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

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4.5 79 87
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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
Featured In: Top 10 Cake Recipes
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 sweetened shredded 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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tatamus User ID: 937172 267825
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2017

"Made this cake for my husband's office staff and they LOVED it!!! cake was delicious even without anything on it. Takes some time to make the icing but worth every minute!!!!!"

T User ID: 9170098 266073
Reviewed May. 17, 2017

"Unable to find our usual German's chocolate cake recipe, I googled up this disappointment. Predominant flavor: sugar. Zero complexity to the flavor. If it were any drier it would have set fire to itself without need for candles. Immediately crumbled upon trying to slice it. I should have started on a backup cake as soon as I saw the sunken middle and found that it glued itself even to the parchment on the bottom of my springform pans. A disaster. An embarrassment. If I could give this less than one star, believe me, I would."

[email protected] User ID: 6543294 265976
Reviewed May. 15, 2017

"This is my second review of this recipe, because, AGAIN some one has requested me to make this.

I am a Baker and is one of my most requested items."

Julie User ID: 7722207 261875
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2017

"I made this cake for my husbands birthday. It turned out awesome. One thing I did different (and did not have any issues with cake sticking to waxed paper), I used shortening to grease sides only of the pans and put the waxed paper on the bottom (no grease on top or bottom of paper). The paper peeled right off. I had no issues with the frosting not setting up. The recipe is a definite keeper!"

PhotographyGal68 User ID: 7704869 260310
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2017

"The best German chocolate cake I've ever made. Light, good balance of sweet, shows beautiful...a major hit!"

SplendidMorsel User ID: 8953749 255431
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2016

"I must say, I should have read the reviews before making this cake. I too had issues of with the cakes sticking. It was a bit disappointing to say the least, but we made the best out of the situation, by just frosting the remainder of the cakes in the pans. Is it a deal breaker? No. The cake itself is flavorful. Its not overly sweet, which my family and I appreciate. On to the icing. I found that the icing is pretty tasty and complements the cake well. I did not have issues with it bubbling over, over cooking, or it being evaporated milk. Hope this helps."

dbnp User ID: 8932105 253996
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2016

"I have to agree with kathycooks1943.....what a disaster. The frosting calls for EVAPORATED milk. I tried that and it was like water. Then I used condensed milk and that worked. I greased the wax paper and my cake stuck to it. All was crumbles. The absolute worse thing is that this cake was for my son's birthday. I don't know how anyone could have had frosting by using the evaporated milk??????"

BellaNotte User ID: 8888469 250092
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2016

"I followed the recipe, with the exception that I took the cakes out after 20 minutes and I added another half batch to the frosting. Everything worked perfectly, and I was frosting the cake within half an hour of making the frosting itself. I had no issues with it setting up. I had no issues at all. Thanks for the great recipe! I wish I could add a picture. My cake looks divine!"

SunnyAprilCakes User ID: 8857746 248176
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 :)"

dolanlmt User ID: 5749004 246236
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."

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