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German Chocolate Mini Trifles Are Full of Memories

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A German Chocolate Cake has been a tradition at Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember.  My Dad’s birthday was November 22, always falling around Thanksgiving.  With this being his favorite cake, it was a given we would have it for dessert.  There usually was a traditional birthday cake, or maybe a pie, but you could count on this.  This German Chocolate Mini Trifles Are Full of Memories for me, and passing along to my family.

Full disclosure here:  This is the original recipe which has been made for many years, just a Ganache was added.  This is a perfect cake, so why try to change it.  I wanted to offer alternate ideas for serving.

German Chocolate Mini Trifles

An all time favorite cake kicked up a notch by making mini trifles, and adding chocolate ganache.


  • 1 pkg., 4 oz. BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can, 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 2/3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans - for topping


  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Spray a 9" x 13" cake pan with vegetable spray.
  4. Cover bottom with parchment paper.
  5. Microwave chocolate and water in small glass bowl on Hihg for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.
  6. Chocolate should almost be melted.
  7. Stir til chocolate is completly melted.
  8. Let this mixture cool.
  9. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  10. Set egg whites aside.
  11. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
  12. Set flour mixture aside.
  13. In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar.
  14. Beat until light and fluffy.
  15. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time.
  16. Beat well after each yolk addition.
  17. Add cooled, melted chocolate and vanilla.
  18. Add flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk.
  19. Always begin and end with dry ingredients.
  20. Mix until just blended.
  21. Add beaten egg whites.
  22. Fold half of beaten egg whites into mixture.
  23. Fold gently to incorporate.
  24. Add remaining egg whites.
  25. Fold gently to incorporate.
  26. Pour into prepared pan.
  27. Bake 30 minutes.
  28. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  29. Run a knife around the edge of pan.
  30. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes.
  31. Remove from pan and cool on rack until completely cool.
  32. Prepare Coconut Pecan Frosting and Ganache.
  34. In a large saucepan, blend egg yolks, milk and vanilla.
  35. Stir in sugar and butter.
  36. Cook over medium heat about 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown.
  37. Remove from heat.
  38. Stir in coconut and nuts.
  39. Mix well.
  40. Cool completely to spreading consistency.
  42. Pour heavy whipping cream into a medium glass bowl.
  43. Microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  44. Stir and check the temperature.
  45. It should be very hot, but not boiling.
  46. Microwave for 30 more seconds.
  47. Check temperature again.
  48. Microwave again if necessary.
  49. Add chocolate chips.
  50. Let set 3 - 4 minutes.
  51. Stir constantly until well mixed.
  52. This might take a few minutes.
  53. Let set until cool and thickened.
  55. Cut cooled cake into 1" cubes.
  56. Cut each cube in half.
  57. Place layer of cubes into small trifle bowls.
  58. Add a tablespoon of frosting.
  59. Add a teaspoon of ganache.
  60. Repeat these three layers.
  61. Top with a few chopped pecans.


This should make 10 - 12 small trifles.
For large trifle bowl, bake 3 - 9" layers.
Layer as you do small trifles.
No small trifle bowls, use a mason jar.
No large trifle bowl, use salad bowl or small punch bowl.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2204Total Fat: 138gSaturated Fat: 74gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 57gCholesterol: 467mgSodium: 1143mgCarbohydrates: 231gFiber: 12gSugar: 181gProtein: 26g

Nutritional facts are just estimates. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double-check against our estimates.

A Trifle was an accident in the beginning

I actually did it in a large trifle bowl one year – quite by accident.

My oven kicked on high and burned the top and edges pretty bad but the center was fine.  I cut away all the burnt edges and layered the three layers in the bowl with frosting between each.  The top was decorated with pecans.  No one knew the story behind it – until now.

German Chocolate Mini Trifles Are Full of Memories

This is a great recipe for any occasion so make sure you have a Pinterest Board for Desserts.

A few helpful photos for making this delicious recipe.  Several steps to this recipe, but well worth it in the end.

Have your cake ingredients at room temperature.

Bake in a 9″ x 13″ sheet pan.

After cooling, cut into squares.

Layer One – cake squares in mini trifle bowls.

Add a dollop of Ganache.

Add your Coconut Pecan Frosting and an additional sprinkling of pecans.

Using the mini trifle bowls, or even a mason jar, is a cute presentation.  For a buffet or dessert bar, just pick up and go is so much easier than slicing a cake.

What’s a favorite recipe you have changed up but it’s still a favorite?

Make the cake ahead of time

This cake can be made ahead of time and frozen for later use.  Wrap in plastic wrap – two layers, then in aluminum foil, and freeze on a baking sheet.  Thaw on the counter – about an hour should be good.

German Chocolate Mini Trifles Are Full of Memories 

Memories for me – what is some of yours?

Here’s another couple of favorites for Thanksgiving, and really any time of the year.

Cocoa Ritz Pie

Oreo Pumpkin Trifle Dessert

Another idea for assembling these, layered in a mason jar as I did in this Peach Cream Cake recipe.

Do you love German Chocolate Cake as much as I do?  Don’t tell anyone, but I have been known just to make the Coconut Pecan Frosting and eaten it alone.  Anyone else?  #judgementfreezone

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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