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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.

German Chocolate Cake on a white plate \\ Pass the Sushi

Excuse my language, but my cat is a dick.


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.

German Chocolate Cake on a blue stand with a slice in front \\ Pass the Sushi

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 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.

Yield: 1 Cake

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


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


Make the German Chocolate Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, wisk together the coffee and buttermilk.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  6. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
  7. Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. The mixture will look light and fluffy.
  8. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee/buttermilk mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  9. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate.
  10. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  11. 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.
  12. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes.
  13. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the Coconut Pecan Filling:

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

Assemble the Cake:

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

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 661Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 93gFiber: 4gSugar: 66gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information provided is an estimate from For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.

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