Homemade German Chocolate Cake and it’s easy sweet and gooey coconut and pecan frosting is my birthday cake favorite that’s an easy recipe to make from scratch.
There’s nothing more traditional in my long-legged life than the cake I have every year for my birthday.
It may be made by someone who loves me, or purchased from a bakery to add to the celebration.
And because I love it so much, I am totally a-okay if I make this coconuty, nutty, frosted cake myself because this cake is one amazing cake. Just like me :)
January is birthday month for me. Time to take a look, evaluate and see who and what I am and what challenge I see in my future. Sometimes I love what I see, sometimes, not so much.
But if I don’t take a look at myself, and cross check my perception versus reality, then where is the next challenge to conquer, the next mountain to climb? Or even a reason to get out of bed?
Are you happy? Are you yearning? Are you challenged? Are you bored? Are you still searching?
My birthday challenge to you is the same one I’ve given to myself. Take a look at where you are, right now. Today. While you’re surfing the internet because you’re bored or hungry or a friendly follower (thank you!)
Today, choose one thing you want to change and make one goal, one statement, to make it happen.
And then just do it. Love yourself. Be yourself. And keep on being you.
What is the Difference Between Chocolate and German Chocolate?
The name suggests this cake has it’s roots in Germany, but it’s actually a recipe that was made in the U.S.A. As did the type of chocolate used in the cake.
German chocolate was developed by American Samuel German (hence the roots of the name) as a way to streamline the baking process for bakers by mixing the chocolate and sugar together. German chocolate is slightly sweeter than semi-sweet or milk chocolate with 48% cocoa. Perfect for my kind of cake.
How to Make German Chocolate Cake
This German Chocolate Cake has always been my birthday cake favorite. It’s the only one I ask for, well, except for this one. I’m a fan of things that contain real ingredients, which is why I make this cake from scratch rather than from a box.
My mom always made me my German Chocolate Cake in the bundt form, but this time out, I broke out my new 8-inch cake pans that my husband visibly shuddered at as I bought them, and made myself a 3-tier cake. He’s happy I made the purchase now.
I revert back to my days as a Hostess Twinkie packager—and sometimes Hostess Cupcakes—when I take the cakes out of the pans. The guys on the line would SMACK the cupcake pans as hard as they could onto the conveyer belt for the cupcakes to be released from the cakepan’s hold and onto the frosting dripper. So I do what they did and SMACK them on my counter. I get a clean release every time.
I usually freeze my coconut and pecans because I don’t use them as often as I’d like. They’ll stay good for 6 months to a year.
I forgot that I usually double the frosting, just to have it extra gooey. Next time, I will.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
German Chocolate Cake
For the Cake
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pans
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the Frosting
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch baking pans and line them with parchment paper.
Set a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Add the German chocolate and melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and egg yolk and beat into the mixture one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix in. Add the buttermilk and the flour mixture in 3 alternating batches, ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes come out clean. Place the cakes on a rack and let cool completely. Turn the cakes out of the pans and peel off the parchment paper.
For the Frosting
Add the yolks to a small saucepan and beat with a hand mixer until yolks thicken and begin to ribbon, about 2-3 minutes. Add evaporated milk, sugar and vanilla and mix. Add butter and heat on medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until mixture becomes golden brown and thickens. Remove from heat and add coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature.
Using a knife or offset spatula, spread one third of the frosting evenly over the top of one cake. Top with the second cake layer and spread one third more of the frosting on top. Top with the final cake and spread the rest of the frosting. Serve at room temperature.
More German Chocolate Recipes to Make and Love Too
As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
Thanks for reading and subscribe to FoodieCrush to have each post delivered straight to your e-mail box.
Learn more about my printed day-planner Nourished Planner here, and sign up for free, emailed weekly meal plans.
Subscribe and have every FoodieCrush post delivered straight to your e-mail inbox