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German Chocolate Cake recipe

German Chocolate Cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Chocolate cake

A delicious chocolate cake that originates from America. This moist chocolate cake is topped with a caramel flavoured, walnut and pecan icing.

25 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 23cm square cake

  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75g butter, softened
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 115g dark baking chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 110g dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 50g butter, softened

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr15min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour one 23cm square cake tin. Sieve the flour, cornflour, 200g caster sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.
  2. Cream 75g butter. Stir in 100ml buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add chocolate, eggs and the remaining buttermilk. Continue to beat at medium speed for another minute more. Pour batter into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 40 minutes. Cool in tin for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Combine the coconut, dark brown soft sugar, cream, walnuts and 50g butter. Mix until a spreadable consistency is reached. Spread over top of baked cake. Grill 7.5cm from heat until browned (about 3 minutes). Serve cake warm or cold.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(26)

Reviews in English (19)

by littleflowerana

Great recipe! Not dry at all. If you are using all purpose flour instead of cake flour, be sure to subtract 3 tablespoons from the 1 1/2 cups, or else you could end up with a dry cake. Also, I only baked it for 30 minutes instead of 40, my oven tends to bake fast, so I just kept an eye on it and as soon as a knife came out clean, I took it out (dry cake can also be a result of over baking) . This is a much easier, cheaper and more convenient recipe than others I found, which appeals to me as a busy mom. I loved it, my husband loved it, and we will be using it again in the future!-05 Dec 2009

by B. Scott Andrews

This recipe is pretty good, but not as good as German Chocolate Cake III, however, it is much quicker and easier to make. I doubled the recipe using the "change servings" function. After carefully checking all the measurements, I found discrepancies with the printed instructions, which were not updated with the ingredient list. Be careful to review the recipe when doubling and it will turn out fine. I also substituted pecans for walnuts for a more traditional frosting. Normally I would give this recipe 4 or 5 stars, but the German Chocolate Cake III is that much better if you have the time!-21 Jun 2005

by jh

I am not a baker of cakes, but for my husbands birthday he asked for a German chocolate cake (his favorite) so I thought I would try it... This recipe was the easiest one so I tried it and it turned out great. Very moist, not too sweet and everyone loved it, I do not love coconut so I can only say from my point of view the cake was extra yummy! Will definitely try again!-16 Feb 2009

German Chocolate Cake

All of the delicious gooeyness and flavor of German Chocolate Cake comes together easily with this recipe. A decadent chocolate sheet cake with an irresistible filling that leaves room to frost this cake without the mess of traditional German chocolate cake.

This is a very simple and impressive cake. The chocolate cake is moist and filled with a sweet coconut-pecan center and topped with an amazingly delicious frosting.

I still don’t know what the best part is the rich, chocolate cake, the gooey German chocolate filling or the fudgy milk chocolate frosting.

For this cake, I wanted the German filling of coconut, pecans and sweet milk to slightly sink in the cake to make it moist. The result? A less messy and goopey cake that is too sticky for plates and makes serving difficult and undesirable.

To be honest, I’ve never really liked German chocolate cake because of the sweet sticky coconut filling/frosting. The over-moist topping is just uncomfortable to eat and overpowers the cake. With this cake, I did things a little different and the results were phenomenal. This sheet cake is delicate yet very flavorful at the same time.

After the cake was done baking, using a sharp knife, I cut off a thin layer from the top to allow the moist German filling to spread in the cake. I love it like this, it is so delicious and not as messy as traditional German Chocolate Cake that is a big, gooey, floating mess on the top. If you want it messy and more traditional, leave the cake as is.

I am not a big fan of boxed, pre-made dry baking mixes, however, if you need something quick dry mixes (Betty Crocker) will work. I have made the cake both ways and you most certainly cake make the cake layer with a pre-made boxed mix like Betty Crocker. If using this method is easier, the ingredients listed on the box will be needed to make the cake. Follow box mix directions. Additionally, you will need the ingredients for the German filling and frosting. Follow my directions and steps below.

German chocolate cake is a layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. Instead of doing a traditional cake with 3 round cake pans, this cake is made with a pan that most resembles a sheet cake.

Since I was making this cake for a friend and knew that he would not like that much frosting, I scaled the frosting recipe back and included the thin frosting recipe. If you would like a must more dense frosting, double it.

Enjoy this German chocolate sheet cake layered evenly by coconut and pecan filling and chocolate frosting.

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch (1.5 L) round cake pans.

2. Stir cocoa with water in a small bowl until smooth set aside. Beat butter with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir flour with baking soda and salt add to butter mixture alternately with reserved chocolate mixture and buttermilk, beating just enough to blend. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Place on wire racks cool in pans for 5 minutes. Turn cakes out and cool completely.

4. Coconut Pecan Frosting: Stir condensed milk with eggs yolks and butter in a medium saucepan set over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat stir in vanilla, coconut and chopped pecans. Cool to room temperature.

5. Spread frosting between layers and over top. Garnish with pecan halves as desired (if using).

Homemade German Chocolate Cake

The first thing you need to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then cover the bottom of 3 (9 ”) round molds with parchment paper. And please spray the sides with cooking spray.

Place the chocolate in the microwave and water in a large microwave-safe bowl over a high temperature until the chocolate is almost melted, about a minute and a half to two minutes. Remember to always stir after one minute, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Then you will get a small bowl and beat the egg white with a mixer at high speed until solid peaks form Sit aside. Mix the flour / baking soda and salt as well. After that, you should take a large bowl and beat the butter and sugar in a blender until it is light and fluffy. And please beat the yolk, one by one. Melt the chocolate on the spot and incorporate vanilla. I always alternately add the flour mixture with the yogurt, and beat it until it blends well after each addition.

You’ll want to add the egg white and gently stir until blended. Once done, you can pour in the ready-made molds.

At this point, bake for half an hour. Make sure to place a teaspoon directly around the muffins in the molds. Let the cake cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pans and onto the shelves to cool completely.

The last thing to do is prepare the coconut-pecan filling with icing, also layer the cake on the cake and

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound imported semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup evaporated whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded unsweetened coconut (about 2 1/2 ounces, see Note)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8-by-2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Beat the coffee mixture into the dry ingredients in 2 batches with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in the butter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over moderately high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Transfer the ganache to a bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until chilled and thickened, about 2 hours.

In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in the evaporated milk and then the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and lightly coats a spoon, about 10 minutes do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.

Invert the cake onto a work surface and peel off the paper. Using a serrated knife, slice the cake horizontally into 3 even layers. Set a layer on a large plate and spread on half of the nut filling. Top with the second cake layer and cover with a 1/4-inch-thick layer of ganache. Set the third cake layer on top and cover with the remaining nut filling. Spread half of the remaining ganache on the sides. Transfer the rest of the ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe a border of rosettes around the top of the cake and serve.

German chocolate cake is a chocolate layer cake featuring a thick, silky coconut-pecan custard filling. Some of the hero ingredients in a German chocolate recipe include cocoa powder, which is responsible for its dark chocolate flavor evaporated milk, which serves as the base for the creamy filling and buttermilk, which gives the cake its signature moistness. The cake is occasionally topped with a chocolate frosting, though this is optional for those who may find it too sweet when combined with the coconut-pecan filling.

Contrary to popular belief, the German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. It was named for American baker Samuel German, who developed the baking chocolate that appears in the recipe in the late 1800s—though the cake recipe itself wouldn’t appear until the 1950s, in a Dallas newspaper. German’s signature baking chocolate is not as prominent in contemporary recipes for the cake.

    1 (4 oz. ) Baker's German Sweet Chocolate Bar

Melt chocolate in boiling water.

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add chocolate and vanilla.

Sift together salt, soda, and flour.

Add flour and buttermilk alternately, mixing well until smooth.

Fold in beaten egg whites.

Pour into three, deep 8" or 9" round cake layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper and lightly greased and lightly dusted with flower.

Can use 2 deep, square cake pans.

Bake in a 350F. preheated oven 350F. for 30-40 minutes.

Let sit in pans 2-3 minutes then turn out of pan and place on a rack to cool.

Frost with Coconut Pecan Frosting, spreading between layers and on top.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

Combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, and butter. Cook over medium heat stirring until thickened, about 12 minutes.

Beat until thick enough to spread on cake.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Cream butter, cocoa, salt, and vanilla together.

Beat in sugar, adding just enough cream to make it a spreading consistency.

Beat on high speed to make it real creamy.

Bake the German Chocolate Cake Recipe as above.

You can bake the cake in three DEEP 8" square cake pans instead of the round pans.

Frost between, on top and on the sides of two cake layers.

Cake Tips

  • The more cream you can incorporate into frosting, without making the frosting too thin to spread, the creamier it will be.
  • The extra layer of cake can be served plain or topped with whipped cream, bananas and nuts, if desired.

History Of German Chocolate Cake Recipe

I am not convinced historians know the name of the person who actually who invented this amazing cake formula.

They seem to agree it was a woman and she was living in Texas.

It is known that the recipe was being circulated by newspapers in Texas and other states in 1956.

A reader submitted a recipe to a newspaper in 1957 calling for the "German's Sweet Chocolate" a trademark of General Foods Company, in the ingredient list.

Because of the resulting soar in sales, General Foods refined the recipe adding their Angel Flake Product

I don't know if General Foods invented the famous frosting or it already existed and they just added their brand of coconut.

The recipe was printed on their German Chocolate label the same year, 1957.

General Foods had already named their Chocolate bar after their employee who developed it, Samuel German, in 1852, more than a 100 years prior to the cake recipe becoming famous.

In 1958, while I was working with Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company in North Carolina, an employee and a good friend, brought the cake to work to share with us.

It was so delicious, I asked for the recipe.

After making the cake I was disappointed with the results.

Since the address and recipe was on the German Chocolate Bar label, I wrote a letter to General Foods explaining my disappointed  results.

I promptly received a reply with a numbered list of steps to follow to ensure baking the perfect cake.

I followed those German Chocolate Cake Recipe steps , explicitly and did indeed bake the "perfect cake" .

The answer is simple, Simplicity, Foolproof, Straightforward, and Tested. Yes, all recipes have been tested before posting including this German Chocolate Cake.

Ready to make this German Chocolate Cake Recipe? Let’s do it!

Oh, before I forget…If you’re looking for recipes that are simple to follow, then we’ve got your back. With over 55,000 recipes in our database, we’ve got the best recipes you’re craving for.

1 pk German chocolate cake mix
1 ts Chocolate flavoring
1 ts Almond flavoring
1 ts Butter flavoring
1 1/2 c Evaporated milk
1 1/2 c Sugar
4 Egg yolks,slightly beaten
3/4 c Butter or margarine
1 1/2 c Vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 c Coconut
1 1/2 c Chopped pecans

Prepare cake in preparing cake, substitute milk for water, margarine
or butter for oil add flavorings. Bake according to directions on
bok. GERMAN CHOCOLATE ICING: Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg
yolks, butter or margarine vanilla flavoring. Cook above ingredients
on medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick (about 2 min). Add
coconut and pecans. Cook until thick enough to spread. SLOP IT UP!

1 servings

About the recipe

German chocolate cake uses canned evaporated milk to make its cooked filling and frosting velvety in texture. Added to the eggs, butter and sugar, along with the chopped pecans and coconut, the filling is cooked slowly over low heat and thickens almost into a pudding. After cooling, it is spread between three layers of German chocolate cake and piled generously on top, with, hopefully, just enough left over to sneak a big, spoon-filled taste. Honest-to-goodness and unapologetically rich, it is a cake that smacks of the late 1950s.

If you use lightly salted butter, reduce the salt in the cake to 1/4 teaspoon, and omit the salt from the filling. This recipe works best with unsweetened coconut, but if you cannot find it, sweetened will do. Pecans are much more delicious if toasted first. Place them on a baking pan in the turned-off oven after you remove the cakes. When they are medium-brown and fragrant, after 3 to 5 minutes, remove from the oven and chop.

The recipe was originally published in "American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of our Best-Loved Cakes" by Anne Byrn (Rodale, 2016).

German Chocolate Cake

The cake can be baked in 3 disposable 8 1/2-inch aluminum cake pans.

Use regular cocoa, rather than Dutch process, to make this cake because the batter has baking soda in it. Regular cocoa is acidic, so it reacts with baking soda and helps the leavening process.

Servings: 12

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray oil and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

For the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, coffee extract, water, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, just until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Add the wet and dry ingredients alternately to the butter mixture in this order, incorporating after each addition: one-third dry mix, one-half wet mix, one-third dry mix, one-half wet mix, one-third dry mix. Stop a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes on the rack to cool completely, removing the pans and discarding the parchment paper.

For the filling: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt, butter and cream and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, whisking often, until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and add the pecans, coconut and vanilla extract, stirring just to combine. Cool completely.

To assemble: Turn the layers right side up. Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the tops of the layers to make them level. Place the first layer on a cake plate and spread with one-third of the coconut-pecan filling top with the second cake layer and spread with another third of the filling. Add the third layer and spread the remaining filling on the top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Source

Bob Beaudry inherited this recipe from Valerie Hill when she left the Majestic Cafe. She developed it from a version she found in an old church cookbook, which makes the cake an authentic hand-me-down.


  1. Stefon

    In it something is. I will know, I thank for the information.

  2. Squire

    In your place I would have tried to solve the problem itself.

  3. Mak

    What excellent interlocutors :)

  4. Doulkree

    What excellent topic

  5. Coilin

    not everything is so simple, as it seems

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