German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

November 9 is the anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall, a pivotal event in world history. It seems only fitting to mark this occasion with something German. My first thought was to make a sauerkraut meal (“Crickets, crickets. . .”). Then, I switched directions and got a much more enthusiastic reaction: German Chocolate Cake! (“Massive applause, standing ovation!!!. . .”).

Ironically, this cake has nothing to do with Germany. In fact, it’s named after its English-American creator, Sam German. It was called Baker’s German Chocolate Cake. But we’ll go with it, anyway. Even without the Germany connection.

I found this recipe at and I like the way it came together. The only thing that seemed different was the addition of boiling water to the mix. Unusual. But it worked.

The cake mix is enough to make three 8-inch rounds, and the author states that she makes a 2-layer cake and uses a different frosting for the third cake round for family members with nut allergies and taste preferences.


I did not do this and instead went all-in on a 3-layer cake.😃

Let’s be honest, German Chocolate Cake is all about the coconut-pecan frosting. It’s sweet and rich, and replete with the unique combination of pecans and coconut – there’s nothing like it.

And you know there’s something special about a frosting that gets cooked: This is a little like making a custard, as it starts with evaporated milk, butter and egg yolks. And sugar, of course, don’t forget the sugar! Once this is cooked enough to start thickening, the coconut and pecans are added.


Then, the frosting is left to cool and thicken some more.

In order to make a layer cake, I needed a double batch of frosting. The author says that a single batch is adequate for a 9 x13 pan, but I’d still be tempted to make a double batch. It would be a  shame to skimp on what makes this cake special!

German Chocolate Cake

German or not, this cake is yummy!

German Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

German Chocolate Cake:

Baker's German Chocolate Cake – or something like that 🙂
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 728.31kcal
Author: Sula



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

German Chocolate Frosting: (Note: double this for a layer cake)

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch


  • Pre-heat oven to 350º F. Grease three 8-inch or two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. (One 9×13 will also work)
  • In mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  • To flour mixture, add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix together on medium speed until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and add boiling water a little at a time to the cake batter. Once all water is mixed in, beat on high for about 1 minute.
  • Evenly distribute cake batter between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.

German Chocolate Frosting:

  • In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk and cornstarch, then mix; mix in sugar, egg yolks, margarine and vanilla. Cook over low-medium heat until it reaches a slow boil. Stir constantly for 12 minutes until thick from when it starts to slowly boil. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut, this frosting will thicken as it cools.
  • Let cool 1 hour then spread on cooled cake. To make this cake easy to slice, layer cake with frosting and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more, then slice and serve.


Calories: 728.31kcal | Carbohydrates: 90.85g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 39.57g | Saturated Fat: 23.23g | Cholesterol: 125.59mg | Sodium: 536.89mg | Potassium: 424.5mg | Fiber: 5.25g | Sugar: 65.14g | Vitamin A: 515.84IU | Vitamin C: 0.73mg | Calcium: 165.51mg | Iron: 3.05mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake is a special treat!

More chocolate dessert ideas:


    14 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cake

    1. 5 stars
      Looks like your frosting turned out really gooey and delicious–I can’t wait to try! When I used to make these cakes, I’d frost the cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and then put the coconut/pecan frosting on top of THAT. Just a suggestion!

      1. I think some people use the coconut pecan just between the layers and then chocolate buttercream around the whole cake – would also be amazing!

    2. 5 stars
      Your frosting was so yummy! This is my husbands favorite cake so I had to make this for him. He said it was the best he has ever had.

      1. I’m so glad it was a hit! I feel like a lot of husbands list German Chocolate as their favorite cake! I wonder why that is?

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