It is Secret Recipe Club time again and this month I was assigned the wonderful blog, Cook with Sara! Because I switched to Group C (posting on the 3rd Monday of every month) this is a new blog to me and I was delighted to have a chance to get to know more about Sara and drool over all her recipes!
Sara is from the Midwest so I immediately knew I was going to enjoy this month’s assignment. Much like me and my grandmother, Sara learned to cook by watching her mother, and like me and my own mother, she is continually inspired by her skills at hosting friends. Both Sara and I learned that serving delicious meals show your love for everyone gathered around the table.
My parents both grew up in Indiana, so while I am a native Californian, I was raised with a Midwestern mindset. Rubbing my hands together in anticipation, I dove into her blog.
In her bio, Sara says, “One of my most famous desserts in elementary school was “cookie and fruit plate” which I lovingly wrote out on an index card when a friend of my parents asked me for the recipe! (I was so flattered!)”. This made me laugh because I had a similar experience when I baked my first cake by myself – from a mix.
I had spent hours making an orange cake for dessert. I was so excited for everyone to taste my creation. My brothers were full from the big dinner, but my dad forced them to sit down and “enjoy” big pieces of the cake I had baked – just to make me feel better. At the time I was glowing from the compliments (strongly encouraged by my father). In hindsight I feel sorry for my brothers who no doubt went to bed with stomach aches from eating so much, LOL.
I had a tough time making up my mind this month, but finally settled on Sara’s Upside Down German Chocolate Cake. I love the idea of the flavors of a traditional cake but in an easier to make and transport format. Sold!
But in case you are curious about the other recipes I was considering, here are more chocolate goodies from Sara – which one would you have chosen to make?
- Caramel Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate Coconut Neopolitans
- Chocolate-Glazed Almond Bars
- Raspberry Chocolate Oat Bars
- Strawberry White Chocolate Ice Cream
- White Chocolate and Macadamia Blondies
This cake is a joy to make and better to eat. Even with gluten-free flours, it rose beautifully. The only thing that had me concerned was how full the pan was before I put it in the oven. I was worried that once it started rising that it would spill over the edges so I set it on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven. To my amazement, it had enough structure to handle the rising without pouring batter over the sides! There was enough batter than I think you could even make this in a 9×13-inch pan if you wanted or a 10-inch round cake pan. The cake wouldn’t be as tall, but just as delicious.
I adore the mixture of chocolate and coconut with a hint of caramel flavor tossed in. Schwing! This cake really delivers – all the flavors of a traditional German chocolate cake without the hassle of making two layers. This was a total winner in our home and the leftovers are going home with my father-in-law, a notoriously picky eater!
Like me, Sara only shares well tested recipes so when you’re flipping through her blog you know anything you want to try will definitely turn out! Thank you Sara for a wonderful recipe – it was a treat having you as my SRC Buddy this month!
Have a wonderful Chocolate Monday everyone!
- Topping (once inverted)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup chopped pecan halves
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or pure extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Chocolate Glaze, Optional
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp butter or shortening
- Butter a 9-inch square baking dish or 10-inch round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the Frosting Layer: In a medium saucepan, place the brown sugar and butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and all the butter is melted. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the pecans and coconut over the butter and sugar. Drizzle with the milk and set aside.
- Prepare the Cake: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips. Heat in 30-second bursts, stirring between each heating, until the chocolate is nearly all melted. Remove from the microwave oven, set aside to cool a little, stirring occasionally to be sure all the chocolate pieces are fully melted.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until completely incorporated.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. Pour in the melted chocolate, beating until blended and there are no streaks in the batter.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, to the mixer, beating after each addition. Start and end with the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl periodically while beating. Pour the batter over the frosting layer. Press into the corners and smooth top with a spatula.
- Transfer to the hot oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. When done, remove from the oven and set on a wire rack for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it, set a plate or baking sheet over the top of the pan and using hot pads, invert the pan and plate together. Ease the pan off the cake and repair any disturbed areas.
- If the frosting stuck to the bottom of the pan like mine did, scoop it out of the pan and distribute it over the top of the cake. Do not wait too long to get the cake out of the pan. If it sits too long the caramel in the topping will harden making it much more difficult to get the cake to release.
- Make the Chocolate Drizzle (optional): In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and butter in short 20 second bursts until the chocolate is nearly completely melted, stirring often. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted and smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate glaze in a zig-zag pattern over the top of the cake. Set it aside to cool and to let the chocolate set up for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Yield: about 8 to 9 servings
- This is a rich cake, keep the servings on the small side, people can always take seconds!
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