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German Chocolate Cake

Best German Chocolate Cake

Want the Best German Chocolate Cake recipe? Homemade chocolate cake & traditional frosting made with coconut & pecans top all those layers of goodness.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, german chocolate
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 slices


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cans evaporated milk 5 ounces each
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease TWO 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Line bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  • Add additional grease on top of the parchment & then dust pans lightly with cocoa powder or flour & shake out any excess. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
  • Add the milk, eggs & vanilla.
  • Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium until combined.
  • Reduce the speed & fold in the oil.
  • With the mixer on the lowest setting, slowly pour in boiling water & mix until well combined, about 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan & then invert them onto wire racks to cool completely. I like to place mine in the freezer to speed the process.
  • Once the cakes have cooled, spread about 1/3 of the frosting over one layer of cake.
  • Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting you just added.
  • Add more frosting to the top of the cake & garnish with additional nuts if desired.

For the frosting

  • In a large saucepan whisk together egg yolks & evaporated milk until well combined.
  • Stir in sugar & whisk to dissolve.
  • Add butter & cook mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from heat, add in vanilla, coconut, & pecans.
  • Cool several hours until just slightly cooler than room temperature before adding to the cake.


Recipe slightly adapted from the Add a Pinch cookbook