Camp Style German Chocolate Cake

Teri’s German Chocolate Cake

Steve and I first made this cake in preparation for one of our dessert entries for the World Championship Cook Off in Sandy, Utah.  The cake sits on top of a chocolate cheesecake and is sinfully decadent.  The cake is so moist and has a tender crumb that is rich and not-too sweet, making it the perfect delivery system for the creamy cheesecake and the coconut and pecan topping.  Top of Cake Sliced

We decided to make just the cake and topping when we were asked by a novice Dutch oven cook, Teri, from the Chisholm Trail Chaparrals, a newly formed chapter of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society, to be her mentor at their upcoming Dutch Oven Gathering (DOG).  She said she loves German chocolate cake, so we agreed that she should try this recipe.  In this post, I will share the recipe and in the next post, I will tell you about Teri and her first-time experience of baking outdoors in camp Dutch ovens.  Here’s the recipe:

Camp Style German Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
Baking this cake takes some time but the results are worth it!
Servings Prep Time
16 hungry friends 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 hungry friends 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 25 minutes
Camp Style German Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
Baking this cake takes some time but the results are worth it!
Servings Prep Time
16 hungry friends 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 hungry friends 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 25 minutes
Ingredients
Cake
Filling and Topping
Servings: hungry friends
Instructions
Cake
  1. Gather ingredients.
  2. Fire up a chimney of charcoal. Prepare two 10-inch camp Dutch ovens by cutting out parchment liner to fit the bottom of the oven. Spray with Pam.
  3. Set out two medium size bowls and a sifter. In one bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder (delete if using warm coffee), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Place sifter in empty bowl. Scoop dry ingredients, place in sifter, and sift dry ingredients together. Sifting the dry ingredients together insures an even distribution of the baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa, which will make the crumb of the cake light and uniform. If you don't have a sifter, make sure to thoroughly whisk the dry ingredients together.
  4. In another medium size bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, warm water (or warm coffee if substituting for espresso powder), oil, and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and mix together until all the dry ingredients disappear and batter is glossy and smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared 10-inch camp Dutch ovens. The depth of the batter will only be about 1/2 an inch. Distribute the batter evenly across the bottom of the oven with an off-set spatula.
  6. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit by placing seven hot charcoals in a circle underneath each oven and 14 hot charcoals around the lids. Total baking time should be about 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, keep a close eye on the ovens and use your nose to smell for chocolate. The cakes are done when a toothpick comes out cleanly with only bits of crumb (no unbaked batter), the edges of the cakes pull away from the sides of the ovens, and the center of the cake springs bake immediately when pressed gently.
  7. Let the ovens cool until it is safe to touch them without burning your hand. Gently run a flexible spatula around the edges to make sure the cake isn't sticking. Turn the cakes out of the ovens onto cooling racks. Chill.
Filling and Topping
  1. Place any size camp Dutch oven over a pile of hot charcoal. Toast the coconut until it starts to turn brown. Toast the pecans until they are fragrant and edges are golden brown. Place the toasted coconut and pecans in a large bowl, add butter, salt, and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together cream, sugar, cinnamon, and egg yolks. Place an 8-inch camp Dutch oven over a pile of hot charcoal and add cream mixture. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Pour hot mixture over the coconut and pecans and stir until the butter melts and the filling is a smooth, creamy consistency. Place in an ice bath to quickly chill and thicken the filling.
  4. When the cakes are cool, pour half of the filling on top of one layer. Add the second layer and pour the remaining filling on tops. Use an off-set spatula to smooth out the topping and let some drip over the sides. Decorate the top with whole pecans.
  5. Enjoy!
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8 Responses to Camp Style German Chocolate Cake

  1. davefoxiii says:

    The cake recipe sounds so delicious! How do you make the chocolate cheesecake?

  2. Thank you Dave for the good question. Baking a cheesecake in a camp Dutch oven isn’t as hard as it may seem. I will work on taking photos and writing a post to show how it is done. Stay tuned!

  3. Susan says:

    Is this supposed to be buttermilk or heavy cream????? Ingredients says heavy cream and recipe instructions say buttermilk.

    • Texas Iron Chef says:

      Hi Susan! It is heavy cream. I’ll go back and double check the instructions. Thanks for asking and letting me know! I’d love to hear if you bake this and how it turns out for you!

  4. Susan says:

    I think the cake ingredients are missing the buttermilk. The liquids portion does not have any milk type substance. Just coffee, eggs, vanilla, & vegetable oil. But the instructions say to put buttermilk in the cake portion, which is why I am confused. I only have one Dutch oven so I am attempting to bake the entire cake in it, put the topping on, & then just scoop it out of the Dutch oven like a casserole.

    • Texas Iron Chef says:

      Got it! Thanks for catching this error. There is 3/8ths of a cup of buttermilk or a scant 1/3 cup. I will fix this now. Thank you Susan!! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

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