German Chocolate Cake with Pecan Coconut Frosting

Pecan Coconut Frosting:
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (7-ounce) package sweetened, flaked coconut (2 1/3 cups)
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 (18.25-ounce) package German chocolate cake mix without pudding
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook’s note: To speed cooling, place pan of frosting in bowl of ice water. Stir constantly and frosting will cool in 15 minutes.

1. For frosting: Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Spread pecans and coconut on baking sheet and toast in oven for 7 minutes or until pecans deepen in color and coconut turns golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Place remaining frosting ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and coconut. Cool to room temperature and spreading consistency, 30 minutes (see cook’s note).

4. For cake: Generously grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out excess flour. Leave oven on.

5. In large mixing bowl, blend cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop machine and scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down bowl again if needed. Batter should look well combined. Divide batter between prepared pans, smoothing it out with rubber spatula. Place pans in oven side by side.

6. Bake cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with finger, 32-34 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Run dinner knife around edge of each layer and invert each onto rack, then invert again onto another rack so that cakes are right side up. Cool completely.

7. To assemble: Place one cake layer, right side up, on serving platter. Spread top with frosting. Place second layer, right side up, on first layer and frost top only. Store cake at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in refrigerator up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil or in cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw cake overnight in refrigerator.


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