Many people took it on faith that the cake was German in origin, but even a cursory examination would have undermined that assumption: traditional German-style layer cakes are usually filled with whipped cream, jam, or both, and coconut and pecans are par-for-the-course Southern dessert ingredients. So, whence the name? Like many desserts of the postwar era, the cake called for a store-bought product, in this case German's Sweet Chocolate, an ingredient originally manufactured by the venerable Walter Baker & Co. of Dorchester, Massachusetts. (The product's name was derived from that of Samuel German, who developed the chocolate for the company back in 1852, adding to it an optimal amount of sugar for baking.) In fact, desserts made with German's Sweet Chocolate, such as "German Chocolate Pie," custards, and puddings, had been popular since the latter half of the 19th century. But it was Mrs. Clay's recipe that put German's Sweet Chocolate on the map. Within a year of the recipe's publication, Walter Baker & Co. capitalized on the cake's popularity by printing a recipe for German chocolate cake on every box of its sweet chocolate. Today the company (now owned by Kraft) sells more than 1.7 million boxes—still bearing the recipe—each year.