Sunday, April 7, 2013

Nostalgic German Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake & April's Give-Away Apron

This week I've been Spring cleaning and painting--getting ready to put our home for sale.  We love the Pacific Northwest, but as our oldest daughter prepares to leave on Tuesday for China to bring our granddaughter home, the heartstrings have pulled us to make this life changing decision.

While packing up some of my many cookbooks, I found a recipe box, full of my mother's recipes, that Kelly had "absconded" with and is back in my possession.  In it was a recipe for German Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake; one my mother baked several times.  I don't know where she got the recipe, but I do know it is delicious.  My mother was German and Irish and I bet this really appealed to her German side!  How sauerkraut found it's way into a cake is a mystery; was someone out of coconut and thought rinsing off sauerkraut might be a good substitute:-D  Moreover, I think like zucchini or carrot cake, it made sense, why not sauerkraut!  After all, it is a veggie with a high water content and with the addition of coconut, no one will ever notice.

In addition to the recipe from my childhood, nostalgia swept over me while cleaning and I was wishing I still had my Ginny Doll to show my granddaughters.  Thanks to the internet...I found one!
Vogue Dolls made them and she's just as I remember mine, dark hair and all.  I still have her in the box, but I'm now hunting down patterns to make her clothes, just like my mom did for mine.
German Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed thoroughly
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.  I also used my Magic Baking Strips to keep my cakes from rising in the middle.


In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the sauerkraut and mix again.

In a separate bowl, place all the dry ingredients together and whisk.  Add to the batter, alternatively with the water, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir in the coconut and pecans.

Spoon batter into the prepared pans and bake about 24 minutes, testing with a wooden skewer to check if the cakes are done.  Allow to cool in the pans about 10 minutes then, invert one onto a serving platter and the other on a wax-papered lined rack to cool completely.

While the cakes cool...I made my favorite Chocolate Buttercream. 

Chocolate Buttercream:
10 oz. chocolate, chopped or use chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
18 T (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Place the chocolate in the food processor.  On the stove, in a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream, light corn syrup, and salt to a low boil.  Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and process the mixture until smooth.
Add the sugar and vanilla and pulse several times to combine (about 30 seconds).  With the machine running, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time and combine until smooth and no butter chunks remain.  Transfer frosting to a medium glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thick and spreadable, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

To assemble:
Spread a generous amount on the top of the bottom layer and spread to cover.
Place the top layer on and frost the top and sides.  I decided to decorate mine with addition chopped pecans on the sides and then, I made some chocolate curls to place around the circumference of the top of the cake.
 It's just a delectable cake and NO ONE would even guess that it had sauerkraut in it...something my brothers, to this day, probably still don't know:-D

Finally, I've actually had April's Apron made since last Monday, but haven't had the time to bake or blog to show it off.  The rules are...comment on any of the recipes I post this month and you're entered.  This month, I went bright and cheerful for all my friends and family who are sick of Winter:-((
Have a lovely week and do try this cake--it's a winner, Enjoy!


36 comments:

  1. Ooh--my 3 brothers always had chocolate cake with chocolate icing for their birthdays--a little too much for me, but my mom would put pecans on the top and that was just enough to cut all that chocolate for me--love them all over the sides of your cake! And I still have not only my Ginny doll but a Vogue doll that came out before the Ginny line (same basic doll, just not called Ginny yet).

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    1. How lucky you have to have your Ginny doll; mine was stored in the garage at my parents (8 kids/3 bedrooms didn't leave much space in the house!) and it mildewed, along with the beautiful outfits my mother made. I had looked for them when my girls were small, but at that time, No Ebay or Amazon, so the search was futile.
      This cake is really good and a scoop of Vanilla ice cream would cut the chocolate too:-D

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  2. Wow I have never heard of Sauerkraut in a cake before!! Very unique.

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    1. It's one of those cakes of the 50s/60s that was very popular. I think anyone who had lived through WWII knew how to ration and come up with substitutes; that's probably what appealed to my mother. XOXO

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  3. Very intriguing and it sure looks GOOD!

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    1. I didn't tell my hubby what was in it...he said it was the best chocolate cake he'd ever had!

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  4. Obviously the cake counts towards your 5-10 a day because of the sauerkraut!!
    Jane x
    PS Are you moving very far away?

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    1. We're looking in the North Carolina area! And yes, the cake counts towards the 5-10, LOL!

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    2. You're moving closer to me!
      Jane x

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  5. You have brought back so many memories of Mom's special desserts with this cake!! The chocolate buttercream frosting really "put the frosting on the cake"!! It's been years since I've made this cake and I must try it again.
    The apron is very bright and cheery! We had snow, sleet and freezing rain AGAIN on the 4th of April! Temps are supposed to be near 80 this week and I'm afraid we'll go right into summer.
    Hugs, Barb

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    1. ...we have rain, but in the 60s, our usual for this time of year. The cake brought back lots of memories for me too, Sis! XOXO

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  6. I can't wait to try this recipe. I have a friend who just insists on knowing everything so I will see if I can pull one over on her. Thanks for the recipe. I have heard of it before but never tried so look forward to it. Not much better than chocolate cake with chocolate icing unless you add chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup to it but will try the sauerkraut before the ice cream. :) And the apron is precious too. Thanks! Rebecca

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    1. I'm willing to bet, no one will know it has sauerkraut in it! XOXO

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  7. Where are you going...When are you going? I love this cake idea...Lots of nostalgia, lots of great memories for you. :) I have a mashed potato cake recipe from my aunt, so this one will be included in my family recipes from my soul sister. :)) Lv, me

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    1. We're looking in the Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina area; need to be closer to the grands, but never worry, I'm still getting to your area to see you...maybe this year! XOXO

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    2. One more important reason to visit the Carolinas! I was always hoping to visit you up in Redmond, but just can't get away with an aging animal at home. Would love to see you in NoCal, whenever you can make it, my friend. :) Lv, me

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  8. sauerkraut???? not really sure of that but who knows if you say it is good I'm sure it is.
    I had a bunch of collectable dolls when I was a child but unfortunately my wicked step mother threw them out with all our old home movies my father had years ago. wish I had them. life goes on.
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  9. Sometimes the most unlikely ingredients can be a delightful addition to a recipe. I'm still stumped about adding sauerkraut to a cake however!

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  10. HELLO! THIS CAKE LOOKS SO YUMMY!
    THANKS FOR SHARING !

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  11. I remember having a chocolate sauerkraut cake...must have been a popular recipe in the 60s or 70s. The frosting looks really yummy! And I must comment on the red and yellow apron. Simply wonderful!

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  12. I have to show this to my MIL...chocolate and sauerkraut...what an unique combo and the cake looks fantastic too, Susan.

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  13. Your mother's cake looks so interesting. I remember hearing of this back in the day, but my mother would have never used sauerkraut as she didn't like it. It's very exciting that you are going to be closer to your grands in the future. That is a big move for sure! ♥
    Martha Ellen

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  14. cake looks great , i will have to try it

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  15. I love the cheery bright apron! It's gloomy and raining here, not to mention cold. Seeing the bright colors on a day like this made me smile. Good luck with your move and how exciting about your new little granddaughter!

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  16. I have 'heard' of sauerkraut in a cake but never tried it. Maybe I will as I know your recipes are all fabulous! I love this months apron, so bright and happy! I still have to model my apron and share on my blog. I have been so busy since coming home but after tomorrow will have time to catch up (I hope). I must admit to being very excited that you are moving, meaning closer to the East coast and a better chance we might meet one day! Sending you a big hug, Linda

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  17. Moves are not easy, my dear friend. I am still trying to get some kind of order in my life after my move. Would you believe I still have my Vogue doll? She is not in the best of shape (without clothes). She has blonde hair that needs some attention. I had totally forgot about her until I read your post. I remember she had a red velvet coat with white fur collar....oh, yes, and a suitcase.

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  18. Oh my GOSH, Susan. You are moving? Any closer to Massachusetts? (hope, hope)

    The cake looks incredible. Honestly, you are a master at baking.

    Thanks for all your faithful visits to my blog, Susan. Hope your day today goes well. Susan

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  19. So excited to learn about your new granddaughter! I couldn't imagine moving with all the "stuff" I have but one day we will.
    The cake looks so yummy! I made a German Chocolate cake last week for Jennifer. She was craving one. I use a recipe from my grandmother's cookbook that is very old.
    The apron is so pretty!
    Hugs,
    Donna

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  20. moving is very exciting. i just love unpacking in a new place! your cake looks divine. hope all is well

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  21. That cake sounds and looks so interesting, i can't wait to try it, it looks so delish and you are right the odd ingredient will be so cool to tell people...I have to go back now cause strawberry rhubarb is my fav pie

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  22. IHi Susan, I have never heard of a sauerkraut cake. It does look good. I am one of those who folks sick of winter. We had a few very warm days and now we are back to chilly. I am hoping for some Spring days. Thanks for your visit and comments. Have you seen a post for the traveling apron lately? Joyous Wishes, Linda

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  23. I am so excited for you, both for the move (to the East Coast -- yay!!) and your new granddaughter. So many changes, but I wish you love and hugs and ladybugs as you go through these changes. I'm not a fan of sauerkraut in general but you put it with chocolate, so how bad could that possibly be?? :-) Love you, my friend!

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  24. goodness lots of changes coming to you susan, good luck with the new home search and packing! and a new grandchild! that is the most exciting news. i loved sewing for my dolls and my girls dolls too, i hope you are able to find patterns for your little one!
    yummy delicious cake!

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  25. Ahhh...there's your new little Ginny dollie! She is precious and I know you'll have fun sewing for her. I love dressing some of my dolls...it's half the fun! Enjoy your week my friend!

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  26. Wow, now I would NEVER have thought of putting sauerkraut in cake. But it looks so good!

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  27. Omg! I stumbled across your blog as a link from Blue Moon Scrapbooking. I am now longing for my Ginny Doll, which I haven't seen in over 55 years. Will have to scour E-Bay. I have a passion for aprons, I think they remind me of my grandmother who was my true hero. I still have one of hers that she made by hand, and I treasure it. I am so excited I found your blog and have subscribed to it.

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