Despite its name, German Chocolate Cake is a thoroughly American dessert. Apparently, it was created by an American by the name of Sam German, the man responsible for the creation of Baker's baking chocolate. German Chocolate Cake is essentially a layered chocolate cake with a sweet, coconut-based filling between each layer and on top. Sometimes, the outside is also covered with the filling.
The most recent German Chocolate Cake I had was made using this recipe from Penzey's Spices, made by a friend for another's birthday celebration. It was a very, very sweet cake - almost torturously so. Really, after about five bites, I had to stop because I felt like my teeth were going to fall out and my body was cringing at all the butter I knew went into the recipe. It became a "Ugh...I still have cake on my plate...but I can't eat anymore...but it's so good...but I can't eat anymore" moment. If you like moist, super-sweet, ultra-decadent, make-your-dentist-rich cakes, you'll love that recipe.
Granted, if you're eating a German Chocolate Cake, you probably aren't thinking about dieting or dental caries. And if you do like thinking about the damage to your waist you might be doing, the original German chocolate cake (which isn't as calorie-crazy as a lot of more modern recipes) clocks in at 640 calories a slice. Ouch, a total diet derailer.
A tasty, tasy diet derailer. And none of the "light" German Chocolate Cakes I've found have anywhere near decent reviews, so I'll stick to my once-in-a-blue-moon indulgence.