Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper.
Microwave chocolate baking bars and 1/2 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through.
Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.
Note: We tested with Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate Bar.
I loved this recipe. I make a German Chocolate Cake only once a year for my birthday. They are tedious but worth it. Last year it turned out wonderful but a but too chocolatey rich for me. I normally make the original recipe but wanted a bit more so i opted for an extra half a bar of chocolate. The 1 1/2 bars were perfect!! it was moist and just the right amount of chocolate I was looking for with out being over-bearing. I guess I will have to make a 2nd cake with the other half.
OMG...this is the hands down best German chocolate cake recipe ever....It is perfection! I went right by the recipe and there is nothing I would change. I made it a second time last week and it was once again perfect. People went crazy over it...the only thing I did differently the second time was bake it in 2 layers, then slice these to have 4 layers and I made 1 1/2 recipes of icing. Makes a big beautiful cake. Go that extra mile and toast your pecans and garnish as in photo. I would also suggest cutting this with an electric knife. It makes cleaner slices when you have coconut and nuts in your icing. YUM YUM !
This is a very good homemade cake recipe, but there are a lot of components to this cake...But its well worth all of it. I made my cake with 3 layers, and next time I believe I will make 2 layers...Why, because my cake fell apart, due to the moistness, the cake was also very crumbly on the sides, & on the top of the cake too... Can someone tell me if this is normal? But after the homemade pecan, and coconut icing was made it all came together...As I said a very Rich, Moist, Tasty, and Lot of Hard Work Cake...But Yummy!!!
I have made the original (on the package) recipe of German's Sweet Chocolate cake every year for the past 30 (yikes) for my husband's birthday. He's a total homemade cake snob (would never eat a box cake). He RAVED about this recipe! The only difference from the oringinal is the TWO bars of chocolate, but it is genius! So much more chocolatey and so much more delicious. "Mama" sure knew how to bake a delicious cake!
This was my first attempt at a German Chocolate Cake so I was afraid, but I have always been pleased with recipes from this site so I gave it a go for my husband's birthday. To say that it was fabulous is an understatement. It was very moist, full of flavor...decadent and worth every minute. I did use semi-sweet baking chocolate as a substitute and was afraid that I messed it up, but it worked very well. This one goes in the family recipe book to be passed down!
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