German chocolate cake may be my favorite way to eat chocolate cake–and that’s really saying something! What makes a German chocolate cake so special is the frosting: a regular chocolate layer cake is traditionally topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. The coconut adds another layer of sweetness to the cake, plus a different flavor and texture that you wouldn’t get with a normal frosting. But the most interesting fact about German chocolate cake is it isn’t German at all! It was created by an American baker, Sam German, who developed a brand of dark baking chocolate used for the cake. I wonder if many people go to Germany and get really disappointed to find they have no coconut on top of their chocolate cake!

One of the best ways to find some great food in New York City is to hit the remote. The Food Network’s studios are located in Chelsea, and many of their celebrity chefs own and operate outstanding restaurants all over the city. So whenever their programming is set to highlight restaurants or good eats somewhere, you can bet at least one of those stops will be somewhere in the city. And for Bobby Flay’s show Throwdown–where Flay challenges home and restaurant cooks at the foods they cook best–he always finds some great cook in New York to challenge. For his German chocolate cake challenge, he went all the way up to Harlem to Make My Cake, a bakery with a demanding title but a super sweet product. Their German chocolate cake is light on the coconut and heavy on the chocolate, adding chocolate chips to the frosting for an extra bit of chocolatey flavor. And although Make My Cake ultimately lost to Flay in the throwdown, it’s still an honor to be highlighted as one of the best German chocolate cakes in the city–even the entire country. And that’s definitely a great distinction!

Make My Cake
121 St Nicholas Ave

Some reviews from

“Moist, decadent and just plain amazing. They add their own twist to the traditional German Chocolate cake by dropping the coconut in the frosting and adding chocolate chips to the frosted layer filing. Brilliant! You also get a pretty generous slice of cake. By all means, if you are a fan of German Chocolate cake, I can think of no other place you should go to get your fix. It was worth every calorie and extra time at the gym.”–Natasha L.

“Featured on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown, this bakery in Harlem serves up some incredible German chocolate cake. Really, it is the best I have ever had. For $11, I was able to walk out with two very generous slices of cake to take home. The chocolate cake was really moist, and the icing was just incredible. I never cared for this cake much as a kid, because it would be laden with strings of coconut, giving it a most displeasing texture. They avoid that route all together here. If there is coconut in the icing, it is incidental. The icing wasn’t overdone either, and it really had a nice balance of flavor. I loved the surprise use of chocolate chips too which added texture and of course sweetness.”–Jim U.


Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!