Sunday, January 23, 2011

G's Birthday and German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Friday was G's birthday, and so for two weeks, he thought I was too old for him. This happens every year, and he thinks it's hilarious each time. I thought I'd show you how we enjoyed the cuisine for his day, as well as the small gathering my mom threw the next evening to celebrate his milestone. For his birthday cake, I made his favorite: German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting. I've gratefully adapted and used both recipes for a few years from some I've seen online in a few spots, and of course, I've made minor adjustments for my clan. Happy Birthday, G!

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

We had lunch out at one of the Sacramento area's oldest vegetarian spots, the Sunflower Drive-In. Here, I'm enjoying their nutburger (veganized) with chips and salsa.

Here is one of Sunflower's resident chickens that visit the diners.

Here is G's requested birthday dinner: slow cooked pinto beans, fried potatoes cut his favorite way: julienned, and corn bread. I made him unsweetened cornbread in his own star pan, and sweetened the children's and mine into teddy bears. It's not much of a different menu from last year's.

On Saturday night, my parents took us out to Thai Takieng, where I enjoyed a small bowl of Hot and Sour Soup...

...and Red Curry with Tofu. Delicious. Excellent. Superb.

My amazing mom insisted on baking all the goodies for G's small party. She has three different kinds of cookies, two bars, and a birthday cake - all vegan. The only thing that's not vegan are the Raiders M&Ms. And, yes, G thoroughly enjoyed the Raider theme. Thanks, Mom!

Here is what the German Chocolate Cake looked like the morning after G's birthday. I guess five hungry vegans know how to make a dent in a birthday cake! G did NOT want me to skimp on the inside layer of frosting, so I made a large amount to ensure that he would have enough!

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting


3 cups of flour
6 Tbs. of cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups vegan or raw sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of canola oil
2 Tbs. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups cold water


2 sticks of vegan margarine
1 and 1/2 cup of vegan or raw sugar
3 cups of shredded coconut
2 cups of pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup soy milk
2 tsp. vanilla


For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour two round cake pans, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour through the salt. Make three deep wells, and pour the oil in one, the vinegar in a second, and the vanilla in the third. (I have made this cake without making the wells, and just mixing the wet ingredients separately and then adding to the dry. For some reason, the cake bakes quicker and makes a thicker batter when creating the wells. Don't ask me why. I have seen this in other recipes, though, too.) Pour the cold water over all the wells, and thoroughly mix well. My mixer broke on Christmas Eve, so I mixed this by hand, and it turned out great. Divide between the two cake pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling rack for fifteen minutes. Then, turn cakes out on rack and finish cooling.

For the frosting: Once the cakes are cooled, begin making the frosting. In a medium pot, heat all the ingredients over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the margarine is completely melted, remove from heat. Let cool for ten minutes, and spread half on the bottom cake layer and the other half on the top layer. Leave the sides bare. Feeds five hungry vegans over a couple of days.


  1. So much awesome food in this post! That cake looks awesome! Why do I have a feeling I will see this cake again soon, Shen??? Love the thai food and chicken friend. Once spring comes around I plan on asking our landlord if He would mind if I got a couple chickens.

  2. Thanks, Carissa! I look forward to seeing chicken pics, if your landlord says yes. :-)

  3. The cake is a keeper and I hope to make it soon.

    Seems like your hubby had very nice birthday celebrations! Great family!!

    Thank you for sharing!


  4. there is a chicken that lives at that restaurant! *jaw on the floor!!* you have got to be kidding? i need to bring LIlly there!! great, no, EXCELLENT choice for your birthday G!

    that cake is a monster!

    teddy bear shaped corn bread! sooo cute!

  5. I'm going to dub you Queen of Cakes! You got it down! :)

    All the food looks great (Happy B-day to G!), I really like the sound of that nutburger...and Thai food is just naturally awesome.

    So sweet of your mom and dad to go all our for their son in law!

    Love that chicken! Adorable. I would love to eat at a restaurant like that.

  6. you have no idea how you are killing me with all that good food. Those dishes look amazing and the sweets are even better.


  7. Happy belated birthday, G! How I wish we lived near each other so we could have vegan kid parties together! :)

  8. i second Jenny, iwish we ALL lived closer, so i could go to the parties too!(LOL)

  9. Thanks, Wild Magnolia. I hope you like the cake as much as we do. :-)

    Bring Lilly on over, Michelle! It would be interesting to see a duck interact with chickens.

    Rose, I do seem to be making a lot of cakes, for some reason, aren't I? My parents sure do love G, and I'm really happy they all get along so well. :-)

    Sorry, Millie! :-)

    Sounds great, Jenny, but you'd have to move to CA. G had his fill of TX in the military! :-)

    Michelle, are you going to organize something? :-)

  10. Glad G's bday was a success. The only chicken involved was alive and well -- not in his soup.

    The German Chocolate Cake looks perfect but my man is afraid of Coconut and I need to take a break from desserts that I'm solely responsible for consuming.

  11. What a great birthday day...Happy (late) Birthday G!
    That cake looks and sounds amazing! My husband would love it. So, I see that cake in my very near future! :o)

  12. I just got really hungry reading this post! The cake looks so wonderful and the food..must go eat lunch :)

    Looks like things are going well with you and your beautiful family, blessedmama :)


  13. Oh, another January birthday- happy birthday, G! The cake looks incredible. I love chocolate and pecans.

  14. I love that cake, it is so pretty!
    Happy Birthday G
    I love chickens anywhere, so that would be awesome with me. I used to have chickens. I loved them lots!

  15. S.V., thank goodness no soup in our food! Too bad about Mr. S.V. being scared of coconut.

    Michelle, let me know how the cake turns out for you. :-)

    Maggie, funny how pics of food can make us hungry. Things are going great here, how about you?

    Oh, yes, Jessica, and another one right around the corner in February. Get ready for another cake!

    Hi, B! Chickens are a great addition to this restaurant and its general neighborhood. It makes eating fun!

  16. HAppy birthday to G. It looks like he hit the jackpot for his birthday this year. So, do you keep him in the house during those two weeks?

  17. My husband picks on me too because I am 5 weeks older than him. Every year he pokes about me being the older woman! The cake looks amazing! Sounds like he had an incredible birthday!

  18. Andrea, good idea! I hadn't thought of that one. I should keep his humor all to myself!

    Sarena, oh, I'm so glad to hear you are blessed with as hysterical a husband as mine!

  19. So much delicious looking food! I must try your chocolate cake recipe... I've been meaning to try hot and sour soup for some time. Looks tasty!
    Happy belated birthday, G.!


  20. Penny, let me know how you like it if you try it. You've got to give hot and sour soup a try. I just love all Asian soups!