Posted by: Rachel | February 24, 2011

German Chocolate Cake, Sans Coconut

A small portion of my (very large) family gathered over the weekend for Mike’s, my cousin’s husband’s, birthday.  I volunteered to make a cake, thinking it would be great material for the blog.  And it is, but it was an exhausting task.

cake showing a little layer

Photo by the Homemade Chocolatier

The cake took me 3 hours to make.  After running in the morning, standing at work all day, then standing and baking a cake that evening, I was ready for sleep.  But fate didn’t agree, and I wound up with about 5 hours of sleep and a major attitude  issue.  Needless to say, I was not Sarah Sunshine the next morning.

After missing part of a different run the next morning that I had been very excited about, I had had enough.  On my way to meet my family, I had a minor meltdown.  But I made it safely and caught up with them and we made the time count.

We had a lake view, babies running all over, family stories, fried chicken+ veggies+salad  on the table, and chocolate cake for dessert.  I sat on the swing with my grandmother and changed a bike tire with my grandfather.  I held my cousin’s baby and hugged my sister.  There is nothing that heals the soul like family time.

German Chocolate Cake

I used David Lebovitz’s German Chocolate Cake recipe and only changed a few things.  See notes below for full disclosure.  Because I didn’t stray from his recipe, I’m going to send you back to his blog for the full recipe.  The recipe is lengthy and the process is time consuming, but totally worth the effort.


For the cake:

sifting flour

Photo by the Homemade Chocolatier

Take the time to sift the flour and whip the egg whites.  These two seemingly extraneous steps really make a huge difference.  They are both used to make the cake lighter.  Not attending to these steps carefully will result in an undesirable dense, heavy cake.

My version of the simple syrup:

1 cup water

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

~ 1/2 tsp. vanilla

just a little drizzling

Photo by the Homemade Chocolatier

I also didn’t have a little brush, so I just drizzled the syrup with a spoon.  Just be careful this is a drizzle and not a drenching effect.  Soggy isn’t as appetizing as flavorful.

For the custard:

I didn’t use coconut and felt that I was missing some volume.  The custard had to be spread a little thinner to make sure this covered every layer.

For the chocolate icing:

Icing on the cake

Photo by the Homemade Chocolatier

I didn’t have any corn syrup, so I added a little extra sugar to the melted chocolate.  Otherwise, I followed the instructions.  Especially the one about using all the icing.  Good call, David.

Instead of doing custard around the middle of the top and nice piping on the sides, I put all the custard inside and frosted the entire outside.

No one minded.

Empty plates

Photo by the Homemade Chocolatier



  1. Looks Yummy! Attitude issues can always been solved by chocolate! Yum! Sounds like you had a fun time and a yummy dessert 🙂

  2. The first and last pictures of the cake look soooo inviting. I made a greman chocolate cake from scratch once and it didn’t look nearly as inviting. I’ll have to try this!

  3. gorgeous.
    can i lick the screen and give you a hug?

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