Homemade German Chocolate Cake

Homemade German Chocolate Cake is a delectable dessert that combines rich, chocolatey goodness with a luscious coconut-pecan filling. This indulgent treat has become a beloved classic, cherished for its sweet and savory interplay of flavors.

To create this delightful confection, you’ll need a few key ingredients. The cake itself is made from a moist and tender chocolate sponge, a crucial foundation for the other elements. The real magic, however, lies in the coconut-pecan filling. It’s a symphony of sweet coconut, chopped pecans, and rich, buttery caramel that’s generously spread between the cake layers.

The process begins with baking the chocolate cake layers. As they cool, you can prepare the show-stopping filling. Toasting the pecans enhances their nutty flavor, while mixing them with coconut creates a deliciously textured base. Meanwhile, a simmering pot of butter, sugar, and evaporated milk is skillfully crafted into the caramel sauce that binds it all together.

When the cake layers are cooled and the filling is ready, it’s time for assembly. You’ll spread a generous amount of the coconut-pecan filling between each layer, creating a delightful contrast with the chocolate cake. This layering process is a testament to the cake’s indulgent complexity. The final touch is the smooth and creamy chocolate frosting, which enrobes the entire cake. This luscious frosting is the proverbial icing on the cake, making it a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 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 oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

The Coconut and Pecan Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans and line the bottoms with round pieces of wax or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, mixing well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Stir in the boiling water (the batter will be thin). Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then invert them onto wire racks to cool completely.

For the German Chocolate Frosting:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts, and coconut. Allow it to cool completely before layering it on the cake.

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Melt the butter and stir in cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating until you reach spreading consistency.
  2. Add a small amount of additional milk if needed to thin the frosting or a little extra powdered sugar to adjust the consistency. Stir in vanilla.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Place one of the cake rounds on your serving stand or plate.
  2. Spread a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the cake layer, and then spoon half of the coconut frosting on top, spreading it into a smooth layer, leaving about 1/2 inch between the filling and the edge of the cake.
  3. Stack the second cake round on top and smooth chocolate frosting over the entire cake.
  4. Spoon the remaining coconut frosting on top of the cake.

Enjoy your delicious Homemade German Chocolate Cake!

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