Kid-friendly German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup + Coco-Loco-Cocoa Na-Na-Na Smoothie Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup + Coco-Loco-Cocoa Na-Na-Na Smoothies

Family Meal Plan: German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup + Coco-Loco-Cocoa Na-Na-Na Smoothie

German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup + Coco-Loco-Cocoa Na-Na-Na Smoothies

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Africa Studio/
prep time
30 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
6-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup

This recipe creates some whimsical layer cakes for breakfast (and lunch and dinner)! Cakes for Breakfast? We say, "Yes please, and why not?!" Did you know that German Chocolate Cake is not German at all? It is as American pie. 

I love German Chocolate Cake. My family loves German Chocolate Cake. These are delicious, bite-sized versions of German Chocolate Cake filled with Coconut Cream Syrup for when you are on the go. Since cake is not always the most convenient dessert—you need a knife for cutting and plates and forks for eating—it's a whole big thing. An event, if you will. No one casually eats a piece of cake while running errands or sitting in the car line at school. (As a side note, a piece of cake would make the car line a lot more bearable, am I right?) 

That's where these sandwich cakes come in. You get all the fun and flavor of German Chocolate Cake with none of the inconvenience. There is something about the combination of coconut and chocolate that is so perfect. The filling is creamy and extra coconutty. Kids LOVE them! Did I forget to mention that this is a vegan recipe? It is, and you'll also forget after your first bite!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Shopping List

  • 3 to 4 bananas
  • 4 to 5 C coconut milk (from can or carton)
  • 2 T lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 3/4 C cocoa powder **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 to 7 T honey/sugar/agave nectar/coconut sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C coconut flakes + optional additional to top smoothies
  • paper cupcake liners for muffin pan
  • 2 to 3 cup ice

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • halve :

    to divide ingredients into two equal parts or to reduce an ingredient measure or weight by half.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • mash :

    to reduce food, like potatoes or bananas, to a soft, pulpy state by beating or pressure.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • sprinkle :

    to scatter small drops or particles of an ingredient evenly or randomly over food. 

  • wet vs dry :

    to mix wet and dry ingredients separately before combining them: dry ingredients are flours, leavening agents, salt, and spices; wet ingredients are those that dissolve or can be dissolved (sugar, eggs, butter, oils, honey, vanilla, milk, and juices).

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Paper cupcake liners
  • Toothpicks
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)


German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup

  • 3 C coconut milk (from can or carton), divided
  • 2 T lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 1 to 2 bananas
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 to 5 T honey/sugar/agave nectar, divided
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • paper cupcake liners
  • 1/4 C coconut flakes

Coco-Loco-Cocoa Na-Na-Na Smoothies

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 to 2 C coconut milk (from can or carton)
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 2 T honey/sugar/agave nectar (kids add to taste!)
  • 2 to 3 cups ice
  • coconut flakes, optional to top smoothies

Food Allergen Substitutions

German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour for all-purpose flour in Cake Sandwiches.
  • Chocolate/Cocoa: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder in Cake Sandwiches.


German Chocolate Cake Sandwiches + Coconut Cream Syrup


German Chocolate Cake is NOT German at all! But that won’t stop us from learning a little German when we cook! While chopping, whipping, whisking, and slicing, count to 10 in German: 1 eins (eyehns), 2 zwei (zvie), 3 drei (dry), 4 vier (Fee-Uh), 5 fünf (foohnf)—my favorite to say!, 6 sechs (zecks), 7 sieben (zieben), 8 acht (oct), 9 neun (noyn), and 10 zehn (sayn).

add + mix + curdle

Start by mixing-up the milk for the pancake batter! Have kids add 2 cups of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside for a few minutes. It will curdle, but that is okay—this is what you want! This will be your "buttermilk."


Have your child chop up 1 banana into tiny bits and set aside.

measure + mix

In a large bowl, have kids measure and mix together the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 3 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and set them to the side.

add + whip

Have your kids measure and add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 3 to 4 tablespoons honey into the bowl with the milk. Then add the chopped bananas into the milk mixture and have your kids whip everything together.

combine + rest

Form a well in the dry ingredients and now kids get to carefully pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined and set aside for a few minutes to give the baking soda time to work with the lemon juice. This will give you a nice and thick cake batter (we want this thick!).

preheat + line

Adults, in the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 F and have kids line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

bake + cool

When your oven is preheated, have kids scoop batter 1/2 full into the paper-lined muffin pan. It is really thick, so you may need to spread it with a spoon to get it smooth. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly brown (test with a toothpick!). While the mini-cakes cool, have the kids make the Coconut Cream Syrup (next step).

measure + combine

Have kids measure and combine 1 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup coconut flakes (add more to thicken if you want to), 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon honey into a small bowl and whisk together well.

halve + fill + eat

Have kids cut each cake in half. Spoon the Coconut Cream Syrup onto one half, make a sandwich and eat! Have a bite and don’t forget to say, “Das ist lecker!” ("This is delicious!") in German.

Coco-Loco-Cocoa Na-Na-Na Smoothies


Perfect for satisfying a fierce chocolate craving, this smoothie is rich and dessert-like, but full of good stuff. And it's only 4 ingredients, 5 if you count the ice.

chop + add

Have kids chop up 2 bananas. Add the banana to your blender (or pitcher + immersion blender).

measure + blend

Next, have kids measure and add 1 to 2 cups coconut milk, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons honey, and 2 to 3 cups ice to the blender with the banana. Add your lid and blend, blend, blend!

pour + sprinkle

After the smoothies are blended and thick, pour them into tall glasses and sprinkle the top with optional coconut flakes, if using, and enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Coconut!

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Photo by yaroshenko/Adobe Stock

Hi! I’m Coconut!

"Knock, Knock! Who's there? Coco. Coco Who? Coco Nut! You guessed it! I'm a Coconut! I'm kind of like the moon because you can sort of see a face on my outer shell. See those indentations? They could be my eyes and nose! (Or maybe you see a really small, hairy bowling ball!) I may be a hard case to crack, but I'm tasty inside! Try me flaked or shredded, sweetened or unsweetened, in cookies, pies, cakes, salads, and shakes! Yum!"


  • Coconuts are native to tropical islands in the Pacific around Southeast Asia, but they were spread around the globe by explorers hundreds of years ago. 
  • In Thailand, for about 400 years, pigtailed macaque monkeys have been trained to pick coconuts.
  • In the United States, you can write an address on the outside of a coconut, slap on the correct postage, and drop the whole thing in the mail. Amazing! Yes, coconuts are mailable as long as they are presented in a dry condition and not oozing fruit juice! Try it! 
  • A coconut can survive months of floating in the ocean, and when it washes up on a beach, it can germinate into a tree! 
  • Globally, coconut oil was the leading oil until the 1960s, when soybean oil overtook it.
  • May 8 is "National Coconut Cream Pie Day" in the United States.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Coconuts are related to olives, peaches, and plums. Coconuts are NOT nuts; they are big seeds!
  • The term "coconut" can refer to the whole coconut palm tree, the seed, or the fruit, which technically is a drupe, not a nut! A drupe refers to a fleshy fruit with a stony seed inside that's protected with thin skin or hard, stony covering. Examples are peaches, coconuts, and olives. The word "drupe" comes from "drupa," meaning overripe olive. 
  • An average coconut palm produces about 30 coconuts a year, although it's possible for a tree to yield 75 to 100 annually. 
  • A coconut will ripen in about a year; however, if you want to harvest it for the coconut water, it will be ready within six to seven months. If you shake a coconut and hear water sloshing around, it's not fully ripe, and there won't be as much meat.
  • The outer skin of the coconut covers a thick, fibrous husk, which can be used for making ropes, mats, brushes, sacks, caulking for boats, and stuffing for mattresses.  
  • Coconut leaves have many uses, too, such as making brooms, weaving baskets or mats, or drying for thatch roofing.
  • Traditionally, the trunk of the coconut palm tree was used for its wood to build boats, bridges, houses, and huts.
  • The word "coconut" comes from the mid-16th-century Spanish and Portuguese word "coco," which can mean "bogeyman" or "grinning face" after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • The coconut comes from the coconut palm tree. These trees prefer hot weather. Where in the world do you think they grow? Throughout the tropics and subtropical parts of Earth, in over 80 countries! 
  • The three highest coconut-producing countries are the Philippines, Indonesia, and India. 
  • The coconut palm tree can grow up to 98 feet tall!  
  • Coconut milk is sweet and water-like but eventually dries out as the coconut ripens.
  • The coconut palm is sometimes referred to as the "Tree of Life" because it's useful from top to bottom. Except for the roots, every part of the coconut tree is harvested in the tropical areas where coconut palms are common.  
  • If buying a coconut whole, choose one that feels heavy for its size. Young coconuts will be full of coconut water and covered in a green, smooth shell with tender flesh. While older, mature coconuts have a more brown and fibrous outer shell with firmer and drier meat inside.
  • Coconuts are not easy to open! You have to forcefully crack them open to get to the edible goodness inside.
  • Coconut meat can be dried and shredded and used in salads, baked recipes, sprinkled over fruit, and enjoyed as a snack. It can also be eaten fresh and added to smoothies. 
  • Coconut water is hydrating and can be enjoyed straight or poured over ice with other juices for a refreshing treat. 


  • Electrolytes! Fresh coconut water is a source of electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and manganese. What do electrolytes do? They replenish the body by helping our muscles to move, our hearts to beat, and our brain cells to communicate with each other. 
  • Coconuts are rich in a type of fat called lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. These properties help prevent us from getting sick by protecting our immune system.
  • Coconut is very nutritious and has lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "highly functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. 
  • Pacific Islanders especially value coconut oil for its health and cosmetic benefits.


History of German Chocolate Cake!

Photo by Chalermsak/
  • German Chocolate Cake has an interesting history. Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. Instead, its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American baker Sam German developed dark baking chocolate for Baker's Chocolate Company. The company called it "Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate" in honor of him.
  • On June 3, 1957, a "German's Chocolate Cake" recipe appeared as the "Recipe of the Day" in the Dallas Morning Star. Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker from Dallas, Texas, created it. This recipe used the baking chocolate introduced 105 years prior and became quite popular. General Foods, which owned the Baker's brand at that time, took notice and quickly distributed the new cake recipe to other newspapers in the country. As a result, sales of Baker's Chocolate are said to have increased by as much as 73 percent, and the cake became popular nationwide. 
  • The possessive form, German's, was dropped in subsequent publications, forming the "German Chocolate Cake" identity we know today, giving the false impression of a German origin. Today, it is still popular, and you can find cake mixes and ready-made frosting to make the cake at home or abundant recipes to make it from scratch.
  • This sweet chocolate cake is distinguished by its unusual topping. Instead of a typical frosting, like buttercream, German chocolate cake has a caramel custard frosting made with egg yolks, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract, flaked coconut, and chopped pecans.

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/ (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

That's Berry Funny

Where do intergalactic coconuts grab a drink?

At the Milky Way!

Lettuce Joke Around

A child came out of the dentist's office after having a tooth pulled and ...

... asked mom for a hug and a quiche.

THYME for a Laugh

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who’s there?"

"Ben and Anna."

"Ben and Anna who?"

(no answer—Ben and Anna (banana) split)

THYME for a Laugh

"Knock, knock!" 

"Who's there?"


"Coco Who?"

"Coco Nut!"

Lettuce Joke Around

Why don't coconuts have money? 

Because people milk them dry.

THYME for a Laugh

What did one coconut say to the other?

"Got milk?"

THYME for a Laugh

Why are bananas never lonely? 

Because they hang around in bunches!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? 

A Candy Baa!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call people who like to drink hot chocolate all year long? 


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