Let’s talk German Chocolate Cake.
Disclaimer: While I haven’t included personal stories in my blog posts for many years now (this site began in 2010), and have deleted most of such content (due to cries across the internet of ‘just give us the recipe!’) this post has a lot of memories I want to save. If you want to skip the post, I get that, just click here and go straight to the printable recipe card.
It is not just any cake, German Chocolate Cake is my husband’s favorite cake. And today happens be my husband’s birthday.
German Chocolate Cake is the cake I brought him on his 21st birthday (note I didn’t say “made” – small technical detail), the day that is also known as the day we started dating. And German Chocolate Cake is the cake that I made him for this birthday, many years later.
When big hair, giant sleeves and rock and roll ruled the world.
Okay, decades. Let’s be honest, it’s d-e-c-a-d-e-s, plural, later. For anyone crunching numbers, I’m younger (maybe a bit too young back on that 21st birthday in retrospect, but again, technical details).
Twenty some years and two kids later, I finally made the man a German Chocolate Cake (okay, cupcakes, clearly I’m not the details person in this partnership) with honest to goodness homemade coconut pecan frosting. And oh my word, THAT is some GOOD stuff. Don’t let the canned version turn you off (as it did me, for years). The from scratch version is easy and so delicious that you could really skip the cake, if eating frosting straight from the bowl is your thing (and there is no shame in that my friends).
I figure after all these years, two beautiful daughters, and a crazy winding road, he deserved that coconut pecan frosting to be homemade. He’s a great guy. He works incredibly hard. He fixes stuff, he gets his hands dirty and does things like build additions onto our house so that I can have a place to work. He keeps this website running (even when I miss a small detail like an extra character in my website coding and “break” my website).
He handles the math homework in the house, because I have some sort of geometry induced post traumatic stress disorder, and checked out of overseeing math homework in third grade. He takes the night shift with our almost four year old who still wakes up like seven times a night, because he knows he handles sleep deprivation better than I do. And then he’s the one who gets our little one up, dressed and fed breakfast in the morning. It’s their thing. And it’s sweet as can be.
He’s a fabulous daddy to our two girls. He is also the co-captain on that team you find yourself running when you have a child with special needs.
He’s the one who cared for our newborn daughter and myself for weeks, when I was critically ill after her her birth.
He’s the guy who embraced the adoption journey with open arms, and held it together during the times that I couldn’t. He’s the guy who is not hanging out with friends on a Friday night, because he’s hanging out on the couch, cuddling with his girls, watching Disney movies with a side of Myth Busters.
He’s the dad who is in the bounce house at the birthday parties, not just standing around beside it. He’s the dance dad who not only pays the tuition, but drops off, picks up, cheers and watches with pride. He’s the guy who is 100% supportive of his wife following her crazy dream of talking about cupcakes and cookies on the internet, even when he spent a lot of money to put her through graduate school to do something else entirely. He’s the one who patiently taught me to drive a five speed, even when I got so frustrated that I stopped the car, and got out. While driving. Down a major city street. Details.
He’s the one who leaves Thanksgiving dinner to pick up his mother in law when she gets in a car accident out of town. He’s the one who makes waffles on Saturday mornings. He’s the one who dresses in a pink cape to walk with a family friend in the Walk For The Cure.
He’s the one who is always the designated driver on the rare nights out we get, so that I can have a frozen, salty margarita. Though truth be told, he’ll tell you I’m a highly entertaining margarita drinker, so that designated driver thing might not be so bad. He’s the rock in our family who holds it together and stays calm, especially at the times that I panic and act like a crazy person. And he kills the creepy bugs and spiders that make all the girls in the house scream.
He’s that guy. The guy who pretty much lives for these three girls.
So let’s make that guy a German Chocolate Cake. Or cupcakes. Either way, the frosting is really the star of the show.
Well, German Chocolate Cake in cupcake form. Because cupcakes are always fun. Well that and with cupcakes it’s easier to skip the frosting on one for your kiddo with a nut allergy, and he’s the dad that always wants his girls to get what they want (without the epi-pen).
Want to make a cake instead of cupcakes? I’ve got you covered, head to my Baker’s German Chocolate Cake Recipe and don’t miss my Coconut Pecan Frosting recipe to top it with!
German Chocolate Cake
- 4 ounces BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 eggs separated
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
Coconut Pecan Frosting
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can 12 oz. evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine
- 2 2/3 cups sweetened coconut flakes Approximately a 7oz bag
- 1 1/2 cups chopped PLANTERS Pecans
- HEAT oven to 350°F. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- MICROWAVE chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. 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; stir gently until well blended. Scoop into cupcake pan lined with paper liners.
- BAKE 20-25 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean and cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for ten minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.
- BEAT egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 min. or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- ADD coconut and nuts; mix well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Happy Birthday Rick, from your three girls. 🙂
Mariel James says
Hi I want to try this recipe but I have medium to large double yolk eggs. How do I use them
Christi Johnstone says
Can’t say I’ve ever had double yolk eggs so if you use them regularly, you are probably more of an expert than I am. Otherwise I’d check google for how they compare to standard eggs in recipes.
Can we use medium eggs 🙂
Christi Johnstone says
I typically prefer large eggs for baking, but medium should be fine.
Melissa White says
Why in the recipe does it have 2-1 for the vanilla and the sugar in the frosting part? It is confusing. Is it 2 tsp or 1 tsp vanilla, is it 2 cups or 1 cup sugar?
Christi Johnstone says
I’m not sure I quite understand what you are asking? Do you mean 1 1/2 – if so that’s 1 and 1/2 cups, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons, and so on.
First off, these cupcakes and the frosting tasted delicious! The German chocolate was definitely defined and the frosting also had a true taste and a great consistency. The only issue I had with the recipe, was that the cupcakes didn’t rise! I added the correct amount of baking soda and afterwards checked to make sure it was actually somehow expired! The tops did not rise, but instead flatted out on top of the pan and baked into each other. Not the biggest deal since I was just making them for my dad for his birthday (he definitely wasn’t picky on presentation!) but would not have been pleased if I planned on showing them off. Otherwise, the taste was delicious and the process was relatively simple!
Christi Johnstone says
Lauren, do you by chance have an oven thermometer? I’ve often found that when muffins or cupcakes aren’t rising as expected, an oven running slightly cool or fluctuating in temp, is a factor.
Melissa Muzechuk says
Awesome!! Made 24 cupcakes and for once I had enough frosting. This frosting recipe is THE BOMB! I can’t wait to take them to my daughter’s philharmonic performance today!! Thank you. I wonder if this recipe would make a great caramel sauce if you left out the nuts and coconut? I bet it would! So easy too. I used a little more coconut just because I used up what I had. WONDERFUL
Makes great cupcakes but this recipe does not work for 3 9 inch rounds. It’s not enough batter. 2 layers worth at best
Dawn E Hanby says
Delicious! I modified the frosting by using 1c raw sugar and 1/2c dark brown sugar. It’s pretty amazing! Thanks
So glad you liked it and that the modifications worked! Dark brown sugar is always a good thing!
Trina H. says
Hi! My hunny loves German Chocolate Cake. So I’m baking one from scratch for his bday. And I wanted to try your recipe.. My question is what texture do think the cake will have if I use a combo of 1/2 cup Veggie Oil + 1/2 cup butter?? Will it make the cake tender and moist or dry… I tend us a combo already for others. But being this is a new recipe for me I just wanted to seek advoce. Thanks & Blessings to you!
Hi Trina, since I haven’t used that combo for this cake I’m afraid I can’t speak to the results. Good luck!
Camille Renee Moore says
My boss’ birthday is on Sunday, and I’ve accepted the task of making his treat. Thanks to this touching homage to your husband (and foolproof recipe for those Double Chocolate Cookies, that worked so well for me), I’m picking your instruction manual. Keep on creating delicious dishes, and sharing your wonderful world with us…cheers!
Ah, thank you so much Camille, that is so sweet! So glad you like those cookies! Can’t wait for you to try the mayo cake. It truly is loved in our house!