Made From Scratch German Chocolate Cake



My daughter and her family are here this week and I have been preparing many of her favorite meals to celebrate their visit.  Most of the time I cook just for myself so it’s a real treat to cook  for those I love.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my family around the dinner table enjoying good food and each other’s company. The dessert everybody always requests for a family dinner is German Chocolate Cake.  It beats out peach pie as our number one favorite.



This cake takes a bit of time and care to prepare but the result is worth all the effort.  The layers are rich, chocolatey and substantial enough to stand up well to the coconut-pecan frosting.  There is something magical about the combination of flavors and texture, and I swear I can eat spoonfuls of the frosting right out of the pan.  If there is any left in the pan after the cake is frosted what else can I do but finish it off.  This is a rich cake and I can almost guarantee it will satisfy even the most extreme sweet tooth.  Small slices with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream usually do it.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Made From Scratch German Chocolate Cake
: 16
  • CAKE:
  • 1 pkg. (4 oz) Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 pkg. (7 ounces) coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottoms of 3 8" or 9" round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter sides of pans. Microwave chocolate and water in large microwavable bowl on high until almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.
  4. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small metal spatula around cake layers. Cool in pans 15 minutes, remove layers from the pans to wire racks. Discard parchment paper, Cool cake layers completely. Spread coconut-pecan frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake
  7. Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with a wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat.
  8. Add coconut and nuts and mix well. Cool to desired consistency. Makes about 4-1/2 cups of frosting, enough to frost 3 cake layers or 36 cupcakes.



Sorry about the blurry photo but I had to be quick to get even this shot. Once the cake was cut everyone was eager to get their plates.  I have seen German Chocolate Cake prepared with chocolate buttercream frosting on the sides of the cake, but that is way too over the top for me. Just thinking about it  makes my teeth hurt.  We love this version and bet that your family would love it too.  If you want to make something very special for a occasion you want to remember do try this recipe.  I’ve made it hundreds of times and it is always the star of the show.

If you love German Chocolate cake as much as we do you might also enjoy German Chocolate Cake Macarons from an earlier post. You get all the same wonderful flavors of the cake in a  light, delicate little cookie.  If you have been thinking about giving macarons a try this is a great recipe to start with.

Here we are at Friday again and I’m linking this post to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Fresh Food Friday at La Bella Vita, and On the Menu Monday at StoneGable.

Happy Weekend Everyone!




  1. says

    German chocolate cake is one of my favorites. My son made one for my birthday a few years back and I haven’t had one since. We need a house full of cake eaters to make one. I know you are enjoying your guests and they you.


  2. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    Yep, that would be good!!! I’m sure your daughter is thrilled to be visiting and eating so well Cathy-have fun:@)

  3. says

    Delish! I know your family is basking in all the wonderful love you’re showing them through your wonderful cooking, Cathy. This is my son-in-love’s favorite cake but I’ve always just bought the icing in the can. *blush* I sure will try your version next time. Thanks!


    p.s. We BOTH had chocolate cake on the brain this week. GMTA!! ;-p
    Rettabug recently posted..Deep, Dark, Decadent "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  4. says

    Oh my! That German layer cake has me just staring. No doubt the time and care is worth the effort. This cake reminds of me the Coconut layer cake recipe from Thomas Keller. Lots of time and attention to detail but the results are so good.

    I can think of a better way to enjoy meals than with your favorite people. Awesome.

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  5. says

    What a wonderful looking cake,Cathy! I like all the layers and the frosting sounds like it would taste so well with chocolate.
    I know how good it feels to be able to cook for a visiting family…although I am usually the one cooking in their kitchens, as I am usually the visitor :)
    Pat recently posted..A Quick Trip to the Philly Italian MarketMy Profile

  6. says

    As if the cake weren’t special enough – macarons too! You are a superb baker lady. I remember making that cake when I was in high school – but with a box mix – way inferior to what you’ve got going on.
    ciaochowlinda recently posted..Tomato SoupMy Profile

  7. says

    I was just over at Erin’s site reading her Secret Recipe Club entry and found out that you are her mother. I had to come over here and visit. That cake looks amazing. It’s my husband’s favorite kind of cake. He asks for it for his birthday almost every year.
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  8. Patsy says

    My daughter just made this German Chocolate Cake last night for her husband’s birthday & it was GREAT!!! Best one I have ever eaten.

  9. says

    Too funny. I know what it means to have to hurry up and take a photo. This is one of my favorite cakes. Actually, I made a reduced calorie one from Cook’s Illustrated, a few years ago. It was surprisingly good. I’d never want frosting on the sides. Oy. Funny how people think this is from Germany, when it’s actually named after the chocolate used to make it. You have me craving this now.
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  10. brooke says

    Just wanted to say that I Love This recipe!! I’ve been using it for years and it’s just the darn best cake anyone’s ever had and I get compliments all the time.


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