Chocolate baked oatmeal with a caramel, coconut and pecan filling. Gluten-free and vegan.
‘German Chocolate Cake’ is probably one of the biggest misnomers around. Just like Baked Alaska wasn’t created in Alaska, German Chocolate Cake doesn’t originate from Germany. Instead, it’s named after an American, Sam German.
German was a chocolatier who created a baking chocolate in 1852 for Walter Baker & Company. The chocolate was called ‘Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate’. Then, nearly a century later in 1957, a woman from Texas – Mrs. Clay – sent her recipe for ‘German’s Chocolate Cake’ (using the Walter Baker & Company chocolate) to the Dallas Morning Star, where it was published as the newspaper’s ‘Recipe of the Day’.
The recipe was republished by other newspapers, and somewhere along the line the ‘s was dropped, and it became ‘German Chocolate Cake’.
Sorry Germans, but this cake belongs squarely to Texas.
Regardless of where it’s from, I absolutely love the combination of chocolate, coconut and pecans. For me, it’s right up there with the classic combinations of peanut butter and chocolate, apple and cinnamon, and banana and walnuts.
Since I also love baked oatmeal, this breakfast is pretty much all my Christmases at once.
So, what’s in this baked oatmeal? It’s a basic chocolate oatmeal with a coconut-pecan-caramel filling and topping.
The baked oatmeal is extra moist thanks to pumpkin – yet another one of my favorite foods (yep, this breakfast really is Christmas for me). However, you won’t be able to taste the pumpkin, unless your vegetable was particularly flavorsome.
I used fresh pumpkin puree, although canned should be fine. To make fresh pumpkin puree, all you need to do is roast some pumpkin and then puree it in a blender or food processor.
(I never feel quite right unless there’s pumpkin in my fridge!)
Now we come to the filling/topping. The caramel flavor comes from dates, the ‘body’ comes from more pumpkin puree and some applesauce, and then there’s plenty of coconut and pecans for crunchiness.
Also, you know, it is supposed to be German Chocolate Cake.
Without the coconut and pecans, German Chocolate Cake would just be sad.
The recipe for the filling/topping makes more than you’ll need for this recipe. I tried making a smaller batch, but my mini food processor just wouldn’t puree everything together.
By the way, I highly recommend using a mini food processor – and not just for this recipe. They’re easy to clean, can process small quantities well, and are cheaper than full-sized processors. If you’re anything like me, then ‘easier to clean’ is all you need to hear.
What will we do with the rest of this caramel-coconut-pecan filling? Well, you’ll have to wait and see what’s in store next week!
While Germany can’t claim ownership of German Chocolate Cake, they’ll always have Black Forest Cake (otherwise known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). And as you may have guessed from these pancakes, overnight oats, baked oatmeal, and smoothie recipes, I’m rather fond of Black Forest too.
Question of the Day
Do you have a favorite chocolate combination? Peanut butter and chocolate? Chocolate raspberry? German chocolate? Mint chocolate? Chocolate and vanilla marble?
While it’s an impossible choice, I think my favorite chocolatey combination is pumpkin and chocolate. But I’m ridiculously indecisive, so my favorite changes every week!
- ⅔ cup pumpkin or squash puree
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup almond milk
- 4 - 5 heaping tablespoons Coconut Pecan Caramel Filling (recipe follows)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- 8 pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two ramekins.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Add the rolled oats, baking powder and salt. Pour in the almond milk, and mix until well combined.
- Divide (approximately) half the oatmeal batter between the two prepared ramekins. Add 1 - 2 heaping tablespoons of Coconut Pecan Caramel Filling to each ramekin, and then top with the remaining oatmeal batter.
- Bake for 18 to 24 minutes. A shorter baking time (18 - 20 minutes) will yield a soft, fudgy oatmeal, whereas a longer baking time (22 - 24 minutes) will result in a firmer, slightly chewy oatmeal. If removing the baked oatmeals from the ramekins, allow them to cool for 5 minutes first.
- Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of Coconut Pecan Caramel Filling over each baked oatmeal. Top with the shredded coconut and pecan halves. Enjoy!
- 10 dried dates, chopped
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons applesauce
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 6 tablespoons shredded coconut (divided)
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- In a mini food processor (or the smallest bowl of a regular-sized processor), combine the chopped dates, pumpkin puree, applesauce, hot water and 4 tablespoons of shredded coconut. Let sit for 15 minutes (don’t process yet).
- Process the mixture until relatively smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary. If the mixture won’t become smooth, let it sit for a few more minutes, and then try again.
- Stir in the remaining shredded coconut and chopped pecans. Store in the fridge.