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German Chocolate Cake

Steve Harvey's Favorite Cake

It’s my birthday and that means it’s time for cake! Pastry chef & co-owner of Claudine Kitchen and Bakeshop, Lea Newton, made me my favorite treat; a German chocolate cake. Learn how to make it at home with Chef Lea.


Lea’s Chocolate Cake

Sugar, 2 cups
All Purpose Flour, 1 3/4 cups
Hershey’s Cocoa, 3/4 cups
Baking Soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Buttermilk, 1 cup
Eggs, 2 each
Butter, melted 1/2 cup
Water, HOT 1 cup
Folger’s instant coffee, 2 teaspoon

Combine all dry ingredients (the first 6 ingredients) in the bowl of a mixer. With a paddle attachment, begin mixing the dries on the lowest speed.
Combine the buttermilk and eggs and add to the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl as needed.
Add the melted butter to the mixture.
Dissolve the Foldger’s into the hot water.

On the first speed, slowly add the coffee to the batter. (Be careful, or it will splash out.)
Divide the batter between the 2 pans – the batter is very wet!
Bake at 350 degrees as directed below, with one rotation midway. Test with a toothpick to determine if the cake is fully baked.

Weights and Baking Times:
5 inch round: 20 minutes
6 inch round: 25 minutes
7 inch round: 27 minutes
8 inch round: 30 minutes
9 inch round: 30 minutes
10 inch round: 30 minutes

German Chocolate Cake Filling

Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14 oz
Yolks, slightly beaten 3 each
Butter, 1/2 cup
Vanilla, 1 teaspoon
Sweetened Coconut Flakes, 1 1/3 cup
Pecans, chopped 1 cup

In a medium saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk, yolks, and butter. Whisk together.
Over low heat, constantly stir the mixture until it has thickened and is bubbly.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans.
Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
Makes about 2 2/3 cups.
Can store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Semi-sweet or dark chocolate (finely chopped), 18 ounces
Heavy cream, 2 cups
Unsalted butter, 1 cup

Make the Chocolate Frosting (in advance).
Place chopped chocolate into a large heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream and butter. Cook on med-high, stirring often, until just simmering.
Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Let sit 5 minutes.
Stir gently until completely smooth.
Place plastic wrap directly on top of chocolate. Allow to thicken and set overnight.

4 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It brought back pleasant memories…German Chocolate Cake, it’s one of my favorites, especially for my birthday, Jan. 20. I’m allergic to nuts, so my Mom made it without nuts just for me when I was a little girl. It was made with love, you could tell & taste it! A mother’s love! Jocelyn M.

  2. Made for my son’s birthday. I make him a German Chocolate cake every year. Lea’s version was great. I made it this year. It will be the cake I make from now on. My family said, “Mom you’ve really upped your game with this cake!”

  3. Should you double this recipe for 3 layers
    I noticed recipe says for 2 pans

  4. I made this for my Husband’s birthday cake! Best chocolate cake we’ve ever had! Definitely a keeper! I used 9” round and baked about 32 min. Moist and delicious! On the Ganesh, I refrigerated overnight-I don’t suggest it as if firmed up like fudge and I had to microwave/stir in 15 second intervals to make it spreadable. My error. I highly recommend this delicious recipe

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