German Chocolate Cake with Caramel Irish Cream

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German Chocolate Cake

This is probably as Irish as I get, but I didn’t want to forget St. Patrick’s Day, and I think a cake flavored with Bailey’s Caramel Irish Cream counts.

I may not be anywhere close to Irish, but St. Patrick has special meaning for me. One of my favorite books How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill not only details the story of St. Patrick but poetically unleashes the untold story of the Irish soul and it’s little realized influence on western civilization. I will forever appreciate the robust personality and history of the Irish culture.

You might now ask how can I make a german chocolate cake for St. Patrick’s Day. Most people don’t realize that this is not a german cake, but a cake that has as its ingredient Baker’s sweet chocolate named after Samuel German. My irish added touch is the Bailey’s Caramel Irish Cream.

I originally made this cake for company, as their ten-year old son requested it. I had never baked a German chocolate cake before but I had great confidence that there would be a food blogger out there who had.

I found this cake recipe from My Home Cooking, with meticulous instructions and step by step pictures. All I needed to do was trust the recipe. I made this the day of the dinner party in two steps. The cake was made in the morning. While it was baking, the coconut pecan frosting was made and set aside to cool. Then off I went to shop to buy my roast and wine. Once the roast was in the oven, the cake was frosted. I made just a few changes to the original recipe.

I added in 1-3 tablespoons Baileys caramel irish cream liquor to both the cake and to the frosting.
I make two layers instead of four.
I made a ganache for the sides.

A typical German chocolate cake often does not have frosting on the sides. I think the cake benefited greatly from the ganache, in that it looked “rock star” and it gave it that extra bittersweet layer of richness.

Who doesn’t love ganache? This is particularly a smart choice because the frosting is sweet and is balanced by the bittersweet ganache.


  • 1 cup heavy cream, heated to near boil
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces.

Use high quality chocolate with a high percentage of cacao.

  1. Pour warm cream over chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute and then stir gently in circular fashions. Once all the chocolate is melted, allow to cool down to room temperature.
  2.  Carefully spread on the sides, but do not overwork or go back into. Work quickly to maintain the glossy shine.



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