German Chocolate Cake

Indulge in Delight: German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Dive into the world of decadent desserts with our irresistible German Chocolate Cake recipe. This rich and moist cake, paired with its signature coconut pecan frosting, is sure to delight your taste buds and impress your friends and family. Follow along as we guide you through the steps to create this classic dessert in your own kitchen.


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 ounces sweet cooking German chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter (3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (12 oz. can)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 egg yolks (4 egg yolks)
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut (2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (1 1/2 cups)


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the German chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Gently fold in stiffly beaten egg whites until well combined.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in flaked coconut and chopped pecans until well combined.
  3. Allow the frosting to cool to room temperature before spreading it between the cake layers and over the top and sides of the cake.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Storage: Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: To make this cake gluten-free, simply substitute the cake flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure that all other ingredients used are also gluten-free.
  • Add a Garnish: For an extra touch of elegance, garnish the top of the cake with additional toasted coconut flakes and whole pecan halves before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use semi-sweet chocolate instead of German chocolate?

A: While German chocolate is traditionally used in this recipe for its unique flavor, you can substitute semi-sweet chocolate if needed. Just keep in mind that the taste of the cake may vary slightly.

Q: Can I freeze the cake layers?

A: Yes, you can freeze the cake layers for up to 1 month. Wrap each cooled cake layer tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe bag or container.

Q: Can I use milk instead of buttermilk?

A: Buttermilk adds richness and tenderness to the cake, but you can substitute it with an equal amount of regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. You can also make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes before using.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Cake Substitute: Instead of traditional cake, consider making a keto-friendly almond flour cake. Swap out the sugar for a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or stevia.
  • Frosting Adjustment: Use a keto-friendly sweetener in place of sugar for the frosting. You can also reduce the amount of sugar or use a sugar-free syrup to minimize carbs.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Portion Control: Enjoy a smaller portion of the cake to reduce carb intake. Alternatively, focus on the coconut pecan frosting, which is lower in carbs compared to the cake itself.

In conclusion, German Chocolate Cake is a timeless dessert that never fails to impress. With its rich chocolatey layers and luscious coconut pecan frosting, it’s a true indulgence for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a special event or simply craving something sweet, this cake is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy a slice of homemade goodness!

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