Last week one of Josh's friends at work asked me to make a German Chocolate cake for his mother-in-law's birthday party. While this cake is one of my most favorites, I had never actually made one myself. So obviously, the most responsible thing to do would be to use my profits to make my own personal cake. I couldn't be charging someone for something I hadn't even tasted! And some people have an issue with receiving a cake with a slice missing (the really high-maintenance kind of people). Josh, of course, completely agreed this was a wise choice. (This is not technically true.) I have had many a slices of German Chocolate cake from the grocery store bakery, and many a spoonfuls of frosting from the Betty Crocker tubs. But I am here to tell you, friends and neighbors: that stuff tastes like plastic with hair in it compared to the homemade version. If you're a fan of German Chocolate, you really haven't lived until you try it.
German Chocolate Cake
(The cake I have pictured above is the gigantic cake I made for the party that is double the amount listed here. It would probably serve more like 20.)
For the cake:
1 box german chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
6 Tblsp. butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans, toasted* and chopped
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
*To toast the pecans: preheat oven to 350 degrees, spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
For the chocolate ganache frosting:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. corn syrup
It's a good idea to make the chocolate ganache frosting first, because it cools in the refrigerator for a couple hours. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup. Heat over medium low heat until melted and completely smooth. Pour into a metal bowl, cover, and put in the fridge. Cool 2 hours, or until chill-whisking periodically. When the ganache is completely chilled and you are ready to assemble the cake, thicken it to frosting texture by beating with an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or spray with baking spray) two 9 inch cake rounds. Mix together all the ingredients for the cake and until completely combined. Divide batter between the rounds and bake 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the filling:
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cream and egg yolks. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (170 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat, and add the butter, salt, pecans and coconut. Stir to combine and cool to room temp.
When the cake layers have cooled, get them ready to assemble by leveling off the tops, if needed and cutting them in half horizontally to create 4 layers. Layer them with the cooled filling, including the very top.
Frost the sides of the cake with the whipped chocolate ganache frosting, and pipe some dollops around the top, if desired.
*Frosting tip: this frosting is deliciously rich and creamy, but it melts SUPER easy. So if it's hot out, and you're not planning on serving it right away, store the cake in the fridge.
This slice is the regular-sized cake made with the recipe; plenty big for an after-dinner cake. Or small breakfast.