German chocolate cake is a rich, decadent, layered chocolate cake that’s filled and topped with a sweet coconut-pecan frosting. To. die. for.

German Chocolate Cake on a white plate \ Pass the Sushi

Excuse my language, but my cat is a dick.

Seriously.

What does this have to do with the cake recipe? Nothing other than that she decided that she was going to enjoy the slice I had rationed for myself and got caught with a face full of icing…. again. Yeah… I said again…

My cat enjoyed this German chocolate cake, and so did the people that received samples long before she got her chops on it.

The chocolate cakes were rather rich and moist (and in my mind would stand as a good base for any type of layered chocolate cake). The pecan coconut filling/frosting was amazing. Sweet, sticky and delicious (for those of you as immature as me, giggle freely).

This cake was amazing. Kiori the cat agrees.

For more layer cake confections check out these recipes:

Hummingbird Cake
Strawberry Layer Cake 
Confetti Layer Cake

If you’ve tried my German Chocolate Cake recipe or any other recipe on passthesushi.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivoreTwitter Facebook.

German Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake is a rich, decadent, layered chocolate cake that’s filled and topped with a sweet coconut-pecan frosting. To. die. for.
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cake
American
Author: Kita Roberts
1 hour 5 minutes
Serves: 1 Cake

Ingredients

For the German Chocolate Cake Layers:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup dark - unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate - melted and cooled

For the Coconut Pecan filling:

  • 1 1/3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cup toasted pecans - chopped coarsely

Instructions

Make the German Chocolate Cake Layers:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Butter three 8-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dish with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
  • Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, wisk together the coffee and buttermilk.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. The mixture will look light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee/buttermilk mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.
  • Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the Coconut Pecan Filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread half of the coconut evenly across the pan and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until the coconut begins to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  • In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and egg yolks.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • After the mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from heat and stir in the toasted coconut, regular coconut, and pecans.
  • Place the pan over an ice bath (a large bowl fitted with ice) and stir the mixture until cooled.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Place on cake layer on a serving platter.
  • Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread one third of the filling on top.
  • Add the next layer, trim and frost with one third of the filling, then add the third layer.
  • Trim the top and frost with remaining filling.
  • The cake will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 400mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 66g

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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German Chocolate Cake from above \ Pass the Sushi
Slice of  the Cake with pecan frosting on a white plate \ Pass the Sushi

37 Comments

  1. lol I had a dog that was SO bad at night that I had to buy him a huge cage. And then he sat in their and whined all night!

    The cake looks good. I think the only thing that makes German chocolate cake German is the chocolate it calls for. I usually just use the Baker’s squares which I’m sure aren’t German at all but yeah… I love German chocolate cake frosting like no other!

  2. Hey! Your cats sound nuts, just like my rabbits. They pick the autographed books to chew, perfect time to drink water(loudly) during the good part in a movie, one even got the remote and chewed buttons off it. But I love them to death.

    Your cake looks amazing! The chocolate looks so dark and rich! Soooo the answer to your Q… It’s actually German’s Chocolate Cake. German’s is a baking chocolate producer. Over time people shorten it, assuming it had to do with Germany. I didn’t know this all until I made one and looked into it because I was confused too.

  3. The cake looks heavenly! Glad to know my cat is not the only one that chews on plastic bags, I thought he had something wrong with him! He loves to scratch my couch which is now ruined when we will not get up at 3:30 to let him go out! But I love him even with his flaws : )!

  4. My roommates cat would torment me when she was out of town, so I locked him in her room… I know, I’m mean… I’m surprised kitty was interested in eating the cake, I would like a slice, but a kitty?

  5. RavieNomNoms says:

    Haha that is too funny. My male cat Linus is the same way. When he wants attention he will do just about anything. Like chewing on plastic bags or hopping into to the kitchen sink while I am cooking to get my attention. Cats are silly like that.

    The cake look outstanding! I think that German Chocolate cake sometimes gets left behind in the race when really it is one of the best cakes that is out there. There is so many great flavors going on and it always ends up being SUCH a crowd pleaser. Nice work lady, looks delicious!

  6. Gorgeous German chocolate cake! I love how you used dark cocoa powder v. the traditional lighter Dutch process type. Nothing beats a homemade coconut pecan filling and you’ve reminded us of how simple it is to make. Brava!

  7. My BF and I luuuuuurve german chocolate cake; it’s one of those desserts that’s perpetually on my list, but I never get to…maybe because I find the process of making an entire cake, as opposed to cupcakes, completely daunting. Do you ever have to cut/trim your cakes to make them flat for stacking, or do you have your oven tuned just right to where they come out flat naturally? My cakes always turn out a little curvier than I’d like. >.>

    1. Oh goodness no! My cake isn’t trimmed at all (this one is totally off level). If I had more time and patience, I would level the cake, but I am far not skilled enough for a perfectly level cake. Someday 🙂

  8. My cat is a crazy too! He attacks people without any warning. He kills lizards, mice and rabbits, carrying them through our neighborhood in his mouth, to our backyard. Our neighbors have a little dog and they’ve told us that any time they see Styx outside the bring their dog inside. How embarrassing!

    This cake is to die for!! German chocoalte is one of my all time favs and looking at these pictures is really giving me a craving for a huge slice!

  9. You are too funny! The opening line to this post made laugh out loud. 🙂 And your cake looks amazingly delicious. I love how dark the chocolate layers are… they look rich and yummy. Nicely done!

  10. Mmmm….this goes on my must make list. That chocolate cake looks incredibly moist and rich. Lovely job.

  11. And I thought my dog was a little spoiled. Good thing he can’t read, otherwise he’d be picking up some ideas from your cat. Looking forward to trying this recipe. German chocolate is a family favorite.

  12. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says:

    Your cats sound wild and too funny! I can just imagine your cat eating the cake!
    This cake looks incredible. German Chocolate Cake is one of my favorites. 🙂

  13. ROFL about your dog! And I love that cake. It has been so long since I made one, I think like 10 years LOL for some reason I never make German Chocolate cake but I really love it! Yours looks amazingly yummy!

  14. Well I meant your cat 😉 but I was thinking about my friends dog at the same time that mostly acts like a dick ROFL

    I’ve had a long day LOL

  15. Well if you ever have kids, you will have to thank Maddox for the training. 🙂

    Your cake looks wonderful, Kita… so rich and chocolatey!

  16. Heeheehee you said sweet, sticky and delicious! Seriously though that cake looks *YUUUUUUUUM!* I want to cram a piece in my face right now.

    Cats can be difficult, one of the reasons I’m glad I am allergic. Although my bishon mix acts like one and I try to remember why we wanted to adopt him in the first place…

    I would love to see Kiori with cake face! How cute!! I must admit cats with a nice side really do make me smile. I even pet them, although it makes my face itch.

    I just had to comment (and BUZZ!) If this doesn’t make the Top 9 I’ll strike! STRIKE STRIKE! 🙂

  17. Maybe it’s the chocolate that makes them so crazy? I read somewhere chocolate’s bad for cats and dogs.. but then, I’m no vet. Cat or not, that cake looks ameowzing!

  18. I’ve never tried to make a German Chocolate cake before but this looks so good.

  19. That coconut pecan filling is really attracting…and plus the chocolate cake…this is amazing

  20. Granny Smith says:

    Hi. Your cake looks good. Not really German Chocolate Cake of course, but good. The authentic German (it is really German’s) Chocolate Cake recipe is here – https://www.kraftbrands.com/bakerschocolate/recipes/recipe-detail.aspx?recipeId=51120&recipeName=Original%20BAKER%27S%20GERMAN%27S%20Sweet%20Chocolate%20Cake

    The cake is made with German’s Sweet Chocolate, which has no connection at all to Germany. It was originally the formula of a company called “German’s” which became part of Baker’s Chocolate. As you can see from the picture, this cake is almost a mahogany color.

    I like to double the frosting recipe LOL. There is no such thing as “too much” of it.

  21. I totally get you on the cat story! Mine are pretty ruthless to if they are hungry. They love to bite at the end of the children’s toes – waking them up so they wake me up! The cake looks pretty fab too. Wish it was possible to virtual taste.

  22. That cake looks so good! Do you think I could substitute anything else for the coconut in the frosting? None of us are big coconut fans in our home… 🙂

    1. I sent you an email, but I am not sure what a good substitute would be. This was my first German chocolate cake. I am just recently learning to like coconut and I found the filling to be wonderful. Sweet but not in that distinguishable coconut flavor. 🙁 sorry!

  23. I love posts with animal stories…I think I’d be too amused to be mad, too…I guess your cake was irresistible (I know couldn’t resist!).

  24. I was one of the lucky ones who had a taste of this (hopefully before the cat got to it) and it was awesome…I’m not a big fan of coconut either and I still thought it was great…

  25. yum! Looks great and irresistible! I can totally relate to the cat issues. My dog loves to get into food!

  26. My cat does silly things to get our attention, too. He hasn’t chewed on any cords yet but he’ll scratch my rugs and run away when I call him on it.

    Hmm, I wonder if my cat would like this cake–I know I would! Looks perfect!

  27. This cake looks soooooo good! I’m going to have to try it soon.

    My cats are jerks too. Mochi likes to sit on my face and start washing herself at 6am every morning, and Sushi regularly makes a break for it when we walk out the door. But, they’re so cute that it’s all worth it 😉

  28. Sorry if I missed the answer in the list, but BAKER’S is the brand, German is the name of the man who formulated the chocolate for the Baker company. It is Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate that makes a German chocolate cake.

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