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German chocolate cake with a secret recipe

German chocolate cake with a secret recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Chocolate cake

Don't be alarmed when I reveal the secret... it's sauerkraut. You won't be able to taste it in this wonderful chocolate cake, but it does add a great texture.

15 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 2 layer 20cm cake

  • 150g butter
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 280g sifted plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 300ml water
  • 100g drained and chopped sauerkraut

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour two 20cm cake tins (round or square).
  2. Thoroughly cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Sieve together cocoa, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add alternately with water to egg mixture. Stir in the sauerkraut. Pour batter into prepared tins.
  4. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Ice with your favourite icing.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(17)

Reviews in English (15)

by Mary M.

I substituted 6 T. flaxseed meal for about a third of the butter. I also added between 1/2 and 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips along with the sauerkraut. I baked this in a Bundt pan for 45 minutes. It was very nice, but next time I will increase the cocoa a bit and be sure I add the chocolate chips again. This recipe is a real keeper. Even the pickiest eaters in my house had no idea at all that there was sauerkraut in it; they loved it!-13 Jan 2009

by EROCK101

This was really good, I was very pleased. I chopped the sauerkraut super fine, so there were only a few incidents with stringy pieces. I frosted this cake with the Chocolate Frosting I recipe and took a few pieces down to the boys at the neighborhood bar and they enjoyed it. UPDATE: Still delicious, made it again.-23 Jul 2007

by pooz

It was pretty good, the saurkraut needs 2 either be chopped really super fin eor food processed. My brother really didn't enjoy the stringy pieces of pickeled cabbage.-24 Feb 2007

Made From Scratch German Chocolate Cake

My daughter and her family are here this week and I have been preparing many of her favorite meals to celebrate their visit. Most of the time I cook just for myself so it’s a real treat to cook for those I love. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my family around the dinner table enjoying good food and each other’s company. The dessert everybody always requests for a family dinner is German Chocolate Cake. It beats out peach pie as our number one favorite.

This cake takes a bit of time and care to prepare but the result is worth all the effort. The layers are rich, chocolatey and substantial enough to stand up well to the coconut-pecan frosting. There is something magical about the combination of flavors and texture, and I swear I can eat spoonfuls of the frosting right out of the pan. If there is any left in the pan after the cake is frosted what else can I do but finish it off. This is a rich cake and I can almost guarantee it will satisfy even the most extreme sweet tooth. Small slices with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream usually do it.

  • CAKE:
  • 1 pkg. (4 oz) Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 pkg. (7 ounces) coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottoms of 3 8" or 9" round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter sides of pans. Microwave chocolate and water in large microwavable bowl on high until almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.
  4. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small metal spatula around cake layers. Cool in pans 15 minutes, remove layers from the pans to wire racks. Discard parchment paper, Cool cake layers completely. Spread coconut-pecan frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake
  7. Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with a wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat.
  8. Add coconut and nuts and mix well. Cool to desired consistency. Makes about 4-1/2 cups of frosting, enough to frost 3 cake layers or 36 cupcakes.

Sorry about the blurry photo but I had to be quick to get even this shot. Once the cake was cut everyone was eager to get their plates. I have seen German Chocolate Cake prepared with chocolate buttercream frosting on the sides of the cake, but that is way too over the top for me. Just thinking about it makes my teeth hurt. We love this version and bet that your family would love it too. If you want to make something very special for a occasion you want to remember do try this recipe. I’ve made it hundreds of times and it is always the star of the show.

If you love German Chocolate cake as much as we do you might also enjoy German Chocolate Cake Macarons from an earlier post. You get all the same wonderful flavors of the cake in a light, delicate little cookie. If you have been thinking about giving macarons a try this is a great recipe to start with.

Here we are at Friday again and I’m linking this post to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Fresh Food Friday at La Bella Vita, and On the Menu Monday at StoneGable.

Bet you never thought on what to drink while you enjoy your chocolate cake? There are many choices for drinks whether it's with or without alcohol.

Starting with wine, general rule of thumb is to choose wines that are sweeter than the type of chocolate cake you are eating. Most times it is assumed that a sweet wine will combine with the sweetness of the dessert, but actually the effect is just the opposite. This is because dessert wines are acid balanced, the acid will be more pronounced with a sweet dessert like chocolate cake.

For dessert wines try Sweet Sherry or Muscat. Other alcoholic beverages that go great with desserts are Baileys, coffee liquor, amaretto liqueur.

Non alcohol drink chooses are Milk, Coffee, Espresso, Tea, and even hot chocolate. Try mixing milk with fruit like strawberry, and berries in a mixer for a great shake to go with any sweet desert. Another choice for a mixed drink would be mocha with milk and coffee over ice for a refreshing summer drink.

German Chocolate Cake

My Dad’s favorite cake and my second favorite cake of all time. Rich and chocolaty, moist and delicious, this cake will please even those who don’t love chocolate cake. The chocolate isn’t overwhelming, it’s just perfect. Last week, I gave y’all the coconut-pecan frosting recipe and this week, I’m sharing the cake.

This is not the easiest cake to make. It’s not terribly difficult but, you must have all the ingredients prepared and it is a cake that requires your effort and concentration. It’s definitely not just dump, mix and bake.

Trust me though, the results are worth the time.

Sift together: cake flour, baking soda and salt

Melt chocolate shavings in boiling water

Mix Sour Cream and Vanilla

Blend in butter, sugar, egg yolks and melted chocolate

Next, you’ll whip together egg whites and cream of tartar and then add it into the batter.

* I have no pics of this step.. I am only one woman with two hands.

Pour into 3 well greased round cake pans

Bake and once completely cooled top layer by layer with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

German Chocolate Cheesecake

This rich and creamy german chocolate cheesecake will bring any chocolate lover to their knees. I’ll show you how to make this decadent dessert with lots of step-by-step photos.

2 years ago today, Garrat and I sneaked into the courthouse with our immediate family to say our “I do”s. It was a major secret that we barely could contain, but we did it. None of our friends and extended family had any idea about it. You see, we didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, we just wanted to be married! ❤️

It might have been selfish to just sneak out like that, but it’s so us to be low-key and surprise everyone with big news. Our friends joke that it’s surprising that we even shared the big news about our upcoming addition.

Anyhow, the reason I’m sharing this is because my husband is a huge chocoholic and he loves german chocolate anything. And I created this recipe for him. Tall, creamy and rich chocolate cheesecake topped with sweet gooey frosting and more chocolate, just the way he likes it!

Before I move forward, let me get one thing straight. The name of the dessert!!

German chocolate cake, or, in this case, cheesecake, has nothing to do with Germany. In fact, this cake is named after an American chocolate maker, Samuel German, who created the dark chocolate that’s used in this cake. So, it actually should be German’s chocolate cake. But anyway, I don’t really care what we call it, as long as it involves good rich chocolate cake, sweet and gooey pecan-coconut frosting.

David Lebovitz’s German Chocolate Cake

I recently made it to my first weight-loss milestone of ten pounds (see pics here). Then I made this cake for a friend’s birthday the next day. And ate 1/4 of it. By myself. Needless to say, I’m a bit leery of the scale right now but my mouth was certainly happy while I chomped down on it.

This cake is a bit involved, even more so than most scratch cakes because it has four different recipes for one end product, but it is well worth the time and effort. Make it for a special occasion. I wouldn’t, however, recommend making it as a reward for losing weight. Unless you lost the weight so that you could eat this cake. I didn’t, but I think the small relapse was worth it. If you can’t tell by the pictures, it is moist and rich and really, really delicious. (More pics after the recipe.)

For the cake:
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum

For the chocolate icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.

4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.

7. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.

8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake layers completely.

While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.

2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)

3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.

1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.

2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.

Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife.
Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.

Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.

Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.

(It may seem like a lot of chocolate icing, but use it all. Trust me. You won’t be sorry.)

Veronica’s Notes: Since I only have one mixer, I pre-measured everything for the cake before starting, then whipped the egg whites to stiff peaks and scraped them into a separate bowl to wait until I needed them. It worked fine this way, so I’d recommend this method if you only have one mixer. The reason for pre-measuring is to cut down on the amount of time it takes to make the cake batter so the prepared egg whites aren’t sitting there so long they deflate. Also, I’d recommend making both the filling and the icing the night before, or at least 6 hours before you will need them. It takes both about that long to become as thick as you’ll want them to be before you start so save yourself some frustration by either doing it in advance, or in a pinch you can put them both in the fridge and stir every ten minutes until desired consistency. For the syrup, I put mine in a bottle previously designated for water only and squirted it onto each cake layer, which is an easy way to apply it. Otherwise, you can use a pastry brush to dab it on.


This recipe is an adaptation of one I had found in a newspaper clipping. I made it for my SIL-who hated coconut. She insisted there was no coconut in it, and she is a very calorie-aware person-and she liked it so much that she ate 3 huge pieces! You should try it, and see. I also gave my SIL the recipe, which she begged for, and she NEVER made it-because she still doesn't believe that something that delicious could be made with a cake mix! :O)

Ingredients You'll Need

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
one 18.5 oz. package German chocolate cake mix
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 stick (1/4 pound) softened butter or margarine
16 oz. (1 pound) box sifted powdered sugar


Generously grease a 13" X 9" X 2" baking pan. Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Mix together the coconut and the pecans or walnuts and sprinkle evenly into the well-greased pan. Set aside.

Prepare the German chocolate cake mix, according to package directions pour over the coconut-pecan or coconut-walnut mixture. Warm the cream cheese and the butter or margarine stir in the sifted powdered sugar. Mix well. Spoon the butter-cream cheese or margarine-cream cheese mixture over the cake batter in the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Some people like using a spoon and eatting this cake straight from the pan. I wait until it is completely cooled and the cream cheese and the butter or margarine and the powdered sugar form a gooey, delicious frosting that sinks to the bottom of the pan

Questions, Comments & Reviews

Make Your Own Cookbook

Preserve (and even sell) your recipes. Great for groups, fundraising, book previews, bridal gifts & more. Makes the perfect sentimental gift.

Vintage Recipe: Chocolate Intrigue Cake

When it comes to cake, some people love yellow cake and some crave chocolate cake. With this 1960s recipe you get the best of both, with a lovely swirl that makes for great presentation. The chocolate frosting on this cake is the last step to make it a special-occasion-worthy cake that has something for everyone.

This recipe got its start in the 1960s- the era when shortcuts in the kitchen were widely published in advertisements and magazines. It was the age of convenience foods recipes, although this cake is still made from scratch.

The secret to this recipe is the addition of chocolate syrup. You start by making the yellow cake batter and pouring 2/3 of that into a bundt cake pan.

Then the remaining batter is mixed with the chocolate syrup to create the chocolate swirl. The key is to not mix the two batters in the pan, instead simply pouring the chocolate batter over top of the yellow batter.

The addition of the optional orange or mint extract in the chocolate batter makes for a lovely flavor that isn’t too strong. We used orange for this recipe and it added just the right dimension to this yummy (and moist) cake.

The finishing touch for this cake is a nice chocolate frosting on top which makes this a cake that looks really nice on the table. This chocolate frosting recipe is one of our favorites, but you could also use store-bought or even a chocolate drizzle on top to complete this fantastic cake.

Served with a nice glass of cold milk or even a scoop of ice cream this dessert is sure to please the family.

How To Make This EASY German Chocolate Cake

So here’s how to make this delicious cake, easily and quickly! Prepare boxed cake mix using the ingredients and instructions on the box. I made a 9″ two layer cake, but it’s perfectly okay to make a 13࡯ sheet cake with this recipe, as well (even EASIER).

When done baking, transfer the cake pans to a wire rack. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully invert cake layers onto wire rack, one at a time. You can do this by placing a wire rack on top of the cake pan. Quickly and carefully turn it over while holding both the wire rack and the cake pan tightly together. This will release the cake from the pan. Let the cake layers cool to room temperature before frosting.


Grease two 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter add flour mixture, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla.

Stir until dry ingredients are moistened beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl from time to time. Add melted chocolate, eggs, and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on racks. Frost with coconut pecan frosting, below.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugars, butter, and vanilla. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat (mixture might appear a bit curdled). Quickly stir a small amount of the hot liquid into the beaten egg yolks return egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in saucepan and blend well. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to spreading consistency, beating occasionally.