If there was ever going to be a time for speaking in extremes, then that time is now.
This is the best German Chocolate Cake you will ever have … in your lifetime … on this planet … ever.
And it’s no surprise that my mom Noni tuned me in to this recipe. For as long as I can remember she has been the master of the mixmaster. We’re talking about a woman who drove the carpool to high school field hockey games while serving up hot apple turnovers à la mode at red lights.
She tweaked a classic recipe to transform basic chocolate cake into undeniably the moistest, richest, most amazing boxed cake mix-turned-homemade confection ever. A made-from-scratch coconut and toasted pecan filling layered between four tiers of espresso-enhanced chocolate goodness is simply an out of this world bonus.
It’s the perfect birthday cake. It’s the perfect dinner party cake. It’s the perfect anytime cake. It’s the best German Chocolate Cake (ever).
German Chocolate Cake
Yield: 1 cake
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
For the cake:
Butter, for greasing pans
1 package (18.25 ounces) Devil's Food cake mix
1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup warm water
½ cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons espresso powder, mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
1½ cups chocolate chips
For the frosting:
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups chopped pecans, toasted
2 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Grease two 9" cake pans with butter. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake mix, instant pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, water, vegetable oil and espresso powder mixed with water. Beat on low speed, scraping down the sides, until the ingredients are throughly combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips then divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
Bake the cakes on the center rack for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert them onto a cooling rack and allow them to continue to cool while you make the frosting.
For the frosting:
Combine the egg yolks, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until combined.
Beat in butter, then gradually beat in heavy cream and vanilla, scraping down sides as necessary.
Pour the mixture into a medium non-stick saucepan. Cook it over low heat, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes or just until the mixture thickens and begins to fluff.
Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and let cool until it is room temperature.
Stir in the chopped toasted pecans and flaked coconut.
Assemble the cake:
Halve each of the cakes (using either a serrated knife or a piece of floss), to make 4 equal layers of cake.
Place the first layer on the serving plate, top it with one-fourth of the prepared frosting. Add a second layer of cake, top it with one-fourth of the frosting and repeat the layering, ending with the last one-fourth of frosting on top.