Decadently Rich German Chocolate Cake Recipe

When birthdays roll around in our house, I enjoy baking the family’s birthday cakes. However, I usually have one condition, it has to be something I have not blogged about yet. Yes I am one of those food bloggers that is always looking for new material so I impose this even on my kids for their birthdays. I decided to mix it up and make something a little different for my own birthday, I went with a German Chocolate Cake Recipe, something I have never made before and actually don’t ever order at restaurants either. This recipe is a little labor intensive but well worth it. (and by labor intensive I mean there were a lot of pans to clean!)


I am not sure if there is any other German Chocolate other than what you find in the baking section of your grocery store. Please comment below if there is a substitute to keep this authentic, guessing there was something else when this cake was created. 


What I love about this cake is that is keep nice and light by adding egg whites to the batter. Just be sure you beat your egg white properly and don’t mix them too much.


Add the batter to three 9 inch baking pans. I used baking non-stick spray and they came out lovely. (you know the stuff with flour added)  If you are nervous, be sure to add parchment to the bottom of the pan and spray that as well.

Watch your cakes carefully, there is nothing worse than a dry cake.

3 layer cake

I made my layers the day before I was serving the cake. You may want to make the frosting the day before too.


Frosting is not that hard, but cooked frosting made me a little nervous. The milk, egg and butter mixture never seemed to thicken up, even after about 10 minutes. I took a leap of faith and ended the cooking process and added the coconut and nuts. I let it sit for at least 90 minutes to cool.

Finally it worked, it was spreadable but still thick. No need to cover the sides to this cake, just the middle and top. (have to love that)


While it is pretty just like this, who doesn’t love a little chocolate drizzle over the top?


Allow your chocolate to set before serving. I told you this was a multi-step cake but well worth it. Look how beautiful this will look on your dessert table.

The slices are super big with three layers. This German Chocolate Cake easily serves 12. 


Be sure to check out our most recent cake recipes we have made. Like our Cheesecake layered cakes, peanut butter and chocolate cake, traditional devils food cake just to name a few. Don’t forget your dog’s birthdays either, check out our homemade dog cake recipes too. 


German Chocolate Cake Recipe


German Chocolate Cake

Yield: 14 Slices
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A 3 layer German Chocolate Cake that is well worth making homemade


  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate


  1. 1.Spray 3 9 inch round baking pans with baking spray (spray with flour) or Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper and set aside. In small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat; cool.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  3. 3. In a small bowl and with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into creamed mixture; fold in remaining whites.
  4. 4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. 5. For frosting, in a small saucepan, heat sugar, milk, butter and egg yolks over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.
  6. 6. In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth; drizzle over cake. Yield: 12 servings.


Adapted from Taste of Home

Nutrition Information
Yield 14 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 822Total Fat 48gSaturated Fat 24gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 193mgSodium 485mgCarbohydrates 93gFiber 4gSugar 73gProtein 10g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline.

What is your favorite birthday Cake? 

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  1. To say that this German Chocolate Cake looks great, it really is an understatement. This should be pictured in a magazine. It looks so delicious. I like how you showed the step by step instructions through pictures. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. German Chocolate is one of my favorite cakes. This looks so good!

  3. My favorite cake is my recipe for Carrot Cake that I love! I have made German Chocolate Cake, and your cake turned out so pretty! I need to make this cake again and use your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this kind of cake thanks for the receipe

  5. We always have to buy the frosting because we didn’t know how to make it at home. I can eat that stuff by the mouthful.

  6. Thank you for this recipe! I really have always loved German Chocolate. So this is fantastic!

  7. Oh my goodness that looks amazing! I looooooove German Chocolate Cake!

  8. That looks good…. I haven’t had one of those in a long time!

  9. I am not the biggest german chocolate cake fan, but this looks pretty good.

  10. My little brother loves German Chocolate Cake, I will have to try this recipe out on him! Thanks for sharing

  11. thanks for all the wonderful comments today. I was surprised how well it came out as well for a first time try

  12. That cake looks so delicious. I would like to try that fristing on other things as well.

  13. Perfect recipe. Hubby makes them from a box. He needs a real one. lol

  14. I am not a German chocolate fan but my husband is and he would love this recipe.

  15. My mother used to make me German Chocolate Cake for my birthday. I have many fond memories of this cake! Your cake is beautiful!

  16. German chocolate cake is so good! I need to try your recipe!

  17. My grandmother use to make german chocolate cake. This post reminds me of her

  18. Beautiful! I can’t wait to try your recipe. I hope it looks as good when I make it!

  19. I am a big fan of German chocolate cake, and this looks amazing!

  20. YUM!!! We love German Chocolate Cake in our family. Just made one for my mom for her birthday but yours is way prettier!

  21. I really have no words for this decadent and delicious looking cake!!! I want it now, wish I could get a piece through my computer screen! lol!!!

  22. You had me at chocolate for sure. This looks sinful.

  23. This looks so good I can almost taste it. I’m itching for a brownie or a piece of cake right now, virtual will just have to temporarily do!

  24. This looks delicious! Love chocolate plus coconut!

  25. This looks delicious!! I haven’t had German Chocolate cake in forever. I think I’ll be making some soon 🙂

  26. This looks so good and indulgent for sure! I really enjoyed the Blueberry-Lemon birthday cake my daughter wanted this year for her birthday- normally I’m a Strawberry fan 🙂

  27. German Chocolate cake is my favorite. I’m pinning this so I can share it with my family (we make each other’s cake requests for our birthdays).

  28. That looks heavenly! This is my favorite kind of cake.

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