to stir, finishing the melting with the residual heat of the pan. Keep the mixture warm.

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, beating until fluffy and light. Add the egg yolks, chocolate mixture and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Mix in the sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk in thirds, alternating the two. Combine well.

Beat the egg whites in another bowl, with clean beaters, until sturdy but not-quite-stiff peaks form. Fold the whites gently into the batter by hand. Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the layers in their pans about 5 minutes. Run a knife around their edges, invert them onto greased baking racks and remove them from the pans. Let them cool.

Prepare the frosting while the cake cools.

Combine the milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, vanilla and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of thin pudding, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool, stirring occasionally, until firm enough to spread thickly.

To assemble the cake, invert the first layer onto a serving plate. Only the tops of the layers will be frosted. Spread 1/3 of the frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Repeat with the second and third layers, placing each bottom side up. Let the cake sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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