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

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

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Many folks in our area of Ohio are of German descent, so this recipe is especially appropriate for our region. This cake is my husband's favorite! —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 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.


  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

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.

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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."

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!"

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."

Reviewed Sep. 17, 2015

"Loved the German Chocolate Cake!!!"

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)."

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