The Covered Dish: Upside down German chocolate cake


Yum, I say, yum.  You are going to love this delicious cake recipe.  My good friend

P.J. Beisswenger gave it to me a couple of weeks ago.  P.J. (Pam) is my go to

cooking friend here in the Branson West area.  When I describe what this cake

tastes like to someone I call it ‘The Almond Joy’ cake.  As usual I took a bite of the

so-called icing that goes over the top of the cake at the end.  The moment I tasted

it I said to myself, ‘Almond Joy’.

Now let’s get a bit more detailed about the cake.  The most important thing is the

fantastic flavor, however the presentation is a bit lacking.  I highly suggest a

dollop of whipped cream or ice cream over the top.  One friend, a local chef, told

me just to put a layer of icing over the rather ‘rough’ top.  After you taste this

cake you’ll understand that another icing layer is not the ticket.

I would like to address the adding of the ‘icing’ in this dish.  When I made the cake

the first time I tried to smooth out the icing portion of the recipe.  This is really

not necessary, just try to drop even dollops so each serving contains the yum-


When I was growing up I remember my mother making a cake that we kids called,

‘Crater Cake’.  It contained Milky Way bars.  OK, this is what I would call an ‘aside’

in theatre.  I just called my mother.  She said that you certainly know how old her

Milky Way cake was because it lists how many ten cent candy bars to purchase!

While we were talking she says:  “I made a cake a couple of weeks ago called,

‘Earthquake Cake”.  She starts telling me about it and it’s the same cake as what

I’m featuring as:  Upside down German Chocolate Cake.  Different regions,

different names.

I suppose in cooking this is one of my most amusing topics.  Recipes that have the

same contents, just different names.  Often I’ll be featuring a recipe in a class and

guests will say:  ‘Oh we make that in North Dakota, but we call it ____ and we put

potatoes in the dish too.’

This weekend Silver Dollar City re-opens for the 2015 season.  I am saddened to

find my ‘project’ time coming to an end.  However it’s also exciting to look

forward to a new year and the possibilities that lie ahead.  I enjoy meeting new

people and continuing my friendships with established guests.

You know that spring is about here because track season has begun at school and

the youth are busy securing summer jobs.   The buds on our trees have been out

for quite some time and it appears the weather from the last two weeks has left

our plants and trees unscathed.   I’m not holding my breath though, on opening

weekend last year, the park closed due to a snowstorm!

I enjoy all the seasons, but it’s always good to see the ‘rebirth’ of green plants

after the dark days of winter.  Embrace the day, laugh more, and let the messy

house go for another day.  Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Upside down German Chocolate Cake

1 cup sweetened coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix

(Prepare with Box Directions)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter-slight melt

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 (1 pound) box powdered sugar

(3 3/4 cups unsifted powdered sugar)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

9 x 13 glass or metal baking dish

Vegetable spray

Spray baking dish and across the bottom evenly sprinkle the coconut and chopped

pecans.  Prepare the cake mix exactly as the instructions state and pour over the

nuts and coconut.  Note this doesn’t spread well, so do a good job placing batter.

Now soften the butter and cream cheese and whisk together to blend.  Stir in the

powdered sugar until smooth.  Now place dollops of the icing over the cake.

Take the chocolate chips and sprinkle them over the top.  I chose a rather good

brand of chocolate instead of semi-sweet, and my hand was a bit over generous

with the chips.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-55 minutes.

There are no mistakes on the placement of the icing.  It goes down through the

cake and it’s just amazing.  The outcomes looks like a crater on top, but it’s


From the archives of P.J. Beisswenger

I have decided that everyone should visit their friend’s kitchens more often.  One

day while Pam was teaching me how to make her famous oil pie crust I spied this

recipe someplace in her kitchen.  I said:  ‘Oh I’ve been looking for a good German

Chocolate Cake recipe, and this looks extremely interesting.’   If we would spend

more time with our mothers and grandmothers we would find many good recipes

within an arm’s reach!


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