If there is one thing that I love about a homemade cake is that no matter what it looks like, it will always, always, bring a smile to someone’s face. A homemade cake has a way of lifting someone’s spirits and making that special person that it was baked for feel loved.
This special cake was for my partner in crime, Gabe. I hate to say it but over the years I’ve been a bit neglectful of my husband. With 3 kids that all have spring birthday’s as well, my energy is usually caught up in planning their cakes and parties. I’ve been letting his special day swing by the wayside, usually running last minute to pick up his favorite German Chocolate Cake at the bakery.
This year I decided to be a bit more intentional and bake Gabe a naturally sweetened version of the best German Chocolate Cake recipe ever! I wanted to let him know that although the kids keep me busy, he’s deserving of a special cake baked at home as well. After all, long after the kids are grown, I’m going to grow old with this man – I better keep him happy, right?
Over the years I’ve made a couple different recipes for German Chocolate Cake. I’ve made a naturally sweetened German Chocolate Cake made with coconut flour and I’ve even made a gluten free German Chocolate Pecan Pie. Both recipes are really good; however, I’ve been eyeing this recipe by David Lebovitz for some time. I thought this was the perfect occasion to try it out.
Together with Big Brother, we both went to the kitchen to bake a cake for Dad.
“You know, cooking with kids is not always fun. It has to be intentional knowing that whatever you are making will take more time. There will be accidents and not everything will turn out as expected. However, after nearly 8 years of cooking with my son it melts my heart to see him growing up to be a fine little chef. He’s separating eggs in this picture and side by side with me, he pretty much baked this entire cake. He still needs some work to properly fold in our meringue that we whipped together, but all in all he did a great job!”
It turned out fantastic. Rich, soft and moist, delicately sweet, with deep caramel undertones in the coconut and pecan filling. Like I mentioned above, I did make some adaptations to the recipe. Most notably, Big Brother and I decided to use coconut palm sugar in the filling to give it more depth and caramel like flavor. We also decided to whip the chocolate ganache to a light and creamy icing perfect for spreading.
Whenever I make and decorate cakes at home, I enjoy to make things look rustic, handmade, and loved. So while Big Brother was at ball practice, I put the cake together and decided to ice the cake roughly allowing the icing to come up over the top to give it that rustic look.
Everyone enjoyed it, especially Dad. He was absolutely smitten after eating his favorite dinner of minute steak and potatoes and for dessert, the best German Chocolate Cake ever! It was a good day, indeed.
The best naturally sweetened German Chocolate Cake Recipe EVER! Rich, soft and moist, delicately sweet, with deep caramel undertones in the coconut and pecan filling.
- 2 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 ounces milk chocolate
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup organic sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain milk kefir, sub buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.
- In a double boiler, melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the organic sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of organic sugar until stiff.
- Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.
- Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside and allow the cakes to cool completely.
- While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling and icing.
- Mix the cream, coconut palm sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.
- Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)
- Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)
- Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the honey and 1 ½ ounces of butter.
- Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.
- Once the icing has come to room temperature, add the icing to the bowl of an electric mixer. Over high speed, whip until the icing becomes light and fluffy making sure to not overwhip.
- Remove the cake layers from the pans. Place one layer on a large plate or cake stand. Spread 1/2 of the filling on top of the cake and top with the second cake layer.
- Spread the remaining filling on top of the cake and finish by icing the sides.
Recipe slightly adapted by David Lebovitz
Have you been neglectful of your hubby? Can you share with us some tips to be more intentional to his feelings and his needs. I’d LOVE To hear them! Also, what is your favorite cake to make? Please share any recipes with us in the comments below 😀