Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake Recipe
Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake Recipe

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4.5 7 9
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This simple recipe yields a delectable German chocolate cake that folks will "flip over"! The tempting coconut and pecan "frosting" bakes under the batter and ends up on top when you turn the cake out of the pan.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min.
MAKES:9 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min.
MAKES: 9 servings


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 2/3 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • CAKE:
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Whipped topping, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 494 calories, 25 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 409 mg sodium, 64 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein.


  1. In a saucepan over low heat, cook and stir brown sugar and butter until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Spread into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Sprinkle with pecans and coconut. Drizzle with evaporated milk; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the chocolate, eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Pour over topping.
  3. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve with whipped topping if desired. Yield: 9 servings.
Originally published as Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake in Taste of Home December/January 2001, p27

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Reviewed Mar. 25, 2014 Edited Apr. 6, 2014

"I prepared this recipe again on 4/6/14 It WAS delicious! I did make adjustment on this recipe as follows: For topping, I used 2/3 cup pecan halves, 3/4 cup whole milk & 6 Tbsp. butter, melted. I used 2/3 cup packed brown sugar this time around! I kept the amount of flour, sugar, eggs, salt, baking powder, baking soda as is. I used 3/4 cup whole milk, soured with 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar. I used a greased and floured 9" square baking pan. I baked 40 to 45 minutes at 350o F. I think that a knife needs to be run around the cake to loosen it! I'd also noticed that the topping adhered to the bottom of the pan-even with greasing and flouring pan the first time I'd baked this cake! When I inverted the cake onto a tin-foil-lined tray, after cooling 5 minutes, the topping stuck to bottom of pan and some of the cake broke! I did find the cake very moist, though! I also used 1 cup of milk chocolate candy disks as I did not have have German sweet chocolate! I melted the disks in my double boiler! That worked for me! Just make sure the chocolate doesn't harden-I DID notice that and had to scrape the chocolate into the batter off my beating paddle/mixing bowl! I give this a 5-* rating anyway! Thank you for sharing this recipe! delowenstein p.s. This time, I did run a knife around the cake to loosen it! The cake was inverted onto heavy-duty foil on a jelly-roll pan! I noticed that because I'd used 6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar & 3/4 cup milk, the topping didn't stick to pan and this time, because I'd run the knife around the edges of cake, it was MUCH easier for me to manage!"

Reviewed Nov. 18, 2013


Reviewed May. 23, 2013

"I made this today. Everyone loved it. My son ate 3 pieces. My go to for german chocolate cake from now on."

Reviewed May. 6, 2013

"My granddaughter and I made this, and it is very moist and delicious. It is more chocolaty than the three layer German chocolate cake--my other granddaughter said the taste reminds her of brownies."

Reviewed Feb. 5, 2013

"This is my husbands all time favorite. And I love it because it makes 1 layer. Just enough so that he doesn't over indulge!"

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