German chocolate cake is a type of dessert that consists of several layers of chocolate cake filled and frosted with a rich and sweet coconut-pecan frosting. Despite its name, German chocolate cake is not actually of German origin. It is a classic American dessert that takes its name from the brand of chocolate used in the original recipe.

The cake’s history dates back to the 1950s when a recipe for “German’s Chocolate Cake” was published in a Dallas, Texas newspaper. The recipe was created by a woman named Mrs. George Clay and featured Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, a product produced by the Baker’s Chocolate Company. The recipe gained popularity and eventually became known as “German chocolate cake.”

The key component of a German chocolate cake is the frosting, which is made by combining sweetened shredded coconut, chopped pecans, sugar, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. This mixture is cooked until it thickens and then spread between the layers of chocolate cake and on top. The result is a cake with a moist and tender chocolate crumb and a sweet, nutty, and coconutty frosting that provides a delightful contrast in flavors and textures.

German Chocolate Cake

Recipe by caion


Prep time


Cooking time



German chocolate cake is a beloved dessert in the United States and is often enjoyed on special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. It has a unique and distinctive flavor profile that sets it apart from other chocolate cakes.


  • For the Chocolate Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • For the Chocolate Cake:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined, but be careful not to overmix.
  • Stir in the boiling water until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin, but that’s okay.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then, remove them from the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, granulated sugar, egg yolks, and butter.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. This should take about 12-15 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. Mix until the frosting is well combined.
  • Assembling the Cake:
  • Place one of the cooled chocolate cake layers on a serving platter.
  • Spread a generous layer of the coconut-pecan frosting over the top of the first layer.
  • Place the second chocolate cake layer on top of the frosting.
  • Frost the top of the second layer with more of the coconut-pecan frosting.
  • You can also frost the sides of the cake if desired.
  • Slice and serve your delicious homemade German chocolate cake!

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