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German Chocolate Cake Recipe

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

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 YIELD:12 servings

Ingredients

  • 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
  • FROSTING:
  • 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

Directions

  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for German Chocolate Cake

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MY REVIEW
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."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2015

"This sounds as delicious as the reviews seem to imply. I will have to try it, as I enjoy baking. I also enjoy reading reviews. But, honestly people, stop it already with the correction of the name. No one is asking for a history lesson. We all just want to know your thoughts on the PREP and TASTE of the cake recipe itself, as it is written . And there is no need for reviewing something if you're going to stated "I added/subbed this or that". Because then your review goes away from the recipe in question to being a subjective review of YOUR OWN recipe."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2015

"Obviously this is a good variation on the Baker's German Chocolate bar recipe - but please know that the cake has absolutely nothing to do with Germany or people from Germany. A man named John German refined the type of sweet chocolate that bears his name. The cake is an American creation, although I am sure people from all cultures love it as much as we do. I am surprised that the editors at TOH did not pick up on this."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2015

"This cake was delicious! Time comsuming but well worth all the effort! I made it for a friends birthday and everyone loved it. I'll be making this again for sure!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2015

"A lot of steps to this recipe... My husband did not care for the cake flavor/consistency at all, but I could definitely just eat the frosting. Not sure I would make again."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2015

"Loved the German Chocolate Cake!!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2015

"Not a German cake. As others have commented, the cake is alternately called German's Chocolate Cake, named for the creator of the chocolate originally used, Samuel German, who worked for the Baker's chocolate company.

I would never bake with wax paper. That's gross; where do you think that wax goes when it melts? Use plain parchment or butter and dust the pans with cocoa powder (instead of flour to avoid the white flour in brown cake look)."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2015

"Complex recipe, but very easy to follow... I made this into cupcakes instead to help with portion control and it made 3 dozen. The cake and the frosting are rich and delicious.. well worth the work and cleanup involved.."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2015

"third time making this cake. no special occasion just because my family so enjoys this masterpiece .. a lot of friends and family asked for the recipe and the source and I gladly passed it on to them. now they are happy people too!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jul. 26, 2015

"That cake is so awesome I wouldn't change a thing! Made it for my sisters 54th birthday and it was a big big hit! No need to look further for another recipe, you have already found the best!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2015

"German Chocolate has nothing to do with Germany the country . ;) (it was a recipe released by German Chocolate company like Nestl? Tollhouse cookies). Trust, Bavaria isn't known for its tasty use of coconut."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 17, 2015

"It was delishious! I doubled the icing and iced the sides as well. Then I drizzled the chocolate down the sides from just at the edge of the top. . I then added a chocolate shell around the top and bottom. Made chocolate leaves around maraschino cherries on top. It was for a couple who's favorite cake is German chocolate. And having their 68 wedding anniversary. They loved it!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

"This is the first homemade German Chocolate cake I have ever made and it turned out absolutely delicious!!! I took it to work and it was gone quick! Thanks for this awesome recipe!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 17, 2015

"This cake is fantastic. The cake tastes exactly like it should. The frosting is to-die for. Will definitely make this again."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2015

"Best German chocolate cake recipe ever! I only have two round cake pans, so I turned this into a four-layer cake. It was perfect. To make it even more decadent, I frosted it with some dark chocolate buttercream. Sinfully good. Worth every calorie."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2015

"I grew up in Wapakoneta and had to try this recipe!

I made it for my husband this Valentine's Day. I wasn't able to find cake flour in our local groceries so I had to use all purpose. The cake tasted good but was dense, almost bread-like. The icing turned out perfect. I'll try it again when I find cake flour!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2015 Edited Feb. 16, 2015

"HELP!!!

Can someone please clarify #3 cake instructions here for me. Don't understand why it says "FOLD" the egg whites in "2" different times."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 29, 2015

"Made this for my husbands birthday! Turned out beautifully. Recipe very accurate. The cake portion is super light and fluffy - somewhat difficult to get out of the pans. Frosting is super rich but delicious. A big hit - makes a HUGE cake - definitely 12 servings. Will for sure make again! Warning - very rich - but worth it for a bday cake! :)"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2014

"If you were in Germany, and ordered a piece of German Chocolate Cake, they would not know what you were talking about. German Chocolate Cake has nothing to do with Germany, or people from there. It is an American invention."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2014

"Delicious looking recipe, but it's not called German Chocolate because the chocolate comes from Germany. It's called German's Chocolate because Sam German was a baker that added a darker formulation of chocolate to his cake batter. The formulation he created became known as German's Chocolate and as time went on the 's' was dropped. Created in America, not Germany."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 23, 2014

"I made this cake for my husbands birthday. I had never made a german chocolate before and the recipe took a little time but very easy. I subbed coffee instead of water since I had some leftover but followed exactly other than that. Also, I only put coconut in half the icing and made a coconut half and one without. Both sides were delicious. My husband was kinda snarky that it wasn't fully iced but once he tasted it he was raving about it. The cake was so airy and amazing. This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe. Also, we froze half in slices and it was still amazing."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 7, 2014

"I made this cake exactly as the recipes reads. It was AWESOME! The only concern I had was how thick the frosting was meant to be so a little more detail would have helped. I stirred until just boiling, removed it from the heat (similar to pudding) and then stirred in the coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. I let it cool for 30-minutes or so until it thickened more and it all came out perfect. No problems whatsoever. Highly recommend!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2014

"I made this cake for my twin sons birthday. The only problem was the cake layers did not stick together once it was frosted. But it was delicious!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2014

"This takes a little time to make but is so worth it for a special occasion!!! Baking a cake from scratch always gives you a superior product!!! As a TOH field editor, I try many new recipes and this is a keeper!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2014

"Can someone say WOW? I made this step by step and it came out GREAT! The only thing that gave me a little concern was the frosting. It said to store constantly until thick and golden. I would have preferred more detail. I wasn't sure if it was thick enough or golden enough but it turned out so I was happy."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2014

"It's really flavorful and just the right amount of coconut. Delicious , not too sweet and easy to make."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2014

"good cake it takes a lot of patience and time."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2014

"Love this cake. I make it once a year for my husband's birthday."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2014

"I made this for my brother in law who loves German Chocolate Cake on his birthday. It was way better that boxed cake of course. It was a labor of love but cooking and baking is my love and the end result was well worth it. It looked a little more naked than a traditionally frosted cake but it tasted great. Extra frosting would have increased an already rich cake but I may frost it all next time just to try it. Everyone enjoyed it and there were very few leftovers!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2013

"There is no such thing as German Chocolate Cake in Germany. This cake receipe comes from German's Bakers Chocolate- and is unrelated to anything German.

The receipe is wonderful however and I make it often."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2013

"I made this for daughters birthday and she said it was really good but the cake was more like a muffin what did I do wrong. I haven't tasted it the frosting was excellent I did taste that. I had no issues with wax paper so I am not sure my cake came out so dense."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2013

"If I could give it 10 stars I would! This is the BEST German Chocolate Cake I've ever made! OMG! It was easy and tasted heavenly. Extremely moist. I hate that I didn't make the frosting, so I can't comment on that...yet! I plan on making it next time. Also, I used wax paper and have no problems. Just buttered the pan and the paper, It peeled right off. This will be one of my staples. Thanks!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2013

"I followed the recipe to a tee. The cake is moist and tasty, but I don't care for the evaporated milk after-taste from the frosting. Perhaps next time I will try making the frosting with whole milk instead."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2013

"Oh, I forgot to rate the recipe - five stars!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2013

"This recipe makes a very traditional version of German Chocolate Cake. That being said, it should be noted that the cake recipe was named for the chocolate bar used in the original version, Baker's German Sweet chocolate. This chocolate bar was named for the person who developed it, Sam German. The recipe has nothing to do with traditional German food or recipes. It is, however, very delicious ;-)"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2013

"Ignore any negative reviews of this recipe because I am sorry to say it did not work because of the cook, not the recipe. This is a keeper for the best german chocolate cake you will find. Follow the recipe exactly and you will not have a problem. The icing may take up to 15 minutes of stirring and cooking but just make sure you cook until thick as it will thicken more when cooled. DO LINE you pans as said with wax paper. The previous cook must have done something wrong. Grease the pan first, put down wax paper, grease again and ONLY cool for the 10 minutes and cake will come out of pans perfect. It says nothing about flour, only grease pans. This cake is even better made a day ahead just make sure you keep it well covered to keep moist. I hardly ever give reviews but this one is worth it! FIVE STARS!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2013

"I have never baked a cake using nine eggs and three and a half cups of sugar! I can see the pounds pling on! The cake was delicious. It was a bit hard for me to cook the frosting as it takes awhile and I have a bad back. But I did it for my husband for Fathers Day and he is thrilled. I had more than enough frosting for the three layers. So I didn't need to use the chocolate for the drizzle icing. Great cake. Oh and I followed the editor's advice and used light brown sugar for the cake and icing. Delicious!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 26, 2013

"ABSOLUTELY, do not line your pans with waxed paper & grease. The cake stuck to the paper, the paper stuck to the pan, what a mess! And I used nice, Wilton, 9 inch, non- stick cake pans. I salvaged 2 layers of the cake & it was delicious. The frosting was perfection!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 14, 2013

"My fiance rated this recipe a perfect ten a after I made it for his birthday for the traditional slice of German Chocolate Cake. He said that it tastes just like the cake Hus mom used to make for him. I will definitely keep this recipe for next year."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2013

"This was amazing! Easy to make, not complicated, and comes out moist. I will be making this again. Thank you!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 10, 2013

"The frosting recipe is delicious. The only change I made was to use brown sugar instead of white, which gave it a rich caramel flavor. This is a keeper!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 17, 2013

"Best cake I've ever baked. I substituted 1 c. Light brown sugar for 1 c. regular in cake..and also the same in the frosting. I used Light Buttermilk and since Presto cake flour has the salt..no addl was needed. Simply a real delicious, moist cake for a special occasion."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2013

"But it isn't German!!! That was just the last name of the man who first baked it!!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2013

"every year for my boyfriend's birthday his mom makes him a german chocolate cake, his favorite. This year I made him this one... oh my goodness. Let's just say I'm glad it's a "once-a-year" treat around here!! So light and moist... I am a firm believer in that cake flour now!! :)"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 20, 2013

"Make this every year for my husband."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2012

"Fabulously moist and delicious! It took me longer than the recipe states to complete, but the results were amazing!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2012

"Hands down, the best cake I have ever baked. Thank you for sharing this recipe."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2012

"My mom's favorite is german chocolate, and aparently this one is a winner because I've made it for her for the last three years! It's super easy and very moist and delicious."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 30, 2012

"I have an Aunt who for years made german chocolate cake and I looked sooooo forward to going to the farm for this cake. I have been looking for the ICING for this cake for a long time, I was thrilled to find this and it did NOT disappoint!!! the icing in this recipe is exactly as I remember it, gooey, sweet and delicious! I make my own chocolate cake and use this icing and I just cant get enough, delicious on chocolate cupcakes also. LOVE IT!!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2012

"Excellent flavor and texture, especially the frosting. My only concern was that it stuck to the wax paper when left too long. Be careful to remove the wax paper shortly after you pull it from the oven."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 8, 2012

"My son requested a German Chocolate cake for his B'Day so I found this one a tried it! Wonderful! I subed 1/2 cup of the sugar with Truvia. Made 1 1/2 times the frosting and will double it if not using the Icing. Excellent and will make it again for sure!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2012

"I made this cake for my boyfriends birthday. It was so good! I normally don't like nuts in my dessert, but this cake was excellent. It was my first time making a three layer cake and making a cake from scratch. It was well worth the effort. I put the cake layers under the broiler for a few minutes after I frosted them as some of the other reviewers suggested. Great cake thanks for the recipe."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2012

"I've been making this recipe for quite awhile. One of my changes is to replace the 1/2 cup of water that you melt the chocolate in with 1/2 cup of brewed coffee. It's great!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2012 Edited Jan. 29, 2015

"I prefer unsalted butter, but either one will work."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2012

"Can you please tell me, is the butter salted or unsalted? (for the frosting)"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2012

"Just made this cake for my son's birthday and it is oh, so good! The only thing I changed was that I did not make 3 layers but 2 instead I used 10" cake pans. I will definitely make this cake again and will NEVER use boxed mix or canned frosting for a German Chocolate cake again! Thanks for the recipe."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2012

"The best German Chocolate Cake I've ever eaten. Super moist, even days after I made it! Will Make this again and again!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2011

"The best cake ever! Very rich, but oh, so good!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2011

"Absolutely delightful"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2011

"made this for my husbands grooms cake and there was non left with 60+ people at the wedding."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2011

"This is the best German chocolate cake ever! It was a first time for me making this type of cake. I made it for my boss' birthday, and she is still talking about it the next day. She is over the moon for this cake."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 8, 2011

"Well, I forgot to rate it. DUH!! I remember also, that we did not cool the frosting, while the cake was cooling, we made the frosting. When the frosting was ready to take off the stove, then we put half on top of each layer, and broiled it. Since I have gotten old enough that it is difficult for me to do quite as much, I have been using the cake mix and the coconut pecan frosting you buy. You can use the mix, and you CAn put the canned frosing on top and broil it .

The added touch she put on with the chocolate drizzled down the sides, I think makes it pretty, and with the sides not frosted, it is not the prettiest of cakes. The chocolate drizzled down the sides makes it look SOO pretty."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jun. 8, 2011

"I have been making this cake since it first came out in the middle 50s. It is NOT a GERMAN cake. The correct name for this cake is, "German's Chocolate Cake". You make it with GERMAN'S baking chocolate.

The reason for the name is because it is made with German's sweet chocolate, the recipe was developed by the company and put on the wrapper of the chocolate. I believe it is still there. When it first came out, the way we frosted it was make the cake and the frosting, and cool them, then you put half the frosting on top of each layer, and popped it in the broiler for a few minutes till the frosting bubbled slightly. Then you put the two layers together.
Try it with the frosting broiled. It adds so much to the cake."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2011

"just made this cake today, and while I don't like coconut, - my Father In Law's b-day was today, and he LOVED it! i made extra frosting to cover the sides, but other than that, i followed the recipe exactly. Great recipe!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2011

"The best German Chocolate Cake recipe I've ever made. Since we love chocolate, I also used a container of Milk Chocolate frosting around the sides of the cake. This one is a keeper!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2011

"I have been searching high and low for a cake recipe to make for my son's 4-H cake contest at his Livestock Show in January. I saw this recipe and saw that it won a blue ribbon, so we tested it and Oh My God, it was the best testing, moistest cake I have ever baked from scratch. I did not change anything about this recipe. 5 Stars in my book."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2010

"Wow, this was a wonderful cake. I would definately make it again."

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2009

"I had never before made a cake from scratch, so was nervous when I decided to try this one for my husband's birthday. It was fantastic! I followed the directions completely, and will definitely make this again! Thanks!"

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2008

"This sounds so good i had to put it in my recipe box. I wish i had a piece of it now."

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