German Chocolate Cake
- Total time: 1 to 1½ hours
- 2 cups flour (or 2¼ cups cake flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces sweet baking chocolate, broken into small pieces
- ½ cup boiling water
Ingredients to be Creamed and Mixed:
- 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Egg White Mixture to be Folded In:
- 4 large egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup sugar
Filling and Topping:
Prepare coconut pecan filling; cool until spreadable. You can make this 2 hours to one day in advance refrigerating until ready to use. If you have a nut allergy prepare coconut filling instead.
- Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans; set aside. Click here for instructions on how to prepare cake pans for baking.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl; set aside.
- Break up chocolate into a small bowl.
- Add boiling water to chocolate; let stand for 1 minute.
- Whisk together water and chocolate until chocolate is melted and smooth; set aside.
- In a large work bowl, beat butter until creamy; about 1 minute.
- Add 1¾ cups sugar to butter and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
- Beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture one at a time beating 30 seconds each. Scrape down bowl as needed.
- Place the egg whites in a separate medium-sized bowl; set aside. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to separate eggs.
- Add the melted chocolate to the work bowl and beat on low speed until incorporated.
- Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed until smooth. Scrape the sided of the work bowl as necessary.
- Add cream of tartar to the egg whites that were set aside.
- Beat the egg whites on medium-speed until soft peaks form.
- Beat the egg whites on high speed gradually adding ¼ cup of sugar until peaks are stiff but not dry.
- Using a rubber spatula fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the cake batter.
- Fold in the remaining whites.
- Divide the batter among the pans and spread evenly.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach from the pans.
- Invert cakes and cool, right side up on the rack. Click here to see how to how to remove cakes from pans.
- Spread coconut pecan filling between the layers and on top, leaving the sides bare. Nut allergy? Substitute 1 recipe coconut filling for the coconut pecan filling.
- Spread chocolate buttercream frosting around the sides of the cake.
Recipe from Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. New York: Scribner (1997).