Willard Family German Chocolate Cake

4.7
(153)

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.

close up view of German Chocolate Cake with walnuts on a platter
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Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
1 3-layer cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 ounce) package sweet baking chocolate (such as Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate®) - broken into pieces

  • ½ cup boiling water

  • 1 cup margarine, softened

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 3 egg yolks

  • ¼ cup margarine

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 ⅓ cups sweetened flake coconut

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  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.

Cook's Note:

Instead of 3 round layers, you can make 2 9x9x2-inch square cakes. Bake square cakes 40 to 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

809 Calories
42g Fat
102g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 809
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 11g 57%
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 617mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 102g 37%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 74g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 134mg 10%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 274mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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