September 26, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
German chocolate cake features rich chocolate cake layers with a signature coconut pecan filling. Deliciously sweet and decadent, this authentic German chocolate cake recipe is oh-so-easy to make and incredibly moist.
German Chocolate Cake Ingredients
The cake is deeply chocolaty with a hint of vanilla, while the frosting is velvety and sweet, featuring shredded coconut and crunchy chopped pecans.
Together, they create a harmonious blend of nutty and chocolatey flavors that make every bite of this cake an indulgence.
For The Chocolate Cake:
- 2 (4-ounce) packages of sweet chocolate
- ½ cup of boiling water
- 1 cup of butter
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
For The Coconut Pecan Frosting:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can of evaporated milk (1½ cups)
- 1½ cups of sugar
- ¾ cup of butter
- 1½ teaspoons of vanilla
- 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut
- 1½ cups of chopped pecans
Substitutions And Additions
BUTTERMILK: This is an essential ingredient for a creamy-tasting cake. But, if you don’t have any on hand, you could use whole, or 2% milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar added. You’ll need to set it aside for ten minutes until it curdles.
PECANS: Whilst pecans are traditionally used in German cake, you can use walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts if you prefer in the gooey coconut frosting.
MARASCHINO CHERRIES: Also known as cocktail cherries, these can be added as a garnish on top of your layer cake if you wish.
COCONUT: If you’re not a fan of shredded coconut, you can use toasted coconut flakes instead.
Toasting adds a nuttier flavor and can make the coconut less chewy, which can be a delightful variation.
VANILLA EXTRACT: For a flavor twist, you can try using almond extract instead of vanilla.
This subtle change will infuse your cake with a delightful almond essence that pairs beautifully with chocolate and coconut.
How To Make This German Chocolate Cake Recipe
Let’s have a look at the step-by-step instructions for preparing this layer cake. Once it is baked and cooled, you can whip up the yummy frosting.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
Try to use ingredients that are at room temperature instead of cold. It will make a difference in the final product.
For The Chocolate Cake
STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
Spray the inside of the pans with cooking spray.
STEP TWO: Break the chocolate into pieces and place it in a small bowl. Melt using the ½ cup of boiling hot water. Allow the mixture to cool.
STEP THREE: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
STEP FOUR: Separate the eggs and set the whites aside for later.
One at a time, add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well.
STEP FIVE: Blend in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
STEP SIX: Sift the flour with the salt and baking soda.
STEP SEVEN: Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture.
Beat after each addition until smooth.
STEP EIGHT: Beat the egg whites. Fold in the beaten egg whites to the cake batter.
STEP NINE: Divide batter among the prepared pans.
Make sure to bake cakes on the center rack of your oven. If all three pans don’t fit, save one and bake once the other two come out.
STEP TEN: Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
Insert a toothpick into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.
STEP ELEVEN: Let the cake cool for 30 minutes, and then take it out of the cake pans.
Set aside on wire racks until completely cooled.
For The German Chocolate Cake Frosting
STEP ONE: Separate four eggs. Slightly beat the yolks.
STEP TWO: Add the beaten eggs to a medium saucepan along with the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.
Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, for 12 minutes or until thickened.
STEP THREE: Add the coconut and pecans and stir again.
STEP FOUR: Remove from the heat and allow mixture to cool until spreadable.
STEP FIVE: Place one cake on the serving plate and cover the top with a quarter of the frosting.
STEP SIX: Place the next cake on top and cover the top of the cake with another quarter of the frosting.
STEP SEVEN: Finally, add the remaining cake and top with the remaining frosting, leaving the sides of the cake exposed.
How To Serve
Serve this moist chocolate cake the next time you are craving a deep, delicious chocolate flavor.
A cup of coffee or a homemade pumpkin spice latte on the side to wash this delectable cake down is the ideal pairing.
Top a slice of this delectable cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For a cozy, indulgent experience, serve your cake with a cup of rich and creamy hot chocolate.
Whether you plan to enjoy it over a few days or save some for later, here’s how to keep your cake at its best.
MAKE AHEAD: If you’re preparing for a special occasion or simply want to get ahead, you can make the German chocolate cake in advance.
Once it has cooled completely, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Store it at room temperature for up to 24 hours before frosting.
IN THE FRIDGE: This easy German chocolate cake recipe can be left at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
To keep it for up to five days, you’ll need to refrigerate it in an airtight container.
IN THE FREEZER: This sweet chocolate cake can be stored in the freezer for up to three months in an airtight container.
Slice it before you freeze it to defrost individual pieces as desired.
Why We Love This Recipe
We are sure you will love this cake as much as we do. Here’s why:
DECADENT FLAVOR: This cake boasts an incredibly rich and indulgent chocolate flavor. The combination of sweet chocolate, buttermilk, and a hint of vanilla creates a harmonious blend that’s both comforting and delicious.
LUSCIOUS FROSTING: The creamy coconut pecan frosting is a showstopper. Its sweet and nutty profile perfectly complements the chocolate cake layers, creating a mouthwatering combination of textures and tastes.
CLASSIC: German chocolate cake is a beloved classic that has stood the test of time. Sharing a slice of this cake with family and friends is a wonderful way to create lasting memories.
We’re sure this is the best homemade German chocolate cake you’ll taste (for another great flavor profile, try our amazing chocolate dump cake, too!). The chocolate layers are moist, and any chocolate lover will adore it, making it the perfect cake for any special occasion.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Over time the cake will dry out, but since it is so moist to begin with, it will probably be gone before that is a concern!
This delicious cake would be just as amazing baked in a 9×13 cake pan instead of a layer cake.
Any type of sweet baking chocolate will work for this easy German chocolate cake recipe.
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German Chocolate Cake
- 8 ounces sweet baking chocolate
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can evaporated milk (1½ cups)
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup butter
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups sweetened coconut, shredded
- 1½ cups pecans, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line the bases of three 9-inch cake pans with parchment. Spray the inside of the pans with cooking oil.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt using the ½ cup of boiling hot water. Allow mixture to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
- Separate the eggs and set the whites aside for later. One at a time, add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well.
- Blend in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
- Sift flour with salt and baking soda.
- Add alternately the flour mixture and buttermilk to the chocolate mix. Beat after each addition until smooth.
- Beat the egg whites. Fold them into the mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done.
- Let the cake cool for 30 minutes and then take it out of the pans. Set aside until completely cooled.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
- Separate four eggs. Slightly beat the yolks.
- Add the beaten eggs to a medium-sized saucepan along with the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.
- Cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for 12 minutes or until thickened. Add the coconut and pecans and stir again.
- Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool until spreadable.
- Place one cake on the serving plate and cover the top with a quarter of the frosting.
- Place the next cake on top and cover the top with another quarter of the frosting.
- Finally, add the remaining cake and top with the remaining frosting, leaving the sides exposed.
- Try to use ingredients that are at room temperature instead of cold. It will make a difference in the final product.
- Make sure to bake cakes on the center rack of your oven. If all three pans don’t fit, save one and bake once the other two come out.
- Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.