German Chocolate Cake Recipe from Scratch

My homemade German chocolate cake recipe produces a extremely moist layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconut pecan frosting.

I love it cold, but you can serve it at room temperature too. It's like heaven on a fork.

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

German Chocolate Cake Recipe


Make this cake a day before you want to serve it. Like me, it gets better with age.

1/2 cup water
4 (1 ounce squares) German sweet chocolate
1 cup homemade unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 egg whites

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 inch pans. Place greased parchment paper on the bottom of each cake pan.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a bowl, microwave the chocolate and water until melted. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and combine well. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla. Starting with the buttermilk, beat in alternately with the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. DO NOT OVER-MIX.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. LIGHTLY fold 1/2 of the egg whites into the batter, combine, and then add the remaining egg whites; mixing together. Pour into the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for ten minutes in the pan and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

* For buttermilk,

Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in one cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, and then it's ready for this recipe.

If you are taking the time to make this German chocolate cake recipe, you MUST use this frosting.


2 cups evaporated milk
2 TBS cornstarch
2 cups white sugar
6 egg yolks, beaten with 2 tsp water
1 cup homemade unsalted butter
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans (or to taste), chopped
1 cup flaked and toasted coconut (or to taste)

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the evaporated milk. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Whisk constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and add the toasted pecans and coconut. Stir well and place in the refrigerator to cool.  Spread on the cake when it has cooled down.

TO TOAST the pecans and coconut, place together in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet until the coconut is lightly golden brown.

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