Shelby’s German Chocolate Bundt Cake (SRC)

This entry is part 246 of 276 in the series Chocolate Mondays

German Chocolate Bundt Cake; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

I have been in the Secret Recipe Club since 2011, joining just a few months after it was founded, and was the first hostess to manage a group when the founder decided it was getting to big to handle by herself. This is my last month as a hostess. It has been my honor to manage the team, but it is time to let someone else have the experience. I am handing the reins to Lisa Inouye who will be a fantastic leader for Group-A! It will be strange not to manage the reveal days, but I’m looking forward to being just another member of the Club. 

Over the years I’ve had dozens of assignments, a very wide variety of blogger’s sites to explore and recipes to make. Some of my favorite bloggers are also members of the SRC, people whose work I have admired and learned from. I’ve been lucky to meet a few in person, but most remain online friends.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

Because I write Chocolate Mondays, I am always on the lookout for terrific new chocolate recipes to share with all of you. Occasionally it can be challenging if someone isn’t a baker, but most of the time I have quite a few that catch my eye.

This month it was a huge challenge to narrow down the choices to just one. I have the distinct honor to introduce you to Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, one of my favorites in all of the Blogoshpere! I not only love Shelby’s recipes (truly drool-worthy), but her stories about her life and family adventures are always entertaining. It is a guaranteed good read!

As I searched Shelby’s site, I kept getting distracted by all the beautiful photographs and recipes. It was so hard to narrow my choice down to just one! But I finally hit on the ideal recipe to make – her German Chocolate Bundt Cake with the normal coconut frosting inserted in the center of the cake. Perfect!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

The Artist loves bundt cakes – they remind him of the cakes his mom used to make when he was a child. He has always had a fondness for German Chocolate cake, but as he has grown older, they are far too sweet for his tastes. He prefers dark chocolate, so instead of the traditional Baker’s Chocolate, which is nearly as light as milk chocolate, I substituted semisweet chocolate chips. It gives you a deeper chocolate flavor that offsets the sweet coconut filling more.

I have seen a lot of blogger’s photos lately with perfectly symmetrical glazing on bundt cakes. If you put the glaze into a plastic bag, snip off a little of one corner, and pipe it on squeezing the bag gently. It gives you a lot more control than the spoon I usually use. Also, to give a little added interest, I made two variations, one with powdered sugar and one with brown sugar. That created two colors to make it even more fun!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

The hardest thing about this cake is having to wait until it is cool to slice it. But I learned a secret the other day. When you are pouring the cake batter into your cake pan, reserve a little and bake it in a ramekin like a cupcake. You can taste the flavors and appease your sweet tooth without ruining the big cake. Talk about brilliant!

Our home smelled amazing while the cake was baking. When The Artist walked in the house after running some errands, he was SO excited! When I told him he had to wait until the cake was totally cooled and I had photographed it before he could eat it, he got the cutest pout on his face ~~ made me laugh! That’s what a great chocolate cake can do to a grown man, LOL!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

Thank you Shelby for an outstanding recipe. It was wonderful to have the luxury of browsing through your site, getting inspired at every turn of the road.

Make sure you check out all of the posts at the bottom of the page. This group always makes the most remarkable recipes to share with all of you courtesy of the Secret Recipe Club, Group-A!!

Happy Chocolate Monday!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

Jane’s Tips and Hints:

If you love bundt cakes, it is worth spending a little more for a higher quality bundt pan. It will more than pay for itself many times over. The better quality pans are thicker and help avoid the burning that can happen in thin baking pans.

Gluten-Free Tips:

For the most accurate measuring of gluten-free flours, always use a kitchen scale that can measure both grams and ounces. For each 1 cup of all-purpose flour called for in a regular recipe, you can substitute 120 grams of an all-purpose gluten-free flour.

Shelby’s German Chocolate Bundt Cake
Yields 10
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  1. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  2. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 2 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  4. 1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  5. 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  1. Softened butter, for the pan
  2. 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  4. 1 oz semisweet chocolate chips (about 3 tbsp)
  5. 1/2 cup boiling water
  6. 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  7. 1/3 cup butter (5 tbsp), softened
  8. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 2 large egg whites
  10. 2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  11. 2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
  12. 1/2 tsp baking soda (gluten-free if needed)
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
Powdered Sugar Glaze
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar (gluten-free if needed)
  2. 1 tbsp melted butter
  3. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or paste)
  4. 2 tsp buttermilk or milk, or more if needed
Brown Sugar Glaze
  1. 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  2. 1 tbsp melted butter
  3. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or paste)
  4. 1 tsp buttermilk or milk, or more if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set a cooling rack over the pan.
Prepare Streusel
  1. Combine 1/4 cup flour and brown sugar in a small bowl; cut in 2 tbsp butter with a pastry blender  or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in coconut and pecans.
Make the Cake
  1. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with butter, getting into all the nooks and crannies; sprinkle with 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Turn the pan, tapping as you go to coat the interior with the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Combine cocoa and baking chocolate in a small bowl; add boiling water, stirring until chocolate melts. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking until fully incorporated. Set next to the mixer. Measure out the buttermilk and set it next to the flour blend.
  4. Combine 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar and softened butter in the bowl of your standing mixer. Beat at medium speed until fully incorporated and lightened in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture will be very granular, but when you scrape the side of the bowl, it will hold together. Beat in vanilla. Add the egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate mixture. Stop the mixer; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl (especially in the center where ingredients tend to hide) and the beater blade.
  5. Add flour mixture to batter alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan; smooth with a flexible spatula and top with all the streusel. Spoon remaining batter over streusel. Smooth the top with the spatula, making sure all of the streusel is covered with batter.
Bake the Cake
  1. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted halfway between the edge and the center comes out clean. Note: if you are using a really long toothpick, it may go into the molten coconut layer in the middle. Ignore that and try in another place, pressing the toothpick in more shallowly.
  2. Cool in pan on the wire rack 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack, letting the cake drop out of the pan. Remove the bundt pan. Cool cake completely.
Prepare Glazes
  1. * In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla, stirring together. Add the buttermilk; whisk until smooth. If it gets too thin you can add more powdered sugar or chill the mixture to solidify the butter slightly.
  2. In a second small heatproof bowl, combine the brown sugar glaze’s brown sugar, butter and vanilla, stirring together; add the buttermilk and whisk until smooth. Pop the bowl into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. This will help melt the brown sugar. If it gets too thin, set the bowl in the freezer to thicken up slightly.
Decorate the Cake
  1. Place the powdered sugar glaze in a plastic bag and press it into one corner. Repeat with the brown sugar glaze. When the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the first glaze over the top and sides in a decorative patter, and then repeat with the second glaze. The two subtle colors will look beautiful on the cake. Set the cake aside to give the glazes time to harden before cutting.
  2. Slice and enjoy!
  1. *If you want to make only one glaze, just double the measurements of the ingredients of one of the glazes.
Adapted from Shelby
Adapted from Shelby
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  1. says

    I love bundt cakes too and chocolate and coconut are personal favorites! This one isn’t as heavy as many recipes I’ve seen and so now I have got to try it! Love the tip about the ramekin – brilliant!!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      I hope you try it Nancy. It will be even better with regular AP flour and I know you will love it! Enjoy!! :-)

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Thank you Stephanie – it was such a great cake to make. German Chocolate is such a crowd pleaser!!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Ah Leigh, you are so sweet. Thank you! I’m still part of Group A and will enjoy continuing to follow everyone’s monthly posts!

  2. says

    So thankful for all of the help you gave me, your patience and understanding to a newbie, and thrilled that you’ll be staying so that I can get to know you better! :) That cake looks AMAZING, and your photography skills are nothing short of jaw-dropping! Thanks so very much for your kindness!! :)

    • Jane Bonacci says

      We are so thrilled to have you join us Kelly. It was my pleasure to help you and just holler if you have any more questions, I’m still here! And thank you for our kind words about my photography. I’ve been working hard on it and am glad it continues to improve!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Great minds think alike Micha! This is such a great cake and will now be part of my go-to list for parties and birthdays!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      You can still make the cake Becca. Just leave out the coconut and increase the amount of pecans in the filling and it will still be fantastic! We are thrilled to have you part of Group A!! If you have any questions, just holler!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Thanks Sara. If you love this, make sure you check out Shelby’s site for even more amazing recipes!

  3. says

    This looks absolutely amazing! I’m more of a dark chocolate girl myself, so I love the idea of using a different chocolate so the cake isn’t quite so sweet.

  4. says

    Mouth-watering cake….

    Great to know that even if you step out of being the hostess of the group, you will still play as a member… that’s awesome!

    beautiful cake….

    Sally, saying hello from Group D

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Thanks Sally – we appreciate other group’s members stopping by on our reveal day! I’m happy to stay in the club and know Lisa will do a fantastic job. This was such a fun cake to bake!

  5. says

    Hi Jane:)
    I never did get a chance to join the SRC but I have been introduced to so many delicious recipes and discovered so many wonderful blogs since its inception. You have done a fantastic job and I am sure you will be both appreciated and missed.

    This Bundt Cake looks indescribably delicious and I know it tastes even better!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Jane…
    Louise recently posted..Cooking With Friends; Happy Friendship Day!My Profile

    • Jane Bonacci says

      It’s never too late Louise! Get on the waiting list, it is a lot of fun. Thank you for always being so supportive, I love you comments and following your adventures!!

  6. says

    Jane, what you did is amazing, your cake looks so delicious, no wonder hubby pouted! Thank you so much for your sweet words. You will be missed as a leader but so glad you will still be participating with us!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Shelby – the blessing of a great recipe is it makes it easy to look good! Thanks for a fantastic dessert that we are just finishing up!!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Ah April, it’s the mutual admiration society cuz I think you were an amazing leader too! Using the bag with the glaze was a lot cleaner too – I tend to get drips on the counter when I use a spoon! :-)

  7. says

    This looks completely amazing! Thanks for the tip on using a plastic bag to put the icing on, not sure why I didn’t think of that.

    Thanks for being such a good host, Jane! Are you still going to participate even if you aren’t hosting?

    • Jane Bonacci says

      Thanks Anna. I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of using the bags for glazing either! Yep, I will still be part of Group-A so you can’t get rid of me quite yet, LOL!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      I love that trick! I forgot to do it with this cake, but I’m going to start setting out a ramekin every time I bake!

  8. says

    Seriously dying here. While I loved the blueberry bundt cake I made, THIS is my true love–chocolate! And your glaze down the sides–looks like liquid gold! I love Shelby. Sista from another mista. 😉 I’ve decided–on my next birthday–this cake will be my big splurge–and perfectly so, as my birthday is on National Bundt Cake Day, Nov. 15. Thanks for all your leadership with Group A over the years. You are one of my faves, Jane!

    • Jane Bonacci says

      I loved your blueberry cake Katrina – beautiful! The brown sugar glaze worked beautifully on this one – whew! I don’t think you should wait till your b’day to bake this … I say this weekend is long enough to wait, LOL! You are one of my faves too Katrina!!

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