17 September 2015

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

German Chocolate Sheet Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

I was in the mood for German chocolate cake, but it was too hot to run the oven and get into a big deal. So I baked a little quarter-sheet chocolate cake in the toaster oven and spread the coconut-pecan frosting on it right in the pan.

Didn't bother scaling down the actual cake recipe because it's not the cake that most of us love about German chocolate cake, it's that frosting! Of course, I make the frosting a lot less sweet by using organic unsweetened shredded coconut.  

It was a lot less work making this than the three-layer real deal, and using the toaster oven kept the kitchen nice and cool. Though I still "get into a big deal" quite often in the kitchen, I'm really trying to simplify my life. But that will never include using packaged "convenience" foods instead of cooking "from scratch."

Can't wait for the seasonal produce and the cooler temperatures of autumn. What are you looking forward to cooking? 

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting - German Chocolate Cake Without All the Fuss and Bother! / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting 

(Makes 13x9x1-inch quarter-sheet, 16 servings)

The Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake 

2/3 cup water
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 packed cup (0.75 ounce/21 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml) buttermilk
1 large egg and 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Coconut-Pecan Frosting

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
2/3 cup (5.67 ounces/132 grams) sugar
2/3 cup (or 1 5-ounce can) evaporated milk
Pinch salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2.75 ounces/78 grams) organic unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup (3 ounces/85 grams) finely chopped pecans, toasted

1 Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Spray a 13x9x1-inch quarter-sheet pan with cooking spray.

2 In 1-quart saucepan, combine water, butter and cocoa. Heat, whisking occasionally, over medium heat until the butter melts.

3 In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisking for about 30 seconds sort of sifts the dry ingredients. In small bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Add warm liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine; beat for about 30 seconds. Add the buttermilk mixture and beat for another 30 seconds. (A wooden spoon works perfectly well, but I use an English cake whisk, a kind of stainless steel wire spoon that has been made in Britain for over a hundred years.)

4 Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack while making the frosting.

5 In 2-quart saucepan over low heat, whisk together eggs, sugar, evaporated milk and salt; add butter pieces. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low to medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and then for about 8 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, shredded coconut and toasted pecans. 

6 Spread the warm frosting over the partially cooled cake. Serve at room temperature. If serving the next day, store cake, covered, in the refrigerator.


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Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Finally, some health food! Oh, you knew I was going to say that. I do have a modification in mind, however. Have never advocated diluting pure sweetness with a competing taste. Ergo, lose the coconut. That may be somewhat related to your choice of unsweetened coconut, methinks, but I say who needs coconut to begin with? Coconut (sweetened) is good on something that otherwise is not sweet – like fried shrimp. And again, this cake should be eaten in a saucer with milk over it in order to control each spoonful according to the ratio of neutralizer (milk) to sugar (mostly frosting) and texture (cake).

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, too funny about the "health food: -- you should have been there back in the day when I really health-fooded everything up; this would have been made with whole wheat flour and maybe a little wheat germ!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Jean,
Now this is indeed one of my all-time favourite cakes! And I haven't made one in ages. You realize now that I will be craving it and will have to bake one! Oh my, I can just taste it with a cup of tea. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I have never made a sheet cake with the German icing but I will give it a go. Enjoy your day and thanks for joining me for tea.


kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I'm so like you, Jean, in loving to use my toaster oven. I must try this cake recipe! When I saw the picture of it, I just said, "mmmmm"! Oh,,I wish we were neighbors, for I'd be right over to taste that yummy cake.
Thank you for your visit to my blog and your lovely comment.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, I think most people "haven't made one in ages." Grease and flour three pans, whip egg whites, etc. Who has time? Hope you'll like my shortcut!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Kitty, I don't know how I managed all those years without a toaster oven! :D Especially on hot days, I just love it. Tea and cake, mmmmm.

The Cranky said...

You're killing me Jean; you know I'm going to have to make this. Probably have to share it with the neighbours who have children, so I don't eat the entire thing! The Great Scot doesn't like most cake or coconut, and the kidling won't eat nuts... *sigh*

Ah well, the neighbours will eat it right up. After I'm done with it!

Cranberry Morning said...

You got me with coconut and pecan! What a great idea. That's thinking outside the box (oven)! I'm looking forward to my butternut squash getting fully ripe so I can make butternut squash soup and bake a hearty brown bread to go with it. Of course, that will be on a cold fall night. Wish I had a piece of that cake right now!

Bernideen said...

What a beautiful cake! Children would love it too. Anybody would love it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jacqueline, do let me know how it turns out for you and whether or not you were able to coax the GS to give it a go!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! And thanks for reminding me about butternut squash soup -- I want to make a big pot of it just as soon as fall "falls"!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Bernideen, thank you! It's so good with a cold glass of milk OR a nice hot cup of English breakfast tea.

Angie's Recipes said...

This reminds me of German chocolate cake. That coconuty frosting is heavenly!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Angie, I could just eat that frosting by the spoonful, no cake necessary!

Margaret D said...

I bet that frosting does taste delicious.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margaret! What I like about it is that the unsweetened coconut makes it not so sickeningly sweet as the usual.

Swathi said...

Looks delicious I need to try this frosting, Pinning and tweeting to keep it in my file.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Swathi, thank you! I think you'll like it!

TONY said...

Those forks, Jean, look amazing.
Do you have a full cutlery set?
ANY sort of chocolate cake is fine with me. I had a lovely chunk of chocolate fudge cake recently. It was baked by a farmers wife in The Yorkshire Dales. Myself and two friends sat in her kitchen garden overlooking her flock of prize sheep, drinking a pint mug of hot Yorkshire tea and eating her heavenly chocolate fudge cake.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hi Tony -- Yes, that is a beautiful pattern, isn't it? Oh to be sitting in a Yorkshire Dales kitchen garden, watching the sheep and having tea and cake ... sigh

Life Happens said...

I didn't know you could bake a cake in the toaster oven!?! Looks so yummy. I love anything with coconut!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes! You should look up my toaster oven (there's a link) and read about it. My friend has a toaster oven that's so tiny you couldn't bake this cake in it. I think mine is the perfect size to be really useful through the hot weather.

April J Harris said...

Your Cake looks amazing, Jean, and I love the frosting! I'm looking forward to autumn baking with pears and apples! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Hearth and Soul. Pinned and shared your recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you! So appreciate your pinning and sharing! I too am looking forward to an autumn of pears and apples. Last couple of years I neglected pears, but not this time.

Renee Cook said...

saw this on creative k kids tasty tuesday link up - this looks AMAZING! and easier than the german chocolate cake i attempted one time :) pinning on my "recipes to try" board for next time i need a german chocolate cake.... which is probably pretty soon! yum!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Renee, thank you so much! And thank you for telling me how you found Delightful Repast. It's always good to know, but most of us rarely think to mention it. Let me know how it turns out for you.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

This is one of those cakes I know ahead of time I'd eat more than my share and probably more than your share as well. I just love this!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Maureen! I would not have thought to put it quite like that, but yes, I know what you mean! :D

Tandy | Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

The buttermilk must have made this cake so moist! It looks delicious :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tandy, thanks! It is one of my favorites, and I don't even really like chocolate!

Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous! Thank you for linking up at the Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays! It’s great to party with you! I have pinned all your posts to our Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest Board! I hope to see you again this week! xo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, creativelyhomespun!

Sara | Belly Rumbles said...

I'm with you regarding simplicity in the kitchen. Such a wonderful looking cake, and made in the toaster oven!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sara! I'm trying to simplify in other areas of my life as well, and I'm loving it!