German Chocolate Cake could very well be renamed “Dad’s Birthday Cake” in our family. Mom has made this triple layered goodness most every March, for as long as I can remember. It’s what Dad loves. It’s what Dad gets!
This was my first time creating Dad’s signature cake, however. And my premier with a triple layer cake, too. I didn’t have enough round pans, and needed to run out for a third one. But I knew it would be an investment. An acquired asset for our future’s eating pleasure.
When Mom assembles her German Chocolate Cake, she leaves the sides unadorned of the coconut-pecan frosting. You can see all three layers of sweet chocolate cake, each crowned with that sinfully wonderful frosting, just like what’s shown in the above photo from 1975.
I took the liberty of changing up Mom’s usual look just a bit, by frosting the whole perimeter. I kinda smooshed the frosting on real tight, which made for a more modern looking cake. And it pleased both Dad and Mom just fine. We licked the cake platter clean!
I love you dearly, Dad.
Mom’s German Chocolate Cake
for the cake:
4 oz. Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate
1/2 c. water
4 eggs, separated
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°. Cover bottoms of three 9″ round cake pans with wax paper and grease the sides of the pan. Set aside.
Microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.
Add egg whites and stir gently until well blended. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
for the coconut-pecan frosting:
4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine
1 7-oz. pkg. flake coconut (about 2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 c. chopped pecans
Beat egg yolks, evaporated milk and vanilla in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add coconut and pecans. Mix well. Cool to room temperature and of desired spreading consistency.
to assemble the cake:
Place first cake layer on your serving platter. Spread with a thin layer of frosting. Repeat with remaining 2 layers of cake. Then frost the sides. You will need to be conservative to cover all of this area. Alternatively, you can eliminate the frosting on the sides, and only frost the layers and top, as in the photo from my dad’s birthday in 1975, above.
Source: adapted slightly from the recipe on the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate wrapping, the only German Chocolate Cake recipe my mom has ever made!