German Chocolate Cake
If you’ve got an overactive sweet tooth or a nearly insatiable craving for the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of chocolate, grab a cold glass of milk. This German Chocolate Cake is sure to satisfy.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say most of our staffers are chocoholics, which means it’s also safe to say it’s never in short supply in the Test Kitchen — especially when you discover the two drawers we’ve devoted entirely to stashing it. If chocolate is your weakness, too, we have the recipe for you. This German Chocolate Cake has an extra chocolate twist, which comes from stirring the signature pecan and coconut topping of German chocolate cake into chocolate caramel.
FOR THE CAKE, POUR:
FOR THE TOPPING, TOAST:
Preheat oven to 350° with racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Coat three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds.
For the cake, pour boiling water over bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl; cover and let sit 2 minutes to soften. Whisk mixture until chocolate melts.
Whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and table salt in a large bowl.
Beat butter 1 minute on mediumlow speed. With the mixer running, add sugar in a steady stream. Once all sugar is added, increase speed to medium and cream mixture until light and fluffy, 4–5 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 11/2 tsp. vanilla and the melted chocolate mixture.
Alternately beat flour mixture and buttermilk into creamed mixture in thirds, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18–22 minutes. Remove cakes from oven; cool in pans on cooling racks, 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks, remove parchment, and let cool completely.
For the topping, toast coconut and pecans on separate baking sheets, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12–18 minutes.
Boil 1½ cups sugar, ¼ cup water, and kosher salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the color of iced tea, swirling occasionally, 7–10 minutes. Add cream and whisk until mixture dissolves. Add semisweet chocolate; whisk over low heat until chocolate melts.
Off heat, stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; let caramel cool until warm to the touch, about 10 minutes, then stir in coconut and pecans.
To assemble cake, spread a heaping cup of topping on each layer and on top of cake.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 66%
Saturated Fat 25g 125%
Cholesterol 125mg 41%
Sodium 395mg 16%
Carbs 78g 26%
Fiber 2g 8%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.