Today is National German Chocolate Cake Day, one of my favorite kinds of cake. However, despite its name, the cake is not from Germany but the United States. The recipe came from a chocolate developed for the Baker's Chocolate Company in 1852 by Samuel German, and the cake gets its name from him. Apparently, the recipe first appeared in print on June 1957, so it's a relatively modern recipe.
Because it's not the easiest cake to bake from scratch and get right, only about half the general or cake cookbooks out there has the recipe, but of course, it's readily available online. Here is a basic one:
German Chocolate Cake
2 1/4 c. all-purpose cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 stick softened butter or margarine
5 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
7 oz. milk grated milk chocolate
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two round cake pans with cooking oil. Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and stir. Add vanilla and chocolate. Alternatively, add the flour mixture and buttermilk, stirring until smooth. Pour into pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. Cool before frosting.
German Chocolate Icing
3 egg yolks
1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. light or dark brown sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flaked coconut
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Combine egg yolks, milk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until very thick (about 12 minutes). Take off heat; stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans and mix well.