German Chocolate Cake Roll

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 26 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 25 min
  • Cook: 26 min
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings
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1 cup evaporated milk

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 large egg yolks plus 3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter; 1 stick cubed, 1 1/2 sticks softened

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups sweetened coconut, toasted

1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup strong hot coffee

1/3 cup buttermilk

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-18-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper, letting it come up the short sides by about 2 inches. Brush the paper with oil or melted butter and lightly dust with flour. 
  2. For the filling, whisk the evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar, 3 egg yolks and the cubed butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, the coconut and pecans. Set aside to cool completely, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the cocoa and chocolate in another bowl. Add the hot coffee to the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth; stir in the buttermilk and the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. 
  4. Using a mixer, beat the softened butter and the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar in a large bowl on high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low; add the 3 whole eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture in 2 parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just blended; if necessary, fold the batter together with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until the cake springs back when pressed lightly, about 16 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan. 
  6. Run a knife around the edge and slide the cake with its paper onto a work surface. Spread the coconut filling evenly over the cake. Roll the cake from one of the short ends, pulling it away from the parchment into a tight cylinder; transfer to a platter. Cool completely and dust with the confectioners' sugar or cocoa.
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