Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cake

January 26, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves about a dozen slices
Author Notes

I was born in Lebabon, PA., in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. I have wonderful memories of shopping with my mother at the Farmers' Markets in Lancaster and Lebanon. As a kid, I was more interested in the elaborate baked goods' stands than in the beautiful produce. This recipe epitomizes the kind of rich desserts made in that part of the country. This recipe has been in my family's kitchen(s) for many years. I have added coffee, good butter and prefer toasting the coconut and pecans. (We didn't have microwaves then, either!) It's a great cake for a special occasion. —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • chocolate cake
  • 4 ounces baking choolate
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites, beaten stiffly
  • Coconut-pecan frosting
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 egg yolks, gently beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  1. chocolate cake
  2. Melt the chocolate in the coffee, using a microwave; cool.
  3. Sift together flour, soda and salt.
  4. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time.
  5. Add vanilla and melted chocoate-coffee mixture. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, stirring after each addition.
  6. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
  7. Pour into three 9 inch cake pans that have been lined with greased and floured parchment paper.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes, until cake springs back when gently pressed. Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.
  1. Coconut-pecan frosting
  2. Combine the milk, sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in medium-sized saucepan.
  3. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the coconut and pecans. Allow frosting to cool before icing the cooled cake. I frost between the layers and the top of the cake only.
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  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • Lizthechef
  • Christos kambouris
    Christos kambouris

5 Reviews

Christos K. January 21, 2019
I followed the recipe to the t the cake was dense it was horrible much better recipes out there sorry I wasted my time and the ingredients
Kelsey B. January 27, 2010
This looks fantastic, especially with the coconut-pecan frosting!
Lizthechef January 27, 2010
It means a lot to me to get a thumbs-up from you! Thank you, Kelsey AKA TheNaptimeChef.
MrsWheelbarrow January 27, 2010
I have been looking for this recipe for years. In college, I had a PA Dutch housemate who made this cake for my birthday. She and I lost touch ages ago, but I never forgot the cake. Thank you for the very best early birthday gift.
Lizthechef January 27, 2010
So delighted to share it with you and a Happy Birthday to you! ps I enjoy your tweets/twitter...