Category Archives: German Chocolate Cake

Is the German Chocolate Cake Actually German?

By Phineas Upham

The rich frosting, studded with coconut, and the deliciously moist cake. Is there anything better than German chocolate cake? To those who have not had this delicious piece of cake, it offers some interesting flavor you can’t get in a standard chocolate cake. Dark baking chocolate is often used, so the pecan coconut frosting helps to cut the bite of the dark cocoa.

Sometimes the cake is frosted only on the top, other times it receives a generous portion of chocolate frosting all around its edges. If this sounds uniquely American in sweetness, that’s because it is. The cake owes its namesake to the man who invented it, Sam German. At the time, he sold it as German’s Chocolate cake to try and brand it. The branding stuck, but perhaps not in the way he had intended.
German made the cake in 1852, and it appeared in the Dallas Star more than a century later as a “Recipe of the Day.” He worked with Baker’s brand chocolate, which manufactures baking chocolate, to make a special blend of dark chocolate that he used to make his cakes. He formed something of a partnership with Baker’s, and they named their German’s Sweet Chocolate after him to honor his contribution to dessert making.

Today, German chocolate cake is available in almost every bakery on any given street. It’s a popular recipe that inspired a national German Chocolate Cake Day, which occurs annually on June 11th. This June, order yourself a slice and indulge.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • 1/4 cup chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup unsalted soft butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Melt both chocolates with 1/4 cup of water over simmering water. Cream together butter and 1 1/4 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the melted chocolate. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/chocolate mixture, alternately with milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat egg whites, whip in the 1/4 cup sugar until stiff, and fold it into the dough. Put the dough into a buttered and floured cake pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Let cake cool before filling and icing.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • <li1/3 cup unsalted butter

  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut lightly toasted

Add heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10-12 min. Remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer into a bowl. Add butter, salt, pecans and coconut.

  • Icing 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz unsalted butter

Heat cream. Pour over chopped chocolate and leave in peace for 5 minutes. Add the butter and the corn syrup. Stir gently until smooth.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 oz dark rum to taste

Heat sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and add rum to taste.


Cut the cake into 4 layers. Divide the filling into 4 equal parts. Starting with the bottom layer, brush the cake lightly with the rum syrup. Spread 1/4 of the filling on the layer making sure to get the filling all the way to the edge. Place the next layer on top. Repeat the process to the top layer. Ice the sides of the cake. Chill cake before cutting.

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