German’s Chocolate Cake

“German’s Chocolate Cake” with apostrophe-s is an historical name for the dessert which reflects its very origin as a published receipt :

Though cakes with German’s Sweet Chocolate were common across the American South, the first recognized recipe for what we now consider classic German chocolate cake, layered with coconut-pecan filling, came from a homemaker in Dallas, Texas, who submitted the recipe to a newspaper in 1957 as “German’s Chocolate Cake.” The recipe was widely reprinted, and as the cake gained popularity, the possessive “s” was lost from its name, making it simply German chocolate cake, which is what we call it today.
      – p. 49, A World of Cake, Krystina Castella
In 1852, an Englishman named Samuel German, a senior chocolate maker at Walter Baker & Company in Dorchester, Massachusetts, developed a bittersweet chocolate baking bar. The company named the product Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate in honor of Samuel German. In 1957, more than a century later, a Texas homemaker sent a recipe for “German’s Chocolate Cake” to a Dallas newspaper, which published the recipe. The resulting spike in German’s Sweet Chocolate sales prompted General Foods (then owners of Baker’s Chocolate) to send copies of the recipe and photos of the cake to newspapers across the nation. Sales of German’s Sweet Chocolate jumped 73 percent. In 1958, General Foods renamed the recipe German Sweet Chocolate Cake and began printing it on the wrapper of every bar of German’s Sweet Chocolate. Most recipes for the cake drop the apostrophe and the letter s from the word German’s, propagating the fallacy that the cake is German.

.       – p. 113, Joey Green’s Kitchen Magic



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