German Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake with coconut-pecan topping deserves special attention. Cakes require accurate oven temperatures to bake to perfection. In too-hot ovens, cakes may develop tunnels and cracks. A too-cool oven may cause cakes to become coarse.

German Chocolate Cake
Photo: Peter Krumhardt
Prep Time:
50 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 3 eggs

  • cup butter, softened

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 4 ounce package sweet baking chocolate

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ¾ cup buttermilk or sour milk

  • 1 Coconut-Pecan Frosting (see recipe below)

Coconut-Pecan Frosting

  • 1 egg

  • 1 5 ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk

  • cup sugar

  • ¼ cup butter

  • 1 ⅓ cup flaked coconut

  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  1. Separate eggs. Allow egg yolks, egg whites, and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9x1-1/2-inch or 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans; set pans aside. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan combine chocolate and 1/3 cup water. Cook and stir over low heat until melted; cool.

  3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating for 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture; beat on low speed after each addition until combined.

  4. Thoroughly wash the beaters. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold egg whites into the batter. Spread batter into the prepared pans.

  5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans. 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting over tops of cakes, stacking layers. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan slightly beat egg. Stir in evaporated milk, sugar, and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in flaked coconut and chopped pecans. Cover and cool thoroughly.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

484 Calories
29g Fat
52g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 484
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 371mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0.6mg 3%
Calcium 70.7mg 5%
Iron 1.3mg 7%
Potassium 204mg 4%
Folate, total 16.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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