Go ahead and say the secret ingredient


For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup water

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups homemade sauerkraut, rinsed, drained and chopped

½ cup chopped pecans

For the frosting:

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

⅔ cup mayonnaise

⅓ cup sweetened, shredded coconut

⅓ cup pecans, chopped

Everyone loves chocolate cake because it’s probably the best kind of cake every invented. Yes, there are naysayers out there who may claim a different kind of cake is better, but those people have already been identified as naysayers, so we’re going to ignore them. Now, while chocolate cake is the best, that doesn’t mean it there isn’t any room for improvement.

Our spin on the classic German Chocolate Cake makes it a bit more German with the secret inclusion of sauerkraut. Not a gross-out ingredient, the sauerkraut brings a richness and depth to flavor that even the pickiest eater would enjoy.

Step One. Prepare the oven

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour three 9″ cake pans.

Step Two. Prepare the dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Step Three. Prepare the wet ingredients

In a bowl, whisk together the water, eggs and vanilla.

Step Four. Prepare the wet ingredients

Beat together the butter and sugar until it is fluffy, making sure to scrape down the ides of the bowl. Once they are well incorporated, alternatively add the mixed dry and wet ingredients together until combined.

Step Five. Add the secret ingredients

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the sauerkraut and pecans into the cake mixture.

Step Six. Bake the cakes

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. During the bake time, rotate the pans for more even baking. When the cakes are baked, remove them from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Remembered to remove the parchment paper.

Step Seven. Prepare the frosting

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted chocolate and mayonnaise together, separating 2 cups. This will be used as the frosting. To the remaining melted chocolate and mayonnaise, add 1/3 cup of the coconut and 1/3 cup of the chopped pecans. This will be used as the filling.

Step Eight. Fill and frost

Top two of the cakes with the filling mixture, and assemble the cake together, placing the bare cake on the top. Using the reserved frosting, top the assembled cake and sides. Refrigerate until when ready to serve.

To mix this recipe up, skip the inclusion of the pecans and coconut from the cake and the rich, German Chocolate filling, and you could use the recipe for Black Forest Cake or a plain chocolate cake with a strawberry filling and whipped cream topping. Great for cupcakes, our recipe is a fun change-up to the classic chocolate cake recipe.