Marshall Field's German Chocolate Cake

Marshall Field’s German Chocolate Cake

It’s tall. It’s magnificent. It’s the quintessential German Chocolate Cake – four layers with classic coconut pecan filling. This cake’s tender crumb results from the combination of low-protein flour (cake flour) and a little acid (buttermilk.) And the filling is made from scratch with butter, evaporated milk, lots of egg yolks, sugar and plenty of coconut and toasted pecans. (None of the sweetened condensed milk shortcuts here!) While the recipe is for one, 4-layer cake, you can share the love (give one away?) by making this recipe into two, two-layer cakes. It is rich, so pace yourselves: one recipe of the filling includes 8 egg yolks, 2 cups butter and 3 cups coconut….a true showstopper.

Cake Ingredients
4 oz Bakers German Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine (butter is better!)
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks, unbeaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Topping/Filling Ingredients
2 cups butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
8 egg yolks
2 cups evaporated milk
3 cups toasted pecans, chopped
4 cups flaked coconut OR I like to use two 6-oz packages of Trader Joe’s sweetened coconut flakes–chewier texture, longer bigger strips of coconut than other regular grocery story varieties

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave at 50% power. Mix with boiling water. Cool.

  2. Sift cake flour, soda and salt together. Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy–about 3 minutes at medium speed. Add egg yolks a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add melted chocolate. Blend well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, starting with dry ingredients and blending after each addition. Mix for 1 minute at medium speed on a stand mixer.

  3. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter.

  4. Pour into 4, greased 10-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 to 35 minutes, or until done.

  5. Make frosting/filling: Melt butter. Add sugar and flour, whisking constantly until boiling. Add 1/4 of the evaporated milk to the egg yolks. Set aside. Add the rest of the milk to the butter mixture. Whisking constantly, heat to boiling. Add egg yolks/evaporated milk mixture, still whisking. Boil again. Press through sieve to remove any bits of cooked egg. Stir in pecans and coconut. Cool. Spread on and in-between layers of cake.