German Chocolate Proposal Cake

“Proposal” is a shout out to Neighbor Larry who has been asking me to marry one of his sons ever since I started bringing German chocolate cake to 4th of July back in junior high. I missed one year, and he didn’t speak to me until I redeemed myself the next 4th. πŸ™‚ I first used this recipe as a 4-H project, and it has been a holiday tradition since.

Make the coconut pecan frosting first—it takes forever to cool…german chocolate cake

  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk…
    • 12 ounces evaporated milk
    • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Add 1 1/2 sticks of butter.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (so that you don’t scramble the eggs), for 12ish minutes. or until frosting is thickened and golden.
  • Remove from heat and stir in…
    • 10 ounces coconut
    • 10 ounces chopped pecans
      • Note: Both of these items come in 12 ounce bags, stir as much in the frosting as you can, reserving a bit for decorating the top.

Time to channel Duff Goldman…

  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Prepare three nine inch cake pans by…
    • Lining bottom with parchment paper (this is a giant pain in the @$$, but it really is the best way)
    • Grease sides (utilize one of the papers from the four sticks of butter you are using)
  • Combine 4 ounces of German sweet chocolate with 1/2 cup water in microwave safe bowl.
    • Cook in microwave for one minute…stir…cook for thirty seconds…stir until completely melted.
    • Set aside.
  • In medium bowl, sift together…
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Set aside.
  • In a different large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat…
    • Two sticks of softened butter
    • Two cups of sugar
  • Beat in…
    • Melted chocolate
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Four egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Add flour mix alternately with 1 cup of buttermilk,* beating after each addition.
  • In separate bowl, beat four egg whites until stiff peaks form.
    • Fold into cake batter.
    • Try not to eat it all.
  • Bake cakes for thirty minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes for 15 minutes before flipping them over onto a cooling rack.
  • Cool completely before frosting between layers, top, and sides of cake.

This cake is kind of a labor of love…and kind of a stupid thing to make for a hot holiday like 4th of July, but it’s a hit every time. The recipe earned me a bid at the Iowa State Fair in junior high, but I’ve watched a lot of Food Network since then and I think it gets better every year!

* Don’t want to buy the buttermilk? Stir 1 Tablespoon of vinegar into one cup of milk and let sit for five minutes

three layersUPDATE: I invited Neighbor Larry over for a piece of cake on July 3rd. He promptly hugged me, put on a tie with his white tee and slippers, grabbed a gallon of ice cream and marched over. “Tastes like the 4th of July,” he told me. “I’ve never seen anything wrong with this cake, but it does seem extra good this year!”

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