Best German Chocolate Cake (High-Altitude Version)
This is the high-altitude version of my German Chocolate Cake recipe. For the regular-altitude version, click here.
Best German Chocolate Cake
I call this site “Baking Naturally” because I’m committed to finding recipes that avoid overly-processed ingredients. That can be quite a feat sometimes. It’s surprising how many of those things can creep into our cooking without a lot of thought.
Take corn syrup, for example. It’s a really common ingredient in baking. I used to work near a plant that made it – it looked like an oil refinery. I’d watch the tanker trucks coming in and out, knowing they were full of this stuff and there just seemed something wrong about it. It was so far removed from that lovely ear of sweet corn that grew in the fields I remember as a kid.
But with a little effort, you can avoid it and actually improve the flavor of your baking. This is the best recipe for homemade German chocolate cake that I’ve found, and I’ve substituted my homemade golden syrup for the corn syrup. It got rave reviews from everyone, so I’m sharing it now.
There are three parts to the recipe: the cake, the coconut and pecan topping/filling and the chocolate frosting that coats the sides. You can’t use the coconut/pecan filling on the sides as it’s just not stiff enough. But you need something to seal in the moisture of the cake (which was the original point of icing on cake.)
This cake is best when made one day and served the next. Giving the filling time to settle makes the cake moister and easier to slice.
Best German Chocolate Cake - High Altitude Version
- 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 1/2 cups PLUS 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 oz. Semisweet Chocolate around 50% fat chopped finely
- 2.25 cups LESS 2 tbsp Sugar
- 5 lg Eggs room temperature
- 1 cup PLUS 3 tbsp Milk
- 1 1/2 cups Pecans
- 1 cup Milk
- 3 lg Egg Yolks
- 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar packed
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Golden Syrup see link below
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut
- 6 tbsp Butter softened
- 2 1/3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/3 cup Milk
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 370 F. Grease and flour two 9-in round cake pans.
- In a large bowl (not the mixing bowl) whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Microwave the chopped chocolate in a small bowl on high for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, then repeat until it’s melted – maybe 2 more times. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until smooth – about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate just until blended. Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Beat until blended – about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat – it makes cakes tough.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean – just a few sticky crumbs clinging to it (see example below). Mine took 35 minutes.
- Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. I ran a thin knife just around the edges of the pan, then inverted them on a cooling rack and they released perfectly. Cool completely.
- Chop the pecans and roast then in a 350 F oven for about 8 minutes, stirring once. Put them in a large bowl with the coconut and let cool while you make the custard.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the milk and egg yolks until smooth. Add the brown sugar, butter, golden syrup, vanilla and salt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, just until it starts to form swells (see photo). Do not overcook!
- Add the custard to the bowl of pecans and coconut and stir to coat. Let cool completely.
- Beat the softened butter until smooth. Add sugar and cocoa and blend slightly. Add vanilla and slowly add the milk until you reach a spreadable texture. You want a fairly stiff frosting for this cake.
- Place one layer cake right-side up on serving plate. Top with half the filling, to about 1/2 inch from the edge. Place the second layer right-side up on top of the filling and secure. Top the second layer with the rest of the filling, again to about 1/2 inch from the edge.
- I then coated the outside edge with the chocolate buttercream, sealing it well. Then I came in with a pastry bag and dotted the top rim with chocolate stars. Or you could scallop the top edge.
- Cover and let the cake sit for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. This will soften the sugary layer of the chocolate cake and make it easier to cut and serve.