Baking coconut III: German chocolate cake

What’s so German about coconut? you may ask.

I don’t know, actually. I was reading the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Saveur and the headline for German chocolate cake pulled me into this recipe. A few months later, I made good use of my bookmark in the magazine: it’s birthday time once again, and this time I can indulge a bit with the frosting.

Other than the Wilton cake decorating classes I took at Michael’s, I don’t normally make frosting or icing. Simply because the people I bake or cook for don’t really like creamy and very sweet things. But, after reading around about what makes a German chocolate cake what it is (thanks to the helpful comments on, I realized that there’s no getting around a decadent icing. Plus, it uses coconut! And we are fans of chocolate and coconut.

Here’s the recipe from Saveur. I did make a few adjustments, like take out pecans because of allergies, but overall I tried to follow the straight and narrow on this one. If it’s going to be a traditional cake, you can’t stray too far, right?

The cake was wonderfully rich and heavy, and weighed 4 lbs! I was carrying it out to the car and realized it probably won’t move around too much because of all the weight! At the party when I asked if my friend if she wanted me to heat up a pizza, she said with a grin, I’m pretty full from the cake actually, but thanks! Getting full on a cake .. when was the last time that happened?

If you’re going to try this recipe, take note that the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolks are added in separate batches. Although I did read through the recipe before, I managed to pour all eight egg yolks into to the icing when only four are required! .. Did I say that the icing was rich?

In the icing, another thing to watch out for is when it thickens over the stove. It does get pretty thick, and turn a marigold yellow. I was tempted to keep lowering the heat when I saw brown bits in the pot, but I think that’s just the bottom cooking. Just keep stirring frequently. Plus, the extra-cooked parts of the coconut gives some colour to the icing.

Oh, and the chewy coconut I have long desired to achieve? Yes, definitely in this cake. The baking coconut series has closed. For now ;-)


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