Is there a German chocolate cake fan in your family? Making an entire cake can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially for pint-sized cooks. Easy solution? Make German chocolate cake in a cup.
Ever since we made mini chocolate raspberry chocolate cups, we’ve been trying out other combos. This one has become a fast favorite. I’ve included lots of make-it-quick steps in the directions.
1 recipe chocolate cake mix
1 recipe coconut dream frosting (or packaged German chocolate frosting)
1 cup chocolate syrup
Whipped cream or ice cream
Toasted coconut (opt.)
You’ll also need:
Mini glasses (plastic mini champagne glasses work well, too)
- Cook the cake according to package directions. You could also use leftover brownies, or bake up a batch. (You will have extra cake.)
- Place a handful of cake into the bottom of all the cups, press it down to make about 1-inch. This is a perfect kid job!
- Drizzle the cake with chocolate syrup (Hershey’s is fine; even better melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips with 1/4 heavy cream in the microwave and let it sit until thickened).
- Add a heaping spoonful of coconut dream frosting into each cup.
- Put another inch of cake into each cup and repeat the process–drizzle chocolate, then add frosting.
- You have a few options for the top of the cup–whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream. My recommendation: finish it off with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in salty caramel. Sprinkle each cup with toasted coconut flakes.
Almost German chocolate cake frosting, but not quite. That’s how I like to describe my coconut frosting.
Softer and creamier than your standard, sticky German chocolate, toasting the coconut and the pecans is the real secret (well, that and a generous helping of heavy cream).
Tweaked from 365 Great Chocolate Desserts
2 1/2 cups coconut
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt
- Place the coconut and nuts onto a nonstick skillet (or if the skillet isn’t big enough work in batches). Bring the skillet to medium-high heat, stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon occasionally to avoid burning, about 3 minutes. As soon as the coconut begins to turn color on the ends, remove from heat. Allow the coconut to cool on the pan–it will continue to toast as it cools.
- Mix together the powdered sugar and cornstarch and then pour into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
- Whisk the heavy cream into the powder sugar mixture until blended; bring the cream to medium-high heat, whisking vigorously.
- When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from heat.
- Stir in the toasted coconut and pecans.
- Cool to room temperature before using to frost cakes, cupcakes, or for mini-parfaits.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you how to use this yummy frosting to make mini German chocolate parfaits that are perfect for Mother’s Day.
It’s 3.14–yes, Pi day! My tween needed to make a pie to take into her class so we brainstormed something that included some of her favorite ingredients: Nutella, pears, and white chocolate. Since the pie is headed to school, I, of course, had to make one for us to sample at home (sans the white chocolate and speckled with pecans and cranberries instead).
I tweaked this recipe from The Lovely Cupboard for my version.
Prep time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes baking
Servings: 8 pieces
1 unbaked pie shell
2 pears (apples would work well too)
3 tablespoons Apricot perserves
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup Nutella (or more!)
Toppings: white chocolate chips, pecans, cranberries
- Place the unbaked pie dough into your pie or tart pan and press around the edges and up the sides to create the crust. Prick the crust with a fork a few times.
- Spread the Nutella over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. This took more time than I thought it would–Nutella is sticky!
- Put the pie crust into the fridge while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Peel and slice the pears into thin pieces.
- Take the pie crust out of the fridge and layer the pears onto the Nutella.
- Mix the lemon juice in the preserves and warm in the microwave. I heated it for 30 seconds on high. Use a cooking brush (or spoon) to spread the preserves over the pears.
- Sprinkle the pears with topping, if using.
Kids’ reactions: The tart without the white chocolate chips was definitely the frontrunner versus the pie. My kids preferred the thinner crust too. I think next time I’d toss the pears in the marmalade and lemon juice before putting them on the pie to minimize the amount of liquid on day two.
Lately, I’ve noticed little cake desserts popping up from tavern-themed restaurants to Italian restaurants. I like it. They’re akin to a deconstructed cake–all the flavor, much less work.
This weekend I made my own version using cake leftover from my daughter’s birthday party cupcakes.
Cake: 2 cups cooked chocolate cake (it doesn’t need to be pretty you’ll be making it into chunks anyway)
Warmed Raspberry sauce or raspberry jam
Chocolate custard ingredients:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups milk
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract (opt.)
1 tsp. Black onyx or Espresso powder (opt.)
Chocolate custard directions:
- In a medium-sized sauce pan over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter then stir in the sugar.
- In another bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the milk.
- Stir the milk mixture into the melted chocolate and add in the cocoa, salt, and Espresso powder.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stir frequently until it thickens.
- Take the pan off the hat and stir in the extracts. Spread the butter over the top of the thickened chocolate to avoid developing a skin.
- Cool the chocolate custard.
To assemble the mini chocolate raspberry cups:
- Press about a tablespoon of chocolate cake into the bottom of the cup.
- Pour about 1/2 tablespoon raspberry sauce over the cake.
- Spoon a tablespoon of chocolate custard in next.
- Repeat cake, sauce, custard and finish off with cake.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- Dust with cocoa powder or an extra drizzle of raspberry sauce.
I needed some chocolate therapy this weekend so when a friend of mine passed along a recipe for chocolate cake with the subject line “OMG best cake ever” I had to give it a try. Thanks Jessie!
This recipe for Double-Deep-Chocolate Hanukkah Layer Cake from Gourmet makes for tasty cupcakes. The batter came together fast and filled 28+ cupcakes. (I did 20 then a small-sized loaf for a neighbor.) These are the moistest chocolate cupcakes you’ll ever eat! Even if you’re not a coconut fan, don’t worry, the flavor is slight.
I upped the flavor of the coconut in the frosting with coconut extract.
Prep time: 30 minutes + baking
Servings: 28 cupcakes
3/4 cup vegetable oil plus more for greasing pans
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus more for dusting pans + 2 tsps. dark cocoa powder (you can also use Espresso powder or my favorite, Black onyx powder)
1 cup water
3/4 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (I use the 14-oz. Light Coconut Milk can from Trader Joe’s)
3 large eggs, warmed in shell in warm water 5 minutes
1 1/2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Remaining canned coconut milk (about 1 cup)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract (opt.)
4 tbsps. butter
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk the oil, water, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla.
- In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Blend the wet ingredients into the dry until smooth.
- Fill cupcake holders 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
- Microwave all of the frosting ingredients except the vanilla in a glass measuring cup for 1 minute on high.
- Stir and continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until the chocolate is smooth; stir in the vanilla.
- The frosting will be thin; cool it in the refrigerator until it gets thick enough to spread on the cupcakes.
There’s nothing more heart-warming then joining my kids around the kitchen to make a holiday dessert. And then as you’re whipping Nutella into heavy cream discussing what you’d do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. At least that’s where the conversation turned as my teen was helping me put together this yule log (there’s a Norman Rockwell painting in there somewhere, I think). Meanwhile, I was doing extensive testing to make sure the whip cream tasted just right. It’s a tough job, but it’s not one that can be left for the undead.
Prep time: 30 minutes + lots of time for assembly
4 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dark cocoa powder (opt. I use black onyx powder, you can use Espresso)
2 cups heavy cream (oh yeah!)
1/2 cup Nutella
touch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking oil.
- Beat together the eggs, oil, and sugar until its a pale yellow color.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the dry cake ingredients.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 11 minutes or until the cake springs back from the edges of the pan.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile liberally dust a clean kitchen cloth with powdered sugar and prepare for flipping.
- In my experience, this is a two person job: Flip the cake batter onto the powdered sugar cloth. Roll the cake in the cloth short end to short end.
- Leave the cake rolled while you prepare the filling.
- Making the filling (and get ready for your kids to fight over who gets to lick the spatula)
- On high speed, whip the cream until it just begins to thicken.
- Add the Nutella and continue whipping just until stiff. (I add a pinch of salt).
- Assembling the yule log:
- Slowly unfold the cake in the cloth and gently remove the parchment paper. (I couldn’t find anything in the original recipe about when to take off the parchment paper so I just kept it on.)
- Use the spatula to smear the whipped Nutella cream on the unrolled cake being careful not to go all the way to one of the short ends.
- Start rolling the cake from short end to short end working toward the non-filled end. The cream will squish toward the non-filled end. (I also find this is a two person job.)
- Wrap the roll in parchment and then aluminum foil.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Slice and serve.
Inspired by the King Arthur Flour recipe for chocolate and peppermint yule log.
A few weeks ago I was able to visit with Jenny Harper, the Chief Cookie Officer for Nestle Kitchens for a story I was working on. Does that sound like a dream job or what? Jenny is the one who comes up with the recipes on the back of Nestle Toll House morsels and other Nestle baking products.
So when I needed to make a quick treat for an event I was going to I thought of Jenny and turned to the back of a bag of Nestle’s Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels for inspiration. The recipe for “Magic Mint Chocolate Bark” was simple and fun to make with my kids. I doubled the recipe to make sure we had extras. (Use a 11 x 9″ brownie pan and half of the morsels to make the standard batch.)
Mint Chocolate Bark
Prep time: 5 minutes
2 10-ounce bags Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels (I did one bag of the mint morsels and another bag of dark chocolate)
3/4 cup chopped roasted almonds
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Line a 9×13″ cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Dump the chocolate chips onto the lined pan. Spread out the chips so they fill the pan.
- Bake the chips for 4 minutes; they’ll be shiny when you remove them from the oven and won’t appear to be melted.
- Use a kitchen knife to swirl the chocolate together (you won’t see any more of the green color).
- Top with chopped almonds, or pretzels, potato chip pieces, or dried fruit.
- Here’s the fun part: to help the toppings sink into the chocolate hold that pan about 3 inches above the counter (I put a large cutting board down for this) and then drop the pan.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour and then break apart the pieces.
Sometimes my kids won’t eat bananas around our house just waiting for them to get ripe enough so that I’ll make these muffins. I’ve been meaning to pass along this recipe for awhile, but I do the batter just a little bit differently each time–sometimes I mix up the kinds of sugar I use, other times it’s the flours that get tweaked.
But I made a batch this week that was so good I had to pass this recipe along. So if you have some bananas that are getting ripe and you love the combination of chocolate and bananas, these muffins are for you!
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 1/2 cups all-purpose, 1 1/2 cups wheat flour)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (if available, or regular cocoa)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened preferred)
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
3 ripe bananas
8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon almond or coconut extract
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
- In another bowl, beat the bananas until smooth and then add the yogurt, eggs, and extract.
- Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (I usually set it for half power for a minute, then stir.)
- Stir the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture just until blended.
- Gently blend the chocolate-butter into the yogurt mixture, then stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Fill 24 muffin cups 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
*Tweaked from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook recipe for Big Beautiful Muffins.
My teen had one request for her birthday–breakfast in bed. And she wanted crepes. Mr. Squid usually handles crepe duty around our house. See he can flip the crepes in the air and have them land right back in the pan. Mine tend to land on the counter, when they don’t fly off to the floor.
But I’d been wanting to try a new buckwheat flour crepe recipe. At the Cleveland’s West Side Market one of the most popular booths is Crepes De Luxe, which touts their “authentic, Parisian style” crepes. (If you go, just ask someone to point out where “the crepe place is” then look for a long line.) I find that buckwheat crepes are thicker, bigger and heartier than your all-purpose flour variety. I like it. Usually buckwheat crepes are reserved for the savory fare. And you can use this recipe for a savory meal, I’ve melted fontina and roasted asparagus in these crepes for dinner. But this time it was all about something sweet for a special breakfast.
I don’t use a crepe pan, I just bake ‘em in my regular, non-stick 9″ saute pan.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: about 15 crepes in a 9″ pan
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender, puree until smooth. I didn’t use sugar, but you could if you want these a little sweeter. (I was saving some for dinner and I don’t like too-sweet desserts anyway.)
- Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes to an hour.
- In a 9″ saute pan or crepe pan melt 1 teaspoon butter to medium-high heat.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl until it stretches out over the pan. Cook until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 60 seconds then carefully flip. I no longer try to toss mine in the air, but rely on a large spatula.
- Cook for 45 seconds on the other side then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter, placing pieces of waxed paper between the crepes so they don’t stick.
For a sweet crepe I keep it simple: I cut up strawberries and let them sit in a sprinkling in sugar and fresh lemon juice while I was preparing the crepes. On the plate I swirled Hershey’s chocolate syrup just for decoration then slathered Nutella on the still-warm crepes. I also tucked strawberry slices inside before rolling them up, placing them on the plate and garnishing them with another strawberry and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, just cuz.
Did you know chocolate is a vegetable? That’s right. Explaining her recent study results, which showed that people who get a daily dose of chocolate are slimmer than those who don’t, Beatrice Golomb, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego said, “It’s my favorite vegetable.” Dr. Golomb cited chocolate’s antioxidant prowess when comparing it to other vegetables. She also relayed that chocoholics those in the study who ate chocolate each day had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who didn’t.
Well, of course, I want to make sure that we’re all getting enough vegetables in our diet so here’s a week’s worth of recipes so you can get your fill.
Keep 100% whole wheat bread moist by adding in plenty of Greek yogurt and chocolate, of course!
These brownies have a boost of extra nutrition from a blueberry-spinach puree that you mix in the batter. My teen loves these brownies even though they do turn out a bit softer than your straight-chocolate recipe.
Easy peanut butter cups (no bake!)
These homemade peanut butter cups are easy to put together. Thanks for the idea Martha and Me.
From Garlic Girl, add cocoa to your chocolate chip cookies for a extra boost of the good stuff.
My signature dessert that I try to make infrequently because it’s soo tempting. (I should point out that technically you should be sticking to around an ounce of daily chocolate so you’d need to be nibbling your cheesecake slice.)
Chocolate and lemon make such a surprisingly perfect combo–add a toasty marshmallow topping to make this updated kid classic from Good.Food.Stories.
End your week with these simple treats that have both cocoa powder and mini-chocolate chips (although feel free to add the regular size if you feel like you haven’t been getting enough chocolate in your diet).
*Special thanks to the National Institutes of Health for funding this study and others like it. Dr. Golomb mentioned she needed to do additional studies. The big question: WHERE CAN I SIGN UP?