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Willard Family German Chocolate Cake

Rated as 4.83 out of 5 Stars
147

"This recipe has been in my family for a very long time. My great-grandma could make this with her eyes closed. My father was born on her birthday so she made this cake for him every year. Even shipped it to him in Korea when he was stationed there in the army."
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Ingredients

2 h 20 m servings 809
Original recipe yields 10 servings (1 3-layer cake)

Directions

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Place the chunks of chocolate into the boiling water and stir until the chocolate has melted; set aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup of softened margarine with 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the chocolate-water mixture until thoroughly blended.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Beat the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, in 3 or 4 additions. Beat until batter is smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. In a metal or glass bowl, beat the reserved egg whites until they hold stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted straight up. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, keeping as much volume as possible. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the cakes have browned lightly and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool in pans before removing.
  6. To make frosting, pour the evaporated milk into a large saucepan, and mix in 1 cup of sugar, 3 egg yolks, 1/4 cup of margarine, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and mix in the coconut and pecans, beating the frosting until cooled and spreadable. Frost and fill the cake with the coconut frosting.

Footnotes

  • Cook's Note:
  • Instead of 3 round layers, you can make 2 9x9x2-inch square cakes. Bake square cakes 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Tip
  • Parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Nutrition Facts


Per Serving: 809 calories; 41.8 101.8 11.5 144 617 Full nutrition

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Reviews

Read all reviews 69
  1. 83 Ratings

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    Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 3 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 2 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 1 out of 5 Stars
Most helpful positive review

Fabulous! This was my first attempt at a German Chocolate cake, I kind of expected it to be a little more complicated but this was easy. I had to use the milk and vinegar substitute for the butt...

Most helpful critical review

Way more work than what it is worth. Also there is a recipe inside the pkg of Baker's German Sweet Chocolate that is almost exactly the same and less tedious. I agree w/ other reviewers who say ...

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Newest

Fabulous! This was my first attempt at a German Chocolate cake, I kind of expected it to be a little more complicated but this was easy. I had to use the milk and vinegar substitute for the butt...

GREAT recipe! The cake was moist and delicious and the frosting amazing! I've made many other types of chocolate cakes from scratch but this was my first German Chocolate cake. Rave reviews f...

Way more work than what it is worth. Also there is a recipe inside the pkg of Baker's German Sweet Chocolate that is almost exactly the same and less tedious. I agree w/ other reviewers who say ...

Good

Great Cake! My brother doesn't like cake at all, but he has always loved German Chocolate cake.... so he knows when it's good and he loved this cake and frosting. As did everyone else. It was su...

Delicious cake and recipe was easy to follow! I love to bake but am somewhat of a beginner and this recipe was straightforward and easy to follow! The frosting came out great. I know my husband ...

**Edited based on making this again as cupcakes :)...Everyone raved about this cake - I've never made it before and I think it came out great. I wanted my frosting to cover it entirely, so ende...

Great cake. Made it for my husband on our anniversary. I substituted some of the boiling water with some coffee. I would strain the frosting mixture over a colander in case you accidentally cook...

The recipe looks complex but is so worth it! I'm not a very experienced baker so was a bit worried but followed the instructions to the letter and it came out perfect :) Just a note: the pict...