German Chocolate Cake


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Delve into the world of decadence with a timeless treat – the German Chocolate Cake. This rich and moist cake, adorned with its signature coconut-pecan frosting, is a masterpiece that originated in the United States, not Germany as the name might suggest. Bursting with flavors of chocolate, coconut, and toasted pecans, this indulgent dessert is sure to delight your taste buds and captivate your heart. Join us in this blog post as we unravel the secrets to creating the perfect German Chocolate Cake and witness the magic unfold.

The German Chocolate Cake is a classic dessert known for its rich, indulgent flavor. Contrary to what its name suggests, the cake doesn’t originate from Germany. Instead, it has its roots in the United States, specifically in the mid-20th century.

The cake’s name is derived from Samuel German, an American chocolate maker who developed a type of dark baking chocolate in 1852. This chocolate, known as Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, became popular in baking, leading to the creation of the famous cake.

The first known recipe for German Chocolate Cake was published by Baker’s Chocolate in 1957, and it quickly gained popularity across the United States. It’s characterized by its layers of moist chocolate cake filled and topped with a luscious coconut and pecan frosting, often referred to as German Chocolate Frosting.

Today, German Chocolate Cake remains a beloved dessert, enjoyed on various occasions, especially birthdays and special gatherings.

German Chocolate Cake

The German Chocolate Cake is a showstopper of a dessert, combining a fluffy chocolate sponge with a luscious coconut-pecan frosting. Contrary to its name, this delectable cake has its roots in America, dating back to the 19th century when Samuel German developed a type of dark baking chocolate. The frosting, which plays a starring role, is a velvety blend of coconut flakes, chopped toasted pecans, and sweetened condensed milk. The result is an irresistible creation that strikes the perfect balance of sweetness and texture.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 30 mins Cook Time 25 mins Rest Time 2 hrs Total Time 2 hrs 55 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 12 Calories: 585.62 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


For the Chocolate Cake:

For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

Step-by-Step Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy removal later.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing with an electric mixer on low speed until the batter is smooth and well combined.
  5. Stir in the boiling water, and the batter will become thin. This is normal and ensures a moist cake.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then, transfer the cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, and cubed butter.

  2. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until it thickens and becomes golden brown. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, shredded coconut, and chopped toasted pecans until well incorporated.

  4. Let the frosting cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

Assembling the German Chocolate Cake:

  1. Once the cakes have cooled completely, use a serrated knife to level off the tops if necessary.

  2. Place one cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand.

  3. Spread a generous amount of the coconut-pecan frosting over the top of the first layer.

  4. Gently place the second cake layer on top, pressing it down slightly to adhere.

  5. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining coconut-pecan frosting.

  6. Optional: Garnish the cake with additional toasted pecans and coconut flakes for an extra touch of elegance.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 585.62kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30.91g48%
Saturated Fat 11.54g58%
Cholesterol 105.71mg36%
Sodium 432.93mg19%
Potassium 306.02mg9%
Total Carbohydrate 73.77g25%
Dietary Fiber 3.62g15%
Sugars 50.93g
Protein 7.84g16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • For a deeper chocolate flavor, use Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
  • To toast the pecans, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
  • If the frosting becomes too thick while cooling, you can add a splash of milk or cream and stir until desired consistency is reached.
  • You can add a layer of chocolate ganache between the cake layers for extra indulgence.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve the German Chocolate Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an irresistible combination.
  • Pair the cake with a cup of coffee or tea for a delightful afternoon treat.
Allergen Information:

Here's some allergen information for German Chocolate Cake:

  • Nuts: The traditional German Chocolate Cake frosting contains pecans, which may not be suitable for those with nut allergies. You can make a nut-free version by omitting the pecans or using a substitute like shredded coconut.

  • Dairy: The cake typically contains butter and milk. If you have dairy allergies or are lactose intolerant, you can use dairy-free alternatives such as margarine and almond milk.

  • Eggs: Most cake recipes call for eggs. If you're vegan or allergic to eggs, you can use egg substitutes like applesauce, mashed bananas, or commercial egg replacers.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing beverages with German Chocolate Cake can enhance the overall dining experience:

  • Coffee: The rich and slightly bitter notes of coffee complement the sweetness of the cake, making it a classic pairing.

  • Milk: A glass of cold milk, whether dairy or non-dairy, is a comforting and traditional choice with chocolate cake.

  • Port Wine: The fruity and nutty flavors of a good port wine can harmonize well with the nutty frosting of the cake.

  • Black Tea: A strong black tea, such as Darjeeling or Assam, can provide a nice contrast to the cake's sweetness.

Storage and Leftovers:

To store and enjoy leftover German Chocolate Cake:

  • Refrigeration: Place any leftover cake in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it can stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.

  • Room Temperature: If you plan to consume the cake within a day or two, you can leave it at room temperature, but keep it covered to prevent it from drying out.

  • Freezing: German Chocolate Cake can also be frozen for longer storage. Wrap individual slices or the entire cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Keywords: German Chocolate Cake, Coconut-Pecan Frosting, Chocolate Cake, Layer Cake, Dessert

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