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One Of My All-Time Favorites, This Classic German Chocolate Cake Is Straight From My Grandmother’s Recipe Box!

Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake isn’t actually German. It’s an American classic that baker Sam German came up with in 1852 when he developed German’s sweet chocolate and then made this cake. Comprised of a delicious chocolate cake base, the real showstopper is the coconut pecan frosting. All put together, this cake is absolutely delicious and decadent and perfect for those special occasions when you really want to pull out all the stops. While maybe not the ideal dessert for times when you need something in a pinch, this cake is a real knockout and you should definitely take the time to try it out, it’s definitely worth it!

Sinfully Rich: Classic German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

Serves 10-12



  • 4 oz. German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup coffee or water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 3/4 cups flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and line 2-3 round, 8-9-inch cake pans (depending on how thick you want your cake layers) with wax paper.
  2. Grease and flour your lined cake pans and set aside.
  3. Set up a double-boiler with a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and melt chocolate until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and lightened in color. 3-4 minutes.
  5. One at a time, beat in egg yolks (waiting until each is incorporated before adding the next), then add melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  7. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and buttermilk and coffee to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  8. Beat egg whites in a small bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining egg whites, only until just combined.
  9. Pour batter equally into prepped cake pans and place in oven. Bake for 25-28 minutes, rotating in the middle, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
  11. For the frosting: combine sugar, evaporated milk, egg yolks, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook, whisking continuously, until mixture is thick and golden.
  12. Remove mixture from heat and fold in pecans, coconut and vanilla extract.
  13. Let cool until you can spread it thickly on the cake. Frost cake (leave sides bare), stack in layers and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

german choc cake

Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking

How Liqueur Chocolates Used to Be Made By Hand: Click “Next Page” below!