Thursday, December 30, 2010

Momma's German Chocolate Cake

So, my birthday cake is German Chocolate. It is by far, the best cake ever. I will forewarn you that it is complicated and messy, but it is worth every bit of the time and effort. I have no idea where I found this recipe. I wrote it down in a little family recipe book, and we've stuck with it ever since. It is DELICIOUS. Seriously. I hope you try it and love it!

Here we go....


  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 TBS water
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (Just so you know, I think this is an excellent and incredibly underused cooking ingredient. It pretty much makes everything better!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS rum
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 oz. butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pecans (You can toast and crush these if you prefer.)
  • 1-1/3 cup coconut
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 TBS light corn syrup
  • 1-1/2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

To prepare the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 9-inch round pans.
  • Melt both chocolates together with 6 TBS water. Stir until smooth. Set aside until room temperature.
  • In mixer, beat butter and 1-1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate, then egg yolks, one at a time. (Save egg whites for later.)
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Separately, beat egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar until stiff.
  • Fold about 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites until there is no trace of egg white available.
  • Divide batter evenly into greased pans.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes.
To prepare the filling:
  • Mix heavy cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium sauce pan. 
  • Put the 3 oz. butter, salt, coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
  • Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon.
  • Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan mixture. 
  • Stir until butter is melted.
  • Cool completely to room temperature.
To prepare the syrup:
  • In a small sauce pan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in the rum.
To prepare the icing:
  • Place 8 oz. chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1-1/2 oz. butter.
  • Heat the heavy 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:
  • Once everything (cake, filling, syrup, and icing) has cooled to room temperature, assemble as follows.
  • Bottom layer of cake.
  • Drizzle syrup on top of bottom layer.
  • Layer 1/3 of filling on top of bottom layer.
  • Add second layer of cake.
  • Drizzle syrup on second layer.
  • Layer 1/3 of filling on second layer.
  • Add third layer of cake.
  • Drizzle syrup on third layer.
  • Add final 1/3 of filling to top of cake.
  • Use the icing to cover the sides of the cake. Pipe a border at top and bottom if you wish. If not, it's still delicious!

Remember to use your new NEW awesome Kitchen Aid mixer! (Long story!) By the way, Quincy got me one of these awesome SideSwipe beater blades for the mixer. It is totally worthwhile for the icing!

Here's a looksy at the cake batter. YUM! Yes, we eat the batter. No, we have not yet died of salmonella.

Since it's a once-a-year event, it is worth the investment of GOOD chocolate!

And RUM! hahah! This is one of those miniature bottles because the recipe only calls for 2 TBS, but I did chuckle to myself as I toted my 3-year-old and almost-1-year-old into the Wal-Mart liquor store to purchase this $1.47 gem. You can actually use any kind of rum, but I figured a little Captain Morgan Spiced Rum would be perfect! It is, by the way.

I kind of stopped taking pictures during the process... but here is the final outcome!


Is your mouth watering yet???

Add a candle...

And make a wish! My wish was to start eating cake! It came true!!!

The first slice... and it came out perfectly!

Let me know if you make it! Also, if you are opposed to even cooking with rum, you can definitely still make this without the syrup at all, and it will still be SUPER delicious!


  1. While this cake does look moist and delish, I despise coconut so will therefore never try it. :-). I will take your word on the deliciousness of it!

  2. Oh I like German chocolate, I will have to try sometime!

  3. This weekend. It's a go. I'll let you know. Also, do you bother with leveling your layers??

  4. A. At first, I was like, "Who on earth is Suzanne?" ;)

    B. I think because the batter is so fluffy, with the egg white addition at the end, it tends to come out very level. AND... because you put so much bumpy filling between the layers, I don't know how much it actually matters. :)