Friday, October 6, 2017

The Cake That Changed Everything: German Chocolate Cake

The very first time I ever decided 
to enter a baking competition... 
I decided to bake a single
 cake from scratch.

No practice cakes... 
No taste-testing...
I simply baked a cake,
and entered it in our fair.  

Seems simple enough...

It was a local county fair, a well-attended and 
well-loved fair, right in the heart of the Midwest.

I could say... end of story...
this where the whole story really begins.

Taking our baked-from-scratch cake to the fair was 

a fun 'something different' to do, ten years ago...
My then, 2 and 3 year-old children were small 
enough to ride in a double stroller.

Looking back, 
I wonder how we managed 
to get out the door, 
We were fed and dressed (early, by our standards) 
  We managed to deliver (on time) a completed cake a fair...
Really, how did we three 
get there on time??  I will never know...

We let our special cake ride in the stroller.
We were on a mission...
(We could have never known the 
path we were setting off on...)

I had no idea what kind of 
competition might unfold...
I wondered how many 
cakes might be judged...
Was this a good idea?? 
Should I really enter this cake??

I soon learned the answer to all of my 
questions after dropping off my entry...

There were well over 100 cakes.  

Cakes as far as the eye could see...
 chiffon cakes, jam cakes, pound cakes, 
yellow and white cakes...
ALL the cakes in the county were there.  
Short cakes, tall cakes, multi-layered cakes, 
iced and un-iced cakes...every kind of cake
 you could imagine
 was pretty much represented at the fair.

Cakes lined the long counter tops...
beginning with applesauce cakes,
 one after the next, after the next, after the next...
Cakes, neatly arranged, all the way to the 
far end of the Art Hall barn,
where the final category "your favorite cake"
 category was waiting...  

("Your favorite cake" is a category for entries that do not
 fit the typical/usual cake categories: Chocolate, Carrot, 
Angle Food, Devil's Food. It tends to be a baker's favorite cake, 
and is usually a highly entered category full of
unique cakes like: Lemon, Mocha, Coconut, Maple, 
and almost anything you can dream up.)

If someone with a crystal ball had 
told  me what that day would
 bring ...and then fast-forward to today... 
I would never in a million years 
believed any of it could come true)

Our German chocolate cake won a blue ribbon that day.
The little cake that could...
This pretty little German chocolate cake...
also won the Best-of-Show ribbon too.
A single entry...

Perhaps, beginner's luck??

This fine cake went on to win a second 
Best-of-Show two years later
 and numerous first-place ribbons, 
locally and at the Ohio State Fair.

I have never before published the recipe...but today...

Today, this sweet German Chocolate Cake that
is responsible for so much, 
gets her 3 minutes of fame on Fox19 
During a recipe segment devoted just to her.

Sometimes, a slice of cake can
 change the world... it did mine.

Please enjoy this recipe.
Share it with friends and family...

Hopefully this cake will be special to you too.  xo

German Chocolate Cake
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup dark cocoa powder- Hershey’s Special Dark
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup black coffee –cooled
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate-melted (1 Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar)
1 cup room temperature buttermilk

Coconut Pecan Frosting
6 egg yolks
2 cups evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
3 TBS unsalted butter
4 cups of sweetened flake coconut
1 ½ cups toasted chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 3, 9-inch cake pans with parchment rounds spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.  How-To: Use nonstick cooking spray to spray the bottom of pan, place parchment in the bottom and then spray bottom and sides again.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda, set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, add the sugar, eggs, cooled coffee, espresso powder, vanilla, oil and melted chocolate.  Mix well with a handheld electric mixer until combined and emulsified.  There should be no oily puddles on the surface.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two parts, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix until just combined and uniform in color, with no streaks of flour showing. Scrape down sides of the bowl and pour equal amounts of batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until the cakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

After 5 minutes, loosen cake from edges of the pan with a paring knife if necessary.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and carefully peel off the parchment paper.  Let cakes cool on racks until room temperature.

For the Frosting:

Toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Let cool completely and then chop. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, egg yolks, salt and sugar.  Stir constantly.  Once mixture thickens, boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Add vanilla, butter and shredded coconut.  Stir until combined. Let the frosting mixture cool completely, refrigerate until ready to frost cake.  Stir in the chopped, toasted pecans just before frosting the cake.  Add a generous amount of frosting between each layer of chocolate cake. This cake traditionally does not have the sides frosted, only between the layers and on top.  Decorate top of cake with toasted pecan halves, and/or a chocolate drizzle.

Coconut frosting can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

P.S. If you are looking for the appetizer recipe
from today on Fox 19
Cheesy Spinach Artichoke French Bread...
RECIPE: Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Bread on Fox 19
Karri Perry: Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog

1 loaf of store bought Italian Bread-- or French Bread... just a mid-sized loaf with soft insides.
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts-drained (I used Reese brand)
1 cup of frozen spinach-thawed and drained very well
½ cup chopped red bell pepper-seeded and cleaned
2/3 cup good mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used the not fancy store brand)
1 cup of Monterey Jack shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Penzey’s roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Mix everything together in a medium bowl. --except the bread
Slice loaf of bread in half -horizontally-through the middle
Spread mixture onto the cut side of each loaf.
Place topped loaves on a lined baking sheet- I used parchment-easy clean up!!
Top each loaf with an additional sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese- I like it cheesy so I used 1/2 cup on each side.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 
30 minutes or until the bread is hot and the cheese is melted.
Slice and serve.


  1. Does anyone know how to save the Spinach Artichoke recipe to pinterest? It saved along with the luscious cake and I know I will never be able to locate it there.

    1. Hi Vicky! I'll create a pin on my Pinterest page... you can pin it from there. Hope this helps. Karri