German Chocolate Cake + A Giveaway!

I totally planned on having this post up yesterday morning, but got sucked into watching True Detective Sunday night.  It’s the husband’s choice for what to binge-watch next, since we got caught up with my choice, Orange is the New Black, the night before.  I’m not quite sure what to think of it yet and am trying really hard to follow along.  We’ve just gotta find something to get us through until Ray Donovan comes back next month :)

Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!*some of these are affiliate links, thank you for supporting this blog!

This recipe is one that was pivotal in my cooking journey.  Matt’s favorite cake is German chocolate and a few years into dating, I really wanted to surprise him with one from scratch.  Of course I turned to Joy of Cooking, as always for the classics (hint: I’m giving one away here!) But I saw “sifting”, “egg whites”, “folding”, “double layer” and other intimidating words and quickly dismissed it.  so.many.steps.  One year though, I dedicated a whole day to do it.  It was my Everest.  The kitchen was annihilated, every bowl was dirty, there was icing everywhere.  And it was the best cake I’ve ever eaten.   Every year since he’s gotten a double-layer from-scratch German chocolate cake and every year I still pat myself on the back when we eat it with  the obligatory scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

The key to this Everest (which I’m sure pales in comparison to real culinary Everests) is to practice the best “mise en place” you’ve ever done and have it all ready to go .   Gather up every little prep bowl and container you have, measure it all out, melt, sift, crack, and blend as needed. 
Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

I line my batter ingredients up in the order they’ll go:  butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, then the flour and sour cream mixtures.

Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!! After the butter is creamed and the eggs and chocolate are in, definitely take heed to scrape down the sides of the bowl as there’s alot of the butter mixture that doesn’t get incorporated so easily.  Then start with your flour/cream/flour/cream/flour/cream additions.  You’ll be ending up with the smoothest, silkiest, most delicious batter EVER after this.Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

In a separate bowl, either of your Kitchenaid or with a hand blender (I have this little dude and LOVE him), beat your eggwhites until they make stiff mounds.  It usually takes about five minutes or so.  Then, with a wide spatula or big spoon, carefully fold the egg whites in with your batter in large batches.

Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

You want it incorporated just until there’s not any big white sections, not super duper mixed together.  It gets crazy light and airy.

Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

Ok, this is one time where I’ll say do as I say, not as I do.  I lined my round baking pans with parchment paper in hopes that I could release the cake from the pan better.  But as soon as I poured the batter in, I knew this was stupid and that they’d come out super ugly.  So don’t worry about lining your pans, just grease and flour the hell out of them and you’ll be good to go.

Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

In the meantime, make your icing.  This is the part that really stressed me out the few times I made the cake, just because it takes sooooo long for the cream, egg, and sugar to thicken.  So be patient, don’t bail when it’s taking too long!  It will eventually get there and when it does, all you have to do is pour in your pecans and coconut flakes and it’s ready.  Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

Once your cakes are baked and fully cooled, it’s time to get them onto your pretty cake stand in two whole pieces.   This seemed like a disaster waiting to happen the first time I tried, but a few flips and flops using the stand and the cooling rack to help, and a swift lift of the second cake, and it’s ready to ice!  You’ll want the cakes totally cooled but your icing just a little warm so that it’s easier to move around.  This step takes some patience and makes a huge mess (at least for me it does) but it’s nice that you don’t have to worry about how ugly your cakes may be because the icing covers all that :)Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!Congratulations, you’ve just made one hell of a good (and fancy) cake from scratch! Just look at those fluffy layers!  Talk about a spoiled husband.  
Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!! Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!! Joy of Cooking's classic German Chocolate Cake recipe. Still the BEST!!!

If you don’t have it already, I cannot recommend owning a copy of Joy of Cooking enough.  My aunt gifted me a copy when she was teaching me to cook, and she has her grandmother’s copy which is beautifully “seasoned” now.  I can only hope mine looks like that some day.  Joy has everything you ever need to know about techniques as well as all the classic recipes.  It’s the perfect gift for a new homeowner or newlywed, for yourself, or even for that dad who loves the kitchen this Father’s Day!  

I’ll be giving one lucky reader a copy this Sunday so enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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22 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cake + A Giveaway!

  1. I remember when I was in elementary and middle school, my aunt would have me stand by her in the kitchen and help her cook. :) She gave me a recipe book she made of her recipes and that memory stands out the most to me. :)It is nice when you can make cooking a bonding experience with a loved one.

  2. I grew up with this book! It is the book I always turn to for the foundation of every kitchen skill.
    You should try butter and sugar in your pans…the cakes come out very easy and oh the buttery – sugary yum it makes! And easy to frost as well. I do that for anything sweet requiring a greased dish.

  3. My favorite cooking memory was when I first moved out on my own and cooked chicken in mushroom sauce with rice pilaf that my mom walked me thru instructions on the phone :) It came out delicious!

    1. I still remember my first meal on my own too (other than mac ‘n cheese), such a daunting task but mine came out good too :) Thanks Alina!

  4. First and best cooking memory I hold dear to my heart was learning how to make meatloaf with my grandma at the age of 10. I’m sure I drove her nuts, but she also enjoyed every minute spending time with me.

  5. My favorite cooking memory is working alongside my grandmother to learn how to can and preserve the harvest from her big garden!

  6. Heehee — “The kitchen was annihilated, every bowl was dirty, there was icing everywhere. ” Oh what a good day cooking!!
    You do such a great job of telling others about what to expect and how to overcome all those tiny “Everests” of cooking — and not letting your readers forget — cooking can be such fun! Well done, Em the women folk ( and THE Unk-folk) are all smiling proud at you!
    Tracey

    1. I judge the deliciousness of a recipe on how much it destroys my kitchen :) And it’s all you, you were SOOOOO patient with me to teach me about overcoming cooking fears, and if I can overcome that, anyone can! Freedom to annihilate your kitchen!!

  7. I loved helping my mom, grandma and aunts cook on Thanksgiving when I was a kid. They were really patient with me and helped me learn along the way.

  8. My favorite cooking memory was when I made a meal for a boyfriend. It was the first time I followed a menu plan from a cookbook. I let him grill the steak, but I made the marinade and everything else. It turned out so yummy and he mentioned it to me when I spoke to him a couple of years ago, almost 20 years after I first cooked it.

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