Most chocolate lovers will readily agree that German chocolate cake is one of the best chocolate cake recipes in existence. However, the origins of the cake aren't so certain. A recipe for "Novel chocolate cake" that is very similar to what we now call "German chocolate cake" appeared in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1905. It was later called German chocolate cake, with many food historians attributing the name to Sam German, who invented a sweet baking chocolate for Baker's Chocolate Company.
A popular recipe for this cake famously appeared in The Dallas Morning News in 1957, but it was popular, at least in the South, before then. The recipe in the Dallas newspaper just boosted the recipe's popularity, and the cake has maintained a treasured place in American cuisine ever since. The cake itself is chocolate and has a cooked filling containing eggs, coconut, pecans, evaporated milk, sugar and butter.
Other famous American cakes:
- Author Harper Lee mentions Lane cake in To Kill A Mockingbird. It's another cake (yellow or white) made with a cooked filling that uses coconut and pecans, but with the addition of chopped candied fruit, and, preferably, good bourbon. It dates back at least to 1898 when it was called Alabama Prize Cake.
- The Lady Baltimore cake dates back to about 1906 and is a white cake with a white seven-minute frosting, with nuts and raisins added. It was mentioned in a novel by Owen Wister.
- The intense Chocolate Blackout cake was invented during World War II at Ebinger's Bakery in New York City. It was a signature item for the bakery until it closed in 1972. The cake is chocolate, filled with chocolate pudding and covered with cake crumbs.