Celebration Cake

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 55m

Serves 16

We love Emily Luchetti's variation on German chocolate cake: hers has white layers and a rich, bittersweet chocolate frosting.


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Coconut Pecan Filling
  • Chocolate Frosting

Companion recipe: Chocolate Frosting Coconut Pecan Filling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position 2 racks in the middle and lower thirds.

Line the bottoms of three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment or wax paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the cake and all-purpose flours with the baking

powder and salt. Combine the milk and vanilla in a small pitcher.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture resembles moist sand, about 3 minutes. Beat in the flour mixture at low speed in 3 batches, alternating with the milk mixture; stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating at medium speed between additions.

Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the layers are light golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn each out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Invert onto another rack and let cool completely.

Center a cake layer on a platter and spread one-third of the Coconut Pecan Filling over the top, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edge. Set a second cake layer on top of the first and spread another third of the filling on top. Cover with the third cake layer. Spread the top and side of the cake with the Chocolate Frosting. Spread the remaining Coconut Pecan Filling over the frosting on the top, leaving a 1-inch border.


The sweetness of this decadently delicious cake would overwhelm most dessert wines, but a sweet cream sherry from Spain, such as Harvey's Bristol Cream, can match the sugariness and will also echo the coconut, pecan and chocolate flavors.


The unfrosted cake layers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month.

Courtesy Emily Luchetti.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 1910

nutrition information per serving

250 calories; 8g total fat; 70mg cholesterol; 156mg sodium; 42g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 4g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Cooking.com Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow Cooking.com