Sunday, April 24, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

Ahhh, German Chocolate Cake.  This is my dad's favorite cake.  His birthday was at the beginning of the month, but he and my mom came to lunch today, so we decided to celebrate a little late with this rich dessert.
This cake is not difficult to make, but definitely isn't a cake you can throw together quickly, so keep that in mind if you decide to bake.  I never liked this cake as a child, but now that I make it and can chop the nuts super small, I actually really love it!  I am not a huge fan of nuts mixed in my food.  Love them alone, but don't want them in my food until pulverized to little pieces.  This way I can still add the flavor without the interruption of the big nut in every bite.  Weird, I know!  Anyways, I use the recipe from the "Better Homes And Garden" cookbook.  It is one of my favorite cookbooks and without a doubt, I use almost every week.

German Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients:

3 eggs
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 4-ounce package sweet baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk/sour milk

Frosting Ingredients:

1 egg
5-ounce can evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Separate eggs.  Allow egg yolks, egg whites, and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour 2- 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.  Set pans aside.  In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a small saucepan combine chocolate and 1/3 cup water.  Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted; cool.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined.  Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating for 2 minutes.  Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 1 minute total).  Beat in cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture; beat on low speed after each addition until combined. 

Thoroughly wash the beater.  In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites into the batter.  Spread batter into the prepared pans.

Bake in a 350* oven for 20-25 minutes for 9-inch pans, 25-30 minutes for 8-inch pans, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.  Cool cake layers on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove cake layers from pans; cool thoroughly on racks.  Spread cold coconut-pecan frosting over the top of each cake; stack the layers.

Frosting Directions:

In a medium saucepan slightly beat 1 egg.  Stir in one 5-ounce can evaporated milk, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup butter.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  Cover and cool thoroughly.

*I actually double the frosting recipe so I can frost the sides of cake as well.  Per the cookbook, they just frost the bottom layer, then put top layer cake on, then layer the top with frosting.  I usually have frosting left over when I double the recipe.  I put the extra frosting in a bowl and sit with a spoon and eat each and every last drop of the frosting.  I then wash down with a big mug of coffee. 

The "Better Homes & Garden" cookbook can be found at or your local library.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mocha Walnut Wonder Muffins

"Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but chocolate makes it worthwhile."

Today has been long...  I have a trying 2-yr old (almost 3) little man that has really been a wreck lately.  He is making us slightly crazy.  Of course this has nothing to do with the recipe I am sharing today, but it was a good excuse to bake something chocolaty!  I bought the "Morning Food" cookbook a few years back because we love breakfast food.  This cookbook has recipes for everything from muffins to eggs to breakfast cookies!  I have tried several recipes and have loved them all.  I love a good cup of coffee with something chocolaty and this recipe ties both flavors into one muffin.  The added health benefit is that half of the flour in this recipe is whole wheat.  I imagine you could even tweak the flour ratio and use more wheat then white if you don't mind a grainier texture.   I also used crushed pecans in place of the walnuts the recipe called for.  I'm sure walnuts would be great too, I just didn't have any on hand.  I hope you have a great week ahead!

Mocha Walnut Wonder Muffins


3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa (sifted, then measured)
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup mini chips)


Preheat oven to 375* F.

Combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla, and set aside.

Sift the rest of the ingredients, except for the nuts and chocolate chips, into a separate bowl.  Add the nuts and chocolate chips, and stir.  Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix quickly, just until blended.  Please do not dawdle and do not over mix (the cookbook states this not me).

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes (only took 20 minutes in my oven), or until done.  Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin.  When it comes out clean, the muffins are done.

I actually think this is a great muffin, but you could probably frost with a yummy coffee flavored frosting or just a plain white butter-cream frosting if you wanted a twist on the traditional chocolate cupcake.

The cookbook this recipe is found in can be purchased through or possibly located at your local library.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Honey Bun Cake

Do you love cake?  I do.  In fact it is probably one of my favorite desserts!  Today's recipe is from the "Cake Doctor" cookbook.  Although I prefer to cook from scratch on most occasions, this cookbook is great for whenever you want something tasty, convenient, and easy.  If you don't already own, I highly recommend.  Of course, check out your local library to see if they carry and save a few dollars!  One of the reasons I love this cake is because it has honey in it which is one of my favorite foods!  Did you know honey is the only food that will never expire?  As in never ever!!  This is a great cake to bake for an after dinner dessert, but would be yummy served at a brunch as well.

Honey Bun Cake



1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
4 large eggs


1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Sugar Glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (I'm lazy and never sift)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Lightly mist a 9x13 baking pan with vegetable oil spray.  Can also use recipe as cupcakes or 2 8x8 cakes.  Just follow baking time on the cake mix box.

Place all cake ingredients in mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping sides down again if needed.  The batter should look thick and well blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out with the rubber spatula.

Drizzle the honey on top of the batter, then sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans (if using).  With a dinner knife, swirl throughout these ingredients to blend them slightly.  Place in oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger 38-40 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, place all glaze ingredients in a bowl and use wire whisk to combine until smooth.  Drizzle evenly over hot cake.  Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes more before cutting into squares.  Best served warm.

*Store this cake, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 6 months.  Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.


This cookbook can be found on

Friday, April 8, 2011

Golden Rum Cake

This recipe hails from the same cookbook as the Mocha Rum Brownie Bites posted earlier in the week.  This cake is soooo good, BUT only if you like rum.  I warn you of this because the rum is definitely potent in every bite.  Although we like a cocktail every once in a while, we are not big drinkers.  I mention that because while we don't pour a lot of  liquor around these parts, I love booze in my food!  Anyway, on to the recipe...

Golden Rum Cake

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark rum

Golden Rum Glaze:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch Bundt pan. 

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. 

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, combine milk, vanilla, and rum.  Beat flour mixture and milk mixture into butter in three alternating additions.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 1 hour, or until golden brown.

For the glaze:  Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the sugar and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in rum. 

Place cake on a serving platter.  Slowly pour glaze over top and sides until completely absorbed.  Dust with confectioners' sugar.


This recipe and a ton of other great boozy desserts can be found in the "Booze Cakes" cookbook on Amazon.