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Gorgeous German Chocolate Cake recipe

Gorgeous German Chocolate Cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Classic cakes
  • Layer cake

A delicious and moist cake that will be loved by everybody. Three layers of chocolate sponge cake are filled and spread with a caramel-flavoured pecan and coconut icing.

721 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 3 layer 23cm round cake

  • 125ml water
  • 115g dark baking chocolate
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 300g plain flour
  • 40g cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250ml evaporated milk
  • 115g butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 110g chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon margarine
  • 30g plain chocolate

MethodPrep:45min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:1hr15min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour three 23cm round tins. Sieve together the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat water and 115g chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream 225g butter and 400g sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
  4. Divide batter into prepared tins. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins, then turn out onto wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a saucepan, combine 200g sugar, evaporated milk, 115g butter and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.
  6. Spread filling between layers and on top of cake. In a small saucepan, melt margarine and 30g chocolate. Stir until smooth and drizzle down the sides of the cake.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(865)

Reviews in English (707)

by 4Js1H

This cake is the best! I read a lot of reviews and here is the advice I followed: Do Not Over Mix the batter or it will fall apart! Check cake 20 min. into baking, didn't take the 30 min. the recipe called for. Make 1 1/2 amount of frosting. Add more cornstarch to thicken up frosting or add instant Vanilla pudding. I didn't add pudding, because I wasn't sure WHEN to add it in. Frosting took approx. 30 min. to cook and longer to cool. Plan on investing a good amount of time into it. (But it is well worth it!) Toast the coconut and pecans. Something new I discovered while making this: I must have over mixed because I had trouble getting the cake out of the pan. The bottom layer began to crumble. I stuck the other two pans in the freezer for approx. 1 hr? To remove the frozen cake I placed a towel soaked in very hot water on the pan and it came right out! The cake is easy to handle while frozen and thawed out in the time it took to me to frost it. (I took a good amount of time frosting it) Freezing it didn't dry it out. It tasted and looked amazing! Hope this helps!-31 Jul 2007

by Elaine Nash

My son and I made this cake for a friend whose favorite cake is German Chocolate. He's a great cook himself, and so is VERY fussy about his food. This cake turned out GREAT, and my friend was very complimentary of it! Since a mixer part was missing in action, we did all the mixing and beating by hand, and it still turned out just fine. It was very moist, had great shape and texture, and looked beautiful after adding the chocolate drizzle.The next time I make it, though, I will ADD TWO EXTRA OUNCES OF CHOCOLATE TO THE CAKE MIXTURE, to make it just a touch chocolate-ier. Also, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE ONE AND A HALF RECIPES OF THE FILLING/FROSTING. One recipe of it would not be enough, and 1 1/2 is just right. Also, TOAST THE COCONUT AND PECANS. That makes them much, much better. Be careful about burning the coconut. It toasts very quickly. A great cake that we will probably make a lot! Well worth the trouble.-03 Nov 2005


This cake was awesome. I had a profesional baker make my wife a german chocolate cake for her birthday. This cake tasted so much better than that one. My wife loves german chcolate cake and she said is was the best she has ever eaten. I dobled the icing it looks like alot when you make it, but it turned out just right. Also I used a little more chocolate on the top of the cake. I had to turn the heat up to get the icing to start boiling, but it turned out great. I recomend this cake very highly.-07 Nov 2002

Recipe Summary

  • Parchment paper
  • 2 (4-oz.) packages sweet chocolate baking bars*
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Coconut-Pecan Frosting
  • Garnish: chocolate-dipped toasted pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper.

Microwave chocolate baking bars and 1/2 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through.

Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Note: We tested with Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate Bar.

A unique, yeast-based &ldquocake,&rdquo there are a few tricks to make sure this German cake comes out just right.

You will need to knead and rest this &ldquocake&rdquo before you can press it into your pan.

This gets topped with a honey almond mixture that will caramelize during baking.

A top tip is to cut this cake while it is still warm. Controversial, I know!

The idea is to cut through the top before it has time to set. That way, you&rsquoll get clean slices.

The filling is a simple whipped cream and pudding mix that lets the honey and almond shine.


  • 2 (4-oz.) Baker&rsquos German&rsquos Sweet Chocolate Baking Bars, chopped
  • 1/2 cup strong-brewed hot coffee
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Vegetable shortening
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease (with shortening) 3 (9-inch) round cake pans line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper with cooking spray. Dust pans with flour.

Stir together chopped chocolate and hot coffee in a medium microwavable bowl microwave on HIGH until melted and smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring mixture after 30 seconds. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugars with a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate mixture and vanilla beat on low speed until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition.

Place egg whites in a separate clean bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes gently fold into batter. Divide batter among prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 24 to 28 minutes. Remove pans from oven gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks discard parchment paper. Cool completely, 1 hour.

While the cake cools, prepare the Coconut-Pecan Frosting. Stir together evaporated milk, butter, granulated sugar, packed light brown sugar, and lightly beaten egg yolks in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and sugars dissolve, 3 to 4 minutes. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbling and thick, 12 to 14 more minutes. Remove pan from heat stir in sweetened flaked coconut, chopped toasted pecans, and vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly warm and spreadable, about 40 minutes.

Spread slightly warm Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake, if desired. Let stand until frosting is completely cool and set, about 15 minutes.

Martha Stewart Shares a German Chocolate Cake Recipe With a Surprising, Scrumptious Twist

While there are tons of different cake flavors out there, we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for chocolate cake. The classic gooey decadent taste never gets old, but that doesn’t mean we’re not willing to switch things up every once and a while. Of course, when it comes to cakes, there is no bigger master than Martha Stewart. When we’re looking to feel inspired, Stewart’s Cake Perfection is our holy grail recipe book. So when we saw that the chef shared how to make a delicious German Chocolate Bundt cake on her Instagram we immediately began gathering the necessary ingredients so we could try it out for ourselves.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

More from SheKnows

“Greg Makes a German Chocolate Bundt Cake,” Stewart began her caption, she added: “German chocolate cake is defined by its iconic coconut-pecan frosting, but we’ve bucked tradition and tucked it inside. Watch deputy food editor Greg (@brooklyncooks) create this chocolately confection that hides a scrumptious surprise filling inside.”

Everything about this chocolate cake is making our mouths water. From its rich frosting to the surprise coconut filling — we’re looking forward to munching on this cake ASAP. To make this cake, you’ll need a few key ingredients such as cocoa powder and vanilla paste — but the most important tool you need is definitely a sturdy Bundt pan.

German chocolate cake + a wedding cake

Many years ago, with absolutely no experience or clue, I made a wedding cake for friends. It was fun and I learned a lot, but in the end declared it “fully out of my system.” Apparently, 9 years is the statute of limitations on such claims, which is how it came to pass that when one of my oldest friends asked me to make his wedding cake, the words “that would be so much fun!” flew out of my mouth before anyone could talk me out of it. Would you like to come along for the ride?

Let’s talk about GCC.

The last time I made a wedding cake, the bride loved vanilla and coconut and lime and mango and the groom loved chocolate above all else. Because the wedding was relatively small (under 100), I decided to make both (the largest tier in chocolate and the smaller two in vanilla) everyone had a taste of each. This time, one groom loves peach and blueberry pie, and the other has a thing for things like chocolate and salted caramel I could never choose between the two either but with a much larger headcount (180 invited), it had to be done. It was made easier when we were brainstorming one night and they announced they both loved German Chocolate Cake. Crisis, averted. Or, at least this one.

Not that I’ve ever made or tasted a German Chocolate Cake before, and so I began with some research. Did you know that German chocolate cake isn’t German? If written correctly, it’s actually “German’s” chocolate cake, as in, named after a guy (Samuel) with the last name German. He developed the baking chocolate in 1852 that now goes by Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate. In 1957, 105 years later, Wikipedia tells us that The Dallas Morning News printed a recipe for German’s Chocolate Cake that was created by Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker, which became wildly popular. General Foods, which owned the Baker’s brand at the time, took notice and distributed the cake recipe to other newspapers in the country. At some point, the possessive (German’s) was dropped, leading to all sorts of confusion.

Traditionally, it’s a fairly fluffy mildly chocolate layer cake with a caramel-y custard filling with pecans and coconut. While in many cases, the “back of the box” recipes aren’t exactly considered the best in category, in this case, the one on the Baker’s German Chocolate box is in fact the original, and the gold standard. So, my research began there, and also by picking up slices from a couple bakeries in the city…

You guys, I hated them all. True, it’s just not my favorite (or ever 10th favorite) cake. True, it’s not my wedding, it needn’t be my favorite cake. But even though I knew a coconut pecan custard filling and a pale-ish chocolate cake was never going to make me swoon, I still knew that there had to be ways to get more flavor from them and the grooms were all for it. (I also called in my friend Molly for tastings, as this is her favorite cake and I knew she wouldn’t mince words if my version veered from the platonic ideal of what the cake could be.)

The test version we liked the most, not fully shown here, ended up with bittersweet chocolate instead of “German’s,” some hot coffee to (instead of hot water) give it oomph and some cocoa powder replacing some of the flour to give it a little more chocolate gravitas. To maximize the flavor impact of every part of the filling, I reduced the sugar, swapped in some brown sugar for white, deeply toasted the pecans, lightly toasted the coconut, increased the salt and then, I mean, of course I did, I browned the butter. Here, it makes everything better.

Wedding cake-ing it

I won’t lie, as a wedding cake, it’s not the easiest choice namely because there are so many processes, from melting chocolate, separating eggs, whipping the whites separately, sifting cocoa (mine is always lumpy), and that’s just the cake. The filling, especially the way we preferred it, is full of extra steps (toasting the butter, pecans, and coconut, and more separated eggs), plus it needs to be cooked and cooled. Fortunately, decor-wise, nobody was looking for anything too floofy or traditional, they had no wedding “colors” and we all liked the rustic look of a “naked” (no frosting on the sides) cake. Inspired by Molly Yeh’s stunning forays in to buttercream flower gardens, I figured the relatively absence of other decor would leave me lots of time to try my (way less practiced) hand at something like that for the top. (Stop laughing, quit it, I can hear you.)

After endless staring at wedding cake guides, measuring my oven and weeks of boring hemming and hawing, I concluded that the best way to serve the 140 guests (although this technically could serve 170, I wanted to play it safe because this is not a cake that would cut cleanly plus you lose slices to dowels and more) was with a 14, 12, and 10-inch tier. This was exactly 48 hours before I began baking the cake. Are you getting stressed out reading this yet?

The schedule

Herein lies my best-laid plan:

Saturday: Hit up the baking supply store for cake pans, boards, a cake box, dowels, extra piping bags, a few extra piping tips and a bunch of floral-ish food colors.
Sunday: Lay out the recipe in a spreadsheet to scale it up and finish buying groceries.
Monday and Tuesday: Bake cake layers, freeze them off, wrap them in plastic.
Wednesday: Make filling
Thursday: Fill layers and dowel cake, begin decorations.
Friday: Stack cake, finish decorating and go go go.

It sounds so organized, right?

Here’s what actually went down:

Saturday: Nailed it. See? We’ve got this.

Sunday: My oven, which hasn’t been great at holding temperatures consistently over the last six months (basically an oven’s job, you could say) seemed to be on the verge of a full meltdown, and thus, so was I. I might have thrown a hissy. Plus: Groceries or as much as we could schlep and stuff under the stroller, which is to say, not all of them.

Monday morning: Back to the grocery store with a rather cranky toddler on a hot rainy day. When we returned, wet, sweaty and already exhausted, a guy was waiting outside my apartment to wheel an old (well, 2 months but it was ugly, dirty and smelled like onions and basically made me want to cry) oven from another apartment that was empty into mine. I glared at it. I resented it. I was so scared I’d be in for another dud but it turns out to work great and I kind of want to give it a biscuit for being such a good boy last week.

Monday afternoon: Baking actually begins. I get the 10-inch tier baked, frozen, then wrapped in a couple layers of plastic. Now that I’m in the swing of things, I’ll be faster tomorrow I told myself.

Tuesday morning: I decide I have time to go to the gym. I do not have time to go to the gym.

Tuesday afternoon: I only have time to bake the 14-inch tier. Each layer’s batter fills a full Kitchen Aid bowl, so I basically have to make the cake twice for each tier. I tried to combine what processes I could but it more often than not led to extra, not less, work such as when I had to then re-divide the buttermilk-chocolate-coffee mixture or rewhip whites because of course they half deflate in the time one layer bakes.

Wednesday morning and afternoon: I bake the 12-inch tier. Very behind schedule, I decide that if the filling for all three tiers will fit in one pot, I’ll make it all at once. 26 egg yolks, 1.5 pounds of brown butter, 2 quarts of half-and-half and 2 children hungry for dinner later, I got impatient for this 6-quart pot to cook and cranked it up. I scrambled the whole thing. It went in the garbage. I went back to the store.

Wednesday night: I made the filling in three batches, one for each tier, as slowly and carefully as a human has ever made anything. I finished up before midnight.

Thursday morning: Baby wakes up at 5 because of course she does. I get a late, sluggish start — but hey, filling cakes doesn’t take long, right? I take the cakes out of the freezer, hoping to work with them semi-defrosted (i.e. sturdier than room temperature but not too icy to cut).

Thursday late morning and afternoon: While trying to divide each of the cake layers into two thinner layers, I remembered why I absolutely hate splitting cake layers and almost always prefer to just bake them up thinner. This tender, soft, fluffy cake was a nightmare it broke and broke. The filling for the bottom tier kept running out because I hadn’t dam-ed my layers. Jeez, it’s almost like this is why people leave wedding cakes to the professionals.

Thursday, 40 minutes before the kids get home: I decide it’s time to see if I still know how to make buttercream roses, my single piping skill. I watch a bunch of videos, realize there’s no way I’m going to learn anything new at this point and decide to pipe a collection of Florals Not Found In Nature, i.e. various piles of bloops and dollops and spirals in random colors. Possibly for the first time all week, it goes better than I expect. I freeze them on a tray overnight.

Thursday, 11p.m.: We’re about to go to bed and we realize that I might have some trouble doweling and stacking the cake — which has got to be 50 pounds — by myself the next day and do it right then. Remember when Thursday night was date night? Me neither.

Friday morning, somehow it’s 11am and I’m just getting started and we want to leave at 1 and also of course my weekend bag isn’t packed yet either: I arrange the pre-piped flowers all over and basically came up with a frosting hack I’ll now want to do forever involving one frosting bag and multiple tips to make pretty much every color and shape you see on the cake. Should I write it up sometime? I’m thinking about it, but this is already running very long.

Friday, 1pm: I totally botched this quote on Instagram Stories but I’ve always loved this line from Tina Fey about lessons she’d learned from Lorne Michaels in her SNL years:

The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready it goes on because it’s eleven-thirty.

Which is just to say that while I wondered if I should trim or frost the sides where the filling was leaky or add some chocolate frosting, as it’s traditional too, the cake was declared done because it was time to go. I think it was the right choice.

What I’d do differently next time (just kidding, honey):

• Um, start a little earlier
• Um, probably not curdle the filling
• I’d pipe a ring around the filling in buttercream or more likely use this fudge buttercream and put the cake’s soft filling inside. It prevents leakage. I knew this technique 9 years ago but somehow forgot it until it was a bit too late.
• I don’t want to bore you with even more details, but when you’re baking a cake that’s 12″ or larger or deeper than 3″, it’s usually recommended that you do something to help distribute the heat. There are many techniques and tools (here’s a rough list) I picked a cake heating core. It was all wrong for this cake, I felt like the core never fit properly back in the cake or looked even. I would absolutely skip it next time, trying something else.
• Not cut the cakes into two thinner layers: While totally doable for this cake in a 6- or 9-inch size, it was bonkers to take on in 12″ and 14″ sizes. I would simply bake them up in thinner layers — it always looks nicer, anyway.

What I wouldn’t change at all: You you you you

Last week, I shared my process as “live” as possible on Instagram, something that isn’t my usual thing but I needed some other people to talk to about the mess I’d gotten myself into and you came through by the truckload. I loved all the messages I received and your cheering and excitement for the project, just like last time, plus sharing all of your own wedding cake stories made this 500 times more fun. Seriously. You are, as always, the very best part of this gig.

German Chocolate (Baby) Cake

Why 6-inch pans? They’re my favorite to test cakes in because they hold exactly half of a more standard 9-inch cake layer. They’re also delightful for tiny party cakes like this — they serve 6 to 8 in adorable slices. To make this into a more classically sized 9-inch round birthday cake, double everything.

Many German Chocolate Cakes have a ganache or dark chocolate frosting element. My favorite go-to chocolate buttercream is this this volume could be used to thinly coat the sizes of the cake. Or, you could fully chill the cake and pour a drippy ganache over the top made from 1/4 cup heavy cream (I like to put 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso granules in it) brought to a boil and poured over 4 ounces of dark chocolate chips. Let sit for a minute then stir until smooth before pouring.


Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour hot coffee over, give it one minute, then whisk until smooth and chocolate is melted. Whisk in buttermilk it might look gross, ignore it, it’s fine. Set aside.

Beat egg whites in a clean medium bowl with clean beaters until stiff. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use same beaters — no need to clean them, even — to beat butter, sugars and salt together until fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla until smooth, then buttermilk-coffee-chocolate mixture. Sprinkle baking soda over and beat in well to combine. Scrape down sides. Add cocoa powder and flour and beat until just combined. Fold/stir in a quarter of the egg whites to loosen batter. Fold in rest gently, just until no white spots remain.

Divide between baking pans. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out batter-free. Immediately run a knife around the cake but cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the filling: Spread pecans out on one small tray and coconut on another. Bake in 350 degree oven until pecans are deeply toasted (10 to 15 minutes, but check at the early end) and coconut is lightly toasted on top (15 to 20 minutes, but check early as well), tossing them once or twice for even coloring. Let cool. I prefer the coconut less “stringy” and pulse it, once cool, a few times in a food processor to chop it further. Place pecans and coconut in a large bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and keep cooking after it has melted, stirring often, until it becomes toasty brown near the bottom of the pan and smells heavenly. Remove from heat, pour into a small dish to cool slightly and let saucepan cool before cooking filling.

Whisk egg yolks, half-and-half, sugars and salt together in empty saucepan until blended. Very slowly drizzle in semi-cooled browned butter, whisking the whole time. If your yolks and half-and-half were cold (which is fine), the butter might take on a clumpy appearance as it solidifies in the mixture this is not a problem. Return saucepan to the stove and heat over medium-low, stirring the whole time so that it doesn’t scorch at the bottom, until the mixture is hot, steamy, and thick enough to coat a spoon. Learn from my lesson: Do not let it boil.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (or vanilla and rum), then pour over bowl with pecans and coconut, stirring once to combine, and let filling cool before using. It will thicken up once cold.

Assemble cake: Using a sharp serrated knife, cut cooled cake layers into two thinner layers. Place the bottom of the first one on a cake plate or stand. Scoop 1/4 of the cooled filling (my quarters weights 112 grams each) into the center and use a knife or offset spatula to push it just to the edge. Repeat three times (I like to end with the bottom of the second cake as the “top” for a flat finish), placing the last layer of filling on the top.

To serve: Cut into wedges.

Do ahead: Keep cake in fridge until needed. I tested — because I wanted to make sure the cake would not dry out over the days I needed to make it for the wedding — and found that even a 5-day old version of this cake wasn’t bad at all. I.e. It keeps well.

How To Scale Up Cake Sizes, For Weddings and Beyond:

When I want to scale a cake from, say, a 6-inch round to a 9-inch round or a 6-inch round to 10-, 12- and 14-inch rounds, I do it by the bottom area of the cake pan, not the volume of the batter, because my goal is to keep the cake thicknesses the same.

For example, a 6-inch cake has a bottom area of 28.3 square inches, a 9-inch (63.5), 10-inch (78.5), 12-inch (113), 14-inch (153.9). Want to turn a 6-inch cake into a 14-inch cake? You’re going to want to multiply every ingredient by 5.4. [Except the baking time. It’s often closer to the original than you’d expect, and rarely more than double.]

I then use those numbers to figure out how many full and partial batches of my recipe I’ll need. If you’re good with spreadsheets or married to someone who is, this can make it easy.

I know what you’re going to ask next: Deb, what do I do with 2.86 egg yolks? And the answer is, you go with your gut. I actually leave my recipes in weird fractions so I don’t overthink it before I start. For 2.86, I’m going to round up. But if I need .55 cups of flour, I’ll probably just heap the 1/2-cup slightly. (Or use weights, of course. With weights, this stuff is 10 times easier and there’s no such thing as a weird number.)

But to make things even more complicated, the cake as written is a 3-inch tall cake, a perfect size for a rich layer cake. But wedding cake tiers should generally be at least 4 inches tall. To get this to 4-inches tall, before I did any other math, I increased the cake recipe by 1/3. But not the filling. Because the filling already covered 4 cake tops, and I only needed it to cover 3 for the final cake, as I planned to use buttercream for the decorations, I didn’t increase the filling by 1/3 before scaling up the recipe to the other cake sizes. I just redistributed the 4 layers of filling over 3.

German Chocolate Brownies Recipe

We are indeed in strange times and our daily lives are going through so much turmoil. I hope everyone of you that is reading this post is taking good care of yourself and your families we truly are in this together. My intent over the next several weeks will be to try and deliver some delicious recipes like this German Chocolate Brownie that are relatively easy to prepare and offer up a treat that might comfort.

I have been absolutely gobsmacked for German Chocolate Cake ever since I can remember. As a young girl my mom would make it for my birthday using a box cake mix and the convenience food of the day…a box of dried ingredients that you added butter and warm water to. As I got old enough to bake on my own in our kitchen, the same box cake would suffice but ready made frostings had segued to canned and ready prepared frosting.

I honestly loved those then, but once you do like I did several years ago and try the cake from scratch, there is simply no going back. I believe my recipe is actually derived from the original one on the inside of a box of German’s Sweet Chocolate. Check out my post for German Chocolate Cake to get the real skinny on why it’s named that!

The only problem with craving a German Chocolate Cake? They’re time consuming to make. So I decided recently that I had to try a brownie version. If I’m perfectly honest, it is that frosting that makes it…delivering it on a cake or a brownie hardly matters and actually on a brownie there is a greater frosting to cake ratio anyhow…I’m good with that!

It was really quite simple to transition from a cake to these brownies. I have a favorite recipe for brownies that I simply mix up with either different nuts or chocolate chips in the batter. For this brownie, no nuts went in the batter but there are a nice handful of milk chocolate chips. If you have a preference for semi-sweet chips, use those certainly. This recipe for Gooey Brownies with Toasted Pecans and White Chocolate Chips is my go to and the method is as easy as this:

  1. Prepare the pan – I always use both pan spray and parchment paper to prep pans…the paper is a great insurance policy against having your brownies (or cakes) stick to the pan. Once you start using the paper, you’ll feel the same as I do…never worrying about something sticking to a pan is all good.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate and then combine it with the remaining ingredients in a large pot no electric mixer or bowls required.
  3. Bake the brownies being careful to test them and remove from the oven as soon as there is no batter sticking to a toothpick. These brownies are of the gooey variety a toothpick should come out clean but the batter will never be dry. Without a leavening agent like baking soda, they are gooey, not a cake type brownie.
  4. While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. When the brownies are removed from the oven let them cool completely before topping them with the gooey, nutty, coconut topping. I could literally eat it with a spoon.
  5. Cut into portions and indulge!

Most of the ingredients for these German Chocolate Brownies are pretty typical pantry and refrigerator items save for maybe the cream? In a pinch, use milk. They won’t be quite as rich but will still be awesome. Try not to finish off the frosting with a spoon before the brownies get topped, OK?

I took the tray I made and cut them into serving sizes and while I shared some with neighbors, the ones left over are now wrapped individually in my freezer. We all need comfort food sometimes I like knowing I’ve got some held aside for those days.

I almost fell over when I saw this cake…it is GORGEOUS. Try this recipe for German Chocolate Cake.

These chocolate cake bars look sooooo good. Try this recipe for Gooey Cookies and Cream Double Chocolate Cake Bars.

I know it might seem self-explanatory, but I get a lot of questions about how to properly line a cake tin. For this cake, and all my others, I use my GoodCook 9 Inch Cake Pans. These pans are non-stick and heat super evenly, which makes for the perfect bake.

In addition to having the right pans, I ALWAYS butter and line my tins. There is nothing worse than taking the time to make a gorgeous cake only to take them out of the oven and find them sticking to the pan. For this reason, I generously butter my pans all along the bottom and the sides. Then I line the pan with a round piece of parchment I cut to the size of the pan. The butter will help the parchment round stick to the pan and just add that extra insurance to the side.

No matter what cake you’re making you’ll want to prepare the pans this way.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring. Set aside.

Combine the buttermilk, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk mixture alternately with the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Stir together baking soda and vinegar, then gently fold into the cake batter.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Make Icing: In a saucepan, combine the milk and 5 tablespoons flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool completely. Cream together butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy, then stir in the cooled milk and flour mixture, beating until icing reaches spreading consistency.


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