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Debbi's German Chocolate Cake (made with potatoes!)

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Why I Love This Recipe

By Jeanne Benedict

The surprise ingredient in this moist chocolate cake recipe from Debbi Fields is mashed potatoes! Try it for St. Patrick's Day.

Debbi's German Chocolate Cake (made with potatoes!)


Ingredients You'll Need

* 8 ounces German chocolate, chopped and divided in half

* 1/2 Cup boiling water

* 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

* 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder

* 1 Tablespoon baking powder

* 1 Teaspoon salt

* 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

* 2 cups sugar

* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

* 3 eggs, separated, at room temperature

* 1 Cup hot mashed potatoes

* 1/2 Cup buttermilk

Coconut Pecan Frosting:


* 2 1/4 cups sugar

* 18 tablespoons unsalted butter

* 17 ounces evaporated milk

* 6 egg yolks, at room temperature

* 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 3 cups chopped pecans, toasted; divided into 2 ½ cups and 1/2 cup

* 10 1/2 ounces shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted, plus additional for garnish

* Pecan halves, for garnish


* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans (see Note from Jeanne below).

* In a ceramic or glass bowl, heat 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate on High in a microwave oven for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

* In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

* Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the egg yolks and hot mashed potatoes and beat until combined. Add the melted chocolate and combine until blended.

* Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat for 45 seconds after each addition, and begin and end with the dry ingredients. Beat in the boiling water until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.

* Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form using an electric mixer and clean beaters. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter gently but thoroughly with the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate. Divide the batter equally amoung the 3 prepared pans.

* Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out with a few crumbs on it. Remove the cake pans to wire racks to stand for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out of the pans onto the racks and let cool to room temperature.

* Make the Coconut Pean Frosting: In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Heat, stirring constantly, about 12 minutes, until the butter is melted, the sugar dissolved, and the mixture has turned golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer to a large bowl, and stir in the 2 ½ cups of pecans and the coconut until well combined. Let the frosting cool, stirring occasionally, until lukewarm and of spreading consistency. (Do not allow the frosting to cool completely, or it will be too thick to spread.)

* Assemble the cake: Place a cake layer on a serving plate with wax paper under the edges and spread it with some of the frosting. Add the second cake layer and spread it with some of the frosting. Place the remaining layer on top. Frost the sides and then the top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Remove the wax paper. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with toasted coconut, then arrange pecan halves around the outer edges and press the remaining ½ cup pecans into the sides.

Makes 8 to 12 servings

* Note from Jeanne: To help your cakes come out of the pan with ease, cut wax paper rounds to fit in the bottom of the pans. Butter the inside of the pans and then put the wax paper in the pans. Butter the top surface of the wax paper and then dust the inside of the pan with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Before removing the baked cakes, gently run a knife around the edge of the cake in the pan and invert on to a wire rack.

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