German Chocolate Cake |

German Chocolate Cake

This homemade German chocolate cake with its easy, sweet, and gooey coconut and pecan frosting is my all-time favorite. It's an easy recipe to make from scratch, and my whole family goes crazy for it. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, german chocolate cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 896 kcal


For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) 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 granulated 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 granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch baking pans and line them with parchment paper.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Nutrition Facts
German Chocolate Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 896 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Cholesterol 199mg66%
Sodium 550mg24%
Potassium 413mg12%
Carbohydrates 108g36%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 80g89%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 993IU20%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 145mg15%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.