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German Chocolate Sheet Cake

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German Chocolate Sheet Cake has been a favorite dessert in my family for as long as I can remember. My dad requests it for every birthday and my grandmother’s famous recipe is safely stowed in every family member’s recipe box. Because my dad’s side of the family does in fact hail from Germany, I never questioned the assumption that German Chocolate Cake was, well… German. So, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that was not the case!

German Chocolate Sheet Cake
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  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 oz German baking chocolate
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
FROSTING
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

How To Make German Chocolate Sheet Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a sheet pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the water, butter, shortening, and chocolate. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the mixture is smooth and fully combined, add it to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
  4. Stirring between each addition, first add the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, eggs, and then vanilla.
  5. Transfer batter to the prepared sheet pan and bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
FROSTING
  1. Add the milk, egg yolks, butter, and sugars to a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Stir frequently and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in coconut, pecan, and vanilla.
  3. Let frosting cool slightly and then spread over the cooled cake.
  4. Chill for 1-2 hours, then serve.
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