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Great Grandma’s German Chocolate Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

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My great grandma topped her german chocolate cake with a coconut frosting, but it’s different than what you may be thinking.  It’s a broiled coconut frosting! You just have to try this!

German chocolate cake on glass plate topped with broiled coconut frosting.

       I never had the pleasure of knowing my Great-Grandma Peggy.  But all of the stories I have heard about her make her seem like a spunky yet classy lady.  I know my Great-Grandpa Buchsbaum was head over heals for her and it seems like they had quite the life together.  

My Maw-Maw, her daughter and my maternal grandmother, recently sent a few more family recipes for me to try.  Of course I couldn’t wait to give this cake a go!

Slice of three layer cake with light chocolate layers and broiled coconut topping between them.

     The cake itself comes together pretty easily.  Just a few simple ingredients and a big old bowl and you are ready to rock.

 It makes 3 nice sized 9 inch round cakes.  Then you pile them up with a coconut frosting and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes to toast up the top of the coconut and make the frosting extra luscious.  

Maw-Maw seems to remember them serving this as individual one layer cakes.  That would probably be the practical thing to do.  

I was not feeling all that practical and stacked them up!  It was a lot more fun to present that way, but it realistically would have been a lot easier to cut and serve in single layers.

Two slices of German chocolate cake with broiled coconut frosting on glass plates ready to eat.

     Either way you decide to serve it, you should definitely give it a go.  The cake was nice and moist with a great crumb and the broiled frosting made it stand out from the standard German chocolate cakes.  

This is the first time I can remember broiling a frosting and it was kind of fun! Have you ever made a broiled frosting before?

My great-grandma was also known for her french butter cake with fudge frosting.  It was my mom’s birthday request every year.  You should check out that recipe as well!

If you are looking for the more known German chocolate cake with gooey coconut frosting, I have a recipe for that too!

Yield: 16 Servings (3 9-inch cakes)

Great Grandma's German Chocolate Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

German chocolate cake on glass plate topped with broiled coconut frosting.

My great grandma topped her German chocolate cake with a coconut frosting, but it’s different than what you may be thinking.  It’s a broiled coconut frosting! You just have to try this!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 4 oz. German’s Sweet Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Topping

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup bag shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or additional coconut)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 3 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Melt chocolate in boiling water.  
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg yolks and beat until well mixed.  Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. 
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined.  Stir in the butter milk and then the remaining flour mixture, beating until smooth.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff.  Fold about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  6. Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until they test done.  
  7. Cool for about 10 minutes and then turn onto wire racks to finish cooling.
  8. To make the frosting, blend the ingredients together. Spread over the tops of the cakes and broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

My great grandma topped her German chocolate cake with a coconut frosting, but it’s different than what you may be thinking.  It’s a broiled coconut frosting! You just have to try this!

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