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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

German Chocolate Ice Cream with Coconut Pecan Caramel Swirl

German Chocolate cake says birthday to me. The tall- tiered cake, dripping in caramel frosting with coconut and pecans, crowned with colorful flickering candles on top... Oh happy day!

Ice cream making mode was on thanks to fresh cream from Oberweis Dairy when the image of this German Chocolate cake came to mind. Why not turn that childhood memory into a super yummy frozen treat?

I set out to make a German Chocolate ice cream rather than a basic ice cream with cake mixed in; the result is super creamy and chocolaty delicious. What really brings the full cake flavor together is the layer of caramel coconut pecan swirl. It's basically frosting for your ice cream, but it stays creamy when frozen.

I couldn't resist adding a candle to the ice cream scoop; this is now embedded in my memory in place of that tiered cake. Kids of all ages will love this Fat and Happy rendition of a birthday classic.

Tips and techniques: I felt like I made just a bit too much frosting swirl and did not layer the entire batch with the ice cream; it just depends on your taste preference. Using all of the swirl will just give a little sweeter ice cream.

German Chocolate Ice Cream with Coconut Pecan Caramel Swirl

German Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups cream
1 cup half n half
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbls cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 ounces of German chocolate
1 cup Greek yogurt

Heat the cream, half and half and 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat, just below boiling. While the cream is heating, whip the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until they are pale, creamy and doubled in size. Temper the eggs with the hot cream by adding in just a drizzle of the cream to the eggs at a time. This will keep the eggs from cooking or scrambling.

Pour the egg mixture back into the pan and return to medium low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla and continue to cook until the custard thickens. Stir often with  a wooden spoon, check the thickness of the custard by running your finger along the back side of the spoon. If the custard is thickened, your finger line will stay.

Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the melted German chocolate and a pinch of salt. Place the custard in an ice bath to cool. Cover and place the custard in the refrigerator overnight to steep.

Before placing in the ice cream maker, stir in the Greek yogurt. Process according to the ice cream makers directions.

Make the Coconut Pecan Caramel Swirl ahead of time so it has time to cool before the ice cream comes out of the ice cream maker, this can be done the night before and kept in the fridge.

To add in the coconut pecan caramel swirl, the best method is to layer it with the ice cream rather than to swirl it in the ice cream maker. Do layer this when the ice cream comes out of the ice cream maker so it is still a little soft and pliable. Choose the container that will hold the ice cream, add a layer of ice cream and then a thinner layer of the German chocolate frosting. Repeat until you have used up all the ice cream and swirl. . Place in the freezer until solid.

Coconut Pecan Caramel Swirl

4 Tbls butter
5 oz evaporated milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut
1/2  cup pecans

Place the butter, evaporated milk and brown sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a soft boil and hold there for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. Cool, follow the directions above to layer with the German Chocolate Ice Cream.


  1. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

  2. The recipe says to "stir in the greek yogurt" but there is no amount given in the ingredients list.

  3. Good catch- I just fixed that; it should be 1 cup of Greek yogurt. You're going to love it!

  4. I prepped the batter last night, it looks great so far. I don't know if I'll be able to really judge the final outcome - not a huge fan of coconut. My fiancé's family likes German Chocolate cake, I have made them brownie and cookie variations before. It's his Grandpa's 84th birthday so I wanted to bring something a little different and I am in LOVE with the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid - just got it a few months ago. I'll have to go by what everyone else thinks but I am excited for it.

  5. This is a perfect dessert for an 84th summer birthday! Can't wait to hear how it worked out for you.

  6. I didn't taste it but my mom had some, and my fiancé's family just loved it. Great recipe, thanks!

  7. So glad the family liked it; now you need to make one of my other ice creams for you!

  8. How much ice cream does it make?

  9. Hi- this makes about 1 to 1.5 quarts. My ice cream maker is a 2qt bucket and this fits in nicely with room to freeze.

  10. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot! SubZero, Viking Ice Maker Repair Montecito



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