Indulge in Decadence with Homemade German Chocolate Cake


Prepare to embark on a culinary journey to delight your senses with the rich and indulgent flavors of German Chocolate Cake. Originating from a blend of sweet baking chocolate, buttermilk, and coconut-pecan frosting, this dessert is a timeless classic that never fails to impress. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply craving a taste of nostalgia, this homemade German Chocolate Cake recipe will elevate any gathering to new heights. Join us as we explore the art of baking this delectable treat from scratch.



  • 1 (4 ounce) package sweet baking chocolate (like Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate®), broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Prepare the Chocolate Batter: In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the sweet baking chocolate pieces. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Cream the Margarine and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened margarine and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Alternate Adding Ingredients: Gradually add the melted chocolate mixture to the creamed margarine and sugar, mixing well. Alternate adding the sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  5. Whip Egg Whites: In another clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate batter until evenly incorporated.
  6. Bake the Cake: Pour the batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Prepare the Coconut-Pecan Frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine evaporated milk, white sugar, egg yolks, margarine, and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sweetened flake coconut and chopped pecans. Let the frosting cool to room temperature before spreading it between the cake layers and over the top and sides of the cake.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • For added richness, you can use unsalted butter instead of margarine in both the cake batter and frosting.
  • Experiment with different types of chocolate for a unique twist on the traditional German Chocolate Cake. Dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate can add depth of flavor.
  • Customize the frosting by adjusting the sweetness level to your taste. You can add more or less sugar depending on your preference.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: Replace the white sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener in both the cake batter and frosting. Use unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened shredded coconut to reduce the carbohydrate content. Be mindful of portion sizes to stay within your daily carb limit.
  • Low-Carb Version: Follow the keto version instructions but further reduce the amount of sweetener and coconut in the frosting. You can also substitute almond flour or a combination of almond flour and coconut flour for the all-purpose flour in the cake batter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use cocoa powder instead of sweet baking chocolate? A: While cocoa powder can be used as a substitute for baking chocolate, it may alter the texture and flavor of the cake slightly. If using cocoa powder, you may need to adjust the amount of fat and liquid in the recipe.

Q: Can I make the cake layers in advance and freeze them? A: Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them for later use. Wrap each cooled cake layer tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw the cake layers in the refrigerator overnight before assembling and frosting the cake.

Q: How should I store leftover German Chocolate Cake? A: Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Enjoy within 3-4 days for the best taste and texture.

Q: Can I use a different type of nut in the frosting? A: Absolutely! Feel free to substitute chopped walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts for the chopped pecans in the coconut-pecan frosting for a delicious variation.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully mastered the art of baking a homemade German Chocolate Cake! With its luscious chocolate layers and decadent coconut-pecan frosting, this dessert is sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a sweet treat, this classic recipe is guaranteed to delight. Customize the cake to your taste preferences and experiment with different variations to make it your own. Share this delightful dessert with loved ones and savor every delicious bite. Here’s to the joy of baking and the pleasure of indulging in homemade goodness!