This is the best German Chocolate Cake! We’ve got three layers of rich, moist, delicious chocolate cake and a traditional sweet coconut and pecan filling. This cake is perfect for any holiday or birthday celebration – it’s sure to disappear off plates in no time!
World, meet German Chocolate Cake. My most favorite cake. The best, most delicious, all-occasion cake. There’s never not an occasion at which this cake would be appropriate – make it for birthdays, anniversaries, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas – you get the drift! No matter what occasion you make this for, people will go crazy for it!
Let’s make this cake!
It starts with the lightest, silkiest chocolate cake batter – which is achieved by folding in beaten egg whites!
And yes, I will show you how to FOLD IT IN (please tell me you get the reference!). Add the egg whites to the cake batter. Gently run a silicone spatula down the side of the bowl, then along the bottom of the bowl, folding the mixture over onto itself. Keep doing this until the egg whites disappear into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly between three greased + floured pans (my number one trick to ensuring that your cakes never stick!) and bake. Let your cakes cool completely before moving on to the frosting. I usually make the cake layers one day, then frost and assemble it the next.
To make the frosting, we’re cooking evaporated milk, sugar, and egg yolks until thickened. Then, we’ll stir in some sweetened coconut flakes and chopped pecans! Easy peasy.
Let the frosting cool a bit so it thickens, then spread it onto the cooled cake. Use strips of wax paper like I did in the photo below to protect your cake stand from getting messy while you frost the cake. You can pull these away at the end!
Let the cake chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving, so everything can set up.
Then, slice and serve! This cake makes about 16 slices worth. Make sure to enjoy it with a glass of cold milk or maybe even a cup of coffee. Store leftovers in the fridge and they’ll keep for about a week!
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
German Chocolate Cake
For the Cake
- 4 ounces Baker's German Sweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature (2 sticks or 226 g)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs separated
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk See note below for a sub
For the Coconut Pecan Frosting
- 4 egg yolks yes, in addition to the 4 separated eggs above - for a total of 8 eggs
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup salted butter (1 and 1/2 sticks, or 12 tbsp)
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 oz sweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans well with shortening and then coat the insides with flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
- Make the Cake: Microwave chopped chocolate and water in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer to cream. Add sugar and mix until creamed with the butter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until just incorporated after each addition. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla, and mix. Add about a third of the flour mixture and mix until it's just incorporated. Add a third of the milk and mix until just incorporated. Repeat this until the flour mixture and milk are completely mixed into the wet ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, to get everything incorporated. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. (See tip about folding in blog post above.)
- Bake: Divide the batter between your three prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 22-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with some moist crumbs. Note: I typically bake 2 cake layers at a time, and then bake the third layer after that. When I have two pans in the oven the cake is done around 25 minutes, and when I only have one pan in the oven, it's done around 22 minutes. Tip: To divide the batter perfectly evenly, use a kitchen scale. My batter weighed 1595 grams, so it was about 520-530 grams per pan. If you're pretty good at eyeballing this, don't worry about weighing it out.
- Cool the Cake Layers: When the cake is done, immediately run a butter knife around the edges of the cake layers to loosen from the side of pan. Let the cake layers cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks. Let them cool completely before frosting.Make Ahead Tip: Make the cake layers a day ahead. Once they're completely cooled, place each one on a dinner plate or something similar and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Keep at room temperature overnight, and frost the next day!
- Make the Coconut Pecan Frosting + Frost the Cake: In a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla. Add the sugar and butter. Cook on medium heat about 10-12 minutes. The mixture will have thickened and become golden brown. Remove from the heat. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Let the frosting cool about 15-20 minutes, or until it's thick enough that it won't run all over the cake, but not too thick that you can't spread it. Frost in between each cake layer and on the top. Cover the cake with plastic wrap (use toothpicks to keep it from sticking to the top of the cake) or use a cake plate with a lid, and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing, so it can set up.
- Serve + Store: Slice and enjoy with a glass of cold milk! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
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