Homemade German Chocolate Cake

Making a homemade German Chocolate Cake is a delightful process that results in a rich, decadent dessert. This cake is not actually from Germany, but is named after an American baker by the name of Samuel German. It’s known for its distinctive coconut-pecan frosting and layers of chocolate cake.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 ounces German’s sweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Pour boiling water over the chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted; set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream 1 cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar until light and fluffy. Add 4 egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Stir in the melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  5. Sift together the cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Add these dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to the chocolate mixture, beating until smooth after each addition.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  1. Combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 lightly beaten egg yolks in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, coconut, and pecans. Cool until thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally.


  1. Place one layer of cake on a serving plate. Spread one-third of the frosting over the top.
  2. Add the second layer, and spread another third of the frosting.
  3. Top with the final cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting over the top.
  4. If desired, you can also frost the sides of the cake, or leave them unfrosted with the layers exposed for a more modern look.

Chill the cake for about an hour before serving to set the frosting. This rich cake is typically served in small portions. Enjoy your homemade German Chocolate Cake!

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