German Chocolate Cake Recipe
German Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

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4.5 71 80
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This cake is my husband's favorite! Every bite has a light crunch from the pecans, a sweet taste of coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. —Joyce Platfoot, Wapakoneta, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ICING:
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 910 calories, 53g fat (28g saturated fat), 237mg cholesterol, 511mg sodium, 103g carbohydrate (76g sugars, 4g fiber), 11g protein


  1. Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper and set aside. In small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat; cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl and with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into creamed mixture; fold in remaining whites.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. For frosting, in a small saucepan, heat sugar, milk, butter and egg yolks over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.
  6. In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth; drizzle over cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as German Chocolate Cake in Country December/January 1991, p47

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Reviewed May. 13, 2016

"It would be nice if you could add pictures of each step so we know if we're doing it right. For example, people have different opinions on what exactly is golden-brown. Thanks :)"

Reviewed Mar. 29, 2016

"I've made this cake many times. My mother made it for many people who requested her baking expertise. She used Crisco instead of butter and so do I. When I used butter it wass a much heavier cake. Birthday request for 2 sons and husband ... ever y year."

Reviewed Feb. 28, 2016 Edited Mar. 1, 2016

"What a disaster!!!! Cake stuck to pan sides. Cake sank in the middle. Looks awful. Decided to go ahead and make the frosting. Thirty minutes of stirring the mixture and being burned with splattering liquid, the mixture is not golden brown. Tossed in the nuts and coconut anyway and now it is cooling.. I am an experienced baker. I let everything warm to room temperature and followed the directions. Don't know what I possibly did wrong. Obviously something because most of you gave this cake 5*'s. Good luck. By the way I baked the cake for 30 minutes also. It wasn't done in 24 to 28 minutes.

Finished cake looks so sad. Can't even slice it. Just crumbles into crumbs."

Reviewed Feb. 16, 2016

"What a disaster! I followed the directions exactly and all three layers fell in the middle and when I removed them from the pans the cake fell to pieces. The frosting is way too sweet. What an expensive and time consuming mess."

Reviewed Dec. 21, 2015

"I've made this a number of times now, and it is delicious. It gets devoured when I bring it to get togethers and it is now my most-requested bake. It tastes so good that I'm ok with that."

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