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Jump To Recipe by Lily Ernst//November 7, 2020
This is a classic German Chocolate Cake made with two layers of moist and delicious chocolate cake and a rich coconut-pecan frosting. This spectacular dessert is shockingly easy to make and oh so good!
I remember my first taste of a German chocolate cake. It was many years ago at a friend’s house, but I still recall very clearly that sweet coconut pecan frosting and deep-dark chocolate cake. I remember savoring the chewy texture of the shredded coconut and how the sweetness lingers on your palate along with a slight bittersweet chocolate taste. As you can tell, that cake obviously made an unforgettable impression on me.
What is German chocolate cake?
German chocolate cake is an American chocolate layer cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. It’s not called German because of its origin, but owes its name to the inventor of the chocolate that was used in its original cake recipe. In 1852, an English-American chocolate maker named Samuel German developed a formula for baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company. The company named the product Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate in honor of him. In 1957, a recipe for “German’s Chocolate Cake” was created by Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker from Dallas, Texas. The recipe used the baking chocolate that had been introduced 105 years prior and became quite popular. Sales of Baker’s Chocolate were said to have increased by as much as 73% and the cake became a national staple. (source: Wikipedia)
Why this recipe is so great:
- Easy to make – Both the frosting and the cake are made by hand with a simple whisk and spatula so it’s a breeze to make.
- Best chocolate cake – The cake is super moist, fudgy, and not too sweet. The texture is soft, fluffy, and tender.
- Best coconut-pecan frosting – The frosting is wonderfully thick and rich. It’s perfectly sweet with a creamy-milky flavor and it’s loaded with chewy coconut flakes and crunchy pecans.
- Great make-ahead dessert – This cake keeps really well and can be made 2 days in advance.
- Here are some reviews:
“I have made this 2 times now and it is the best German chocolate cake out there! You will not be disappointed if you make this.” – Melissa
“I made this on Sunday for our dessert, expecting there be some leftover for Monday, but… nope… it was devoured. So delicious.” – Diane
How to make German Chocolate Cake:
(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)
- In a large bowl, toss together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Then add in the hot water and whisk until smooth.
- Divide the batter into two greased 9″ cake pans. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, sugar, and egg yolks. Add the butter and cook over the stovetop until thickened. Stir in the shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract. Let cool for 30 minutes before spreading on cake.
- Divide the batter evenly – Try to divide the batter as evenly as possible between the two cake pans so they’re both done at the same time. I actually measure by weight to ensure both my cakes are the same.
- Prepare the custard for the frosting – Make sure to cook your custard until it thickens. This will take about 10-12 minutes, but be patient and wait until it reaches a pudding-like consistency or your frosting won’t be thick enough.
- Trim the cake tops – If your cakes are rounded on top, trim the domes so you get nice flat layers.
You might also like:
- Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake
- Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Triple Chocolate Cake
Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.
This is a classic German Chocolate Cake made with a moist and delicious chocolatey cake and a rich coconut-pecan frosting.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250ml) hot water
- 1 cup (250ml) evaporated milk
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (114g) unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cup (115g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup (125g) chopped pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 9″ round cake pans with non-stick baking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, milk, vanilla, and eggs.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Slowly add in the hot water and stir until the batter is well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared baking pans.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting. Trim the top of the cakes if needed.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the evaporated milk, sugar, and egg yolks. Add butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency (about 10-12 minutes).
- Remove from heat, stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Let cool for 30 minutes.
- Spread half the frosting on one cake, top with the other cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top.
Leftovers can be tightly covered and stored at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 45 min
- Category: dessert
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: german chocolate cake recipe, coconut pecan frosting, chocolate layer cake
originally published November 7, 2020 — last updated September 11, 2022// 91 Comments
Posted in: , Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Video Recipes
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Best German Chocolate cake for sure and easy to make! I have made this one three times for my youngest birthday.
Lily Ernst —Reply
Thank you so much for your kind words and happy belated birthday to your little one!
First time making it, while it wasn’t as pretty as yours, it did taste great. Everyone went crazy for the frosting! absolutely delicious!
★★★★★(Video) German Chocolate Cake - Caramel, Ganache, Turtles Chocolate | How To Cake It with Yolanda Gampp
Love this recipe, easy, delicious and always loved by family friend Thank you for sharing, Spain
Lily Ernst —Reply
You’re very welcome, Alexandra, and thank you for your kind words!
Micki N Garcia —Reply
Love love love this cake & recipe!!! Daughter asked me to bake her good friend a bday cake and her friend loves German Chocolate Cake (so do I lol) This is my 2nd time making this recipe & both for bdays (ppl love this type of cake). I am very pleased with the taste, texture and ease in making this recipe. Wish I could send a pic I posted on FB. I’ve tried others but this one is a keeper….💕
- (Video) OLD SCHOOL GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
Lily Ernst —Reply
I’m so happy to hear and thank you for your kind words, Micki! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to send me a pic or you can tag me on FB. Thanks again and have a great week!
My husband LOVED OT!!! had 2 slices in a row for his birthday!
Lily Ernst —Reply
Thank you! That’s great and happy belated birthday to your husband!
How many cupcakes would this recipe make?
Lily Ernst —Reply
About 24 cupcakes. Enjoy!(Video) How To Make A Classic German Chocolate Cake
91 Comments on “German Chocolate Cake (video)”
While the standard chocolate cake is chocolate through and through, with icing on top and sides, the German Chocolate Cake takes it up a notch with layers of caramel flavored icing between three layers of chocolate cake -- making for a very moist cake.What makes a German chocolate cake different? ›
While the standard chocolate cake is chocolate through and through, with icing on top and sides, the German Chocolate Cake takes it up a notch with layers of caramel flavored icing between three layers of chocolate cake -- making for a very moist cake.What is the most popular German cake? ›
Black Forest Cake is perhaps Germany's most well-known and most-loved cake. It consists of a chocolate cake with a filling of fresh cream and cherries soaked in Kirschwasser, a clear cherry schnaps that is a specialty in the Black Forest. The cake is decorated with cream, chocolate shavings and cherries.What is the frosting on German chocolate cake made of? ›
What Is German Chocolate Cake Frosting Made Of? Basically, German Chocolate Cake Frosting is a rich caramel custard ladened with sweet, chewy coconut and the crunch of buttery pecans. It's an easy recipe made with evaporated milk, egg yolks, butter, sugar, shredded sweetened coconut and chopped pecans.What is the backstory of German chocolate cake? ›
Its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American baker Samuel German developed a type of dark baking chocolate for the Baker's Chocolate Company. The brand name of the product, Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, was named in his honor.What is the cake filling that is often used in German bakeries? ›
German buttercream is a custard-based buttercream that consists simply of pastry cream, butter, and any additional flavorings you may want. This buttercream is perfect for someone who likes a creamy, buttery frosting, but one that has a very subtle sweetness.What is the difference between devils food cake and German chocolate cake? ›
A devil's-food cake is richer and darker, and has a strong cocoa flavor. German chocolate (a favorite here in south Texas) usually is a lighter-colored cake with a flavor of mild chocolate. True German chocolate cake has delicious pecan-coconut frosting, while the devil's food usually has a dark fudge frosting.What is the most loved cake in the world? ›
You've guessed it right! Chocoholics' favorite dense and moist chocolate cake ranks top of the list. Glazing the cake with a thick chocolate ganache is one of the most popular ways to enjoy this dessert!
Recipes. Sponge cake baked with meringue and almonds becomes the centerpiece of this delightful layer cake filled with custard and whipped cream. Kvæfjordkake began its inception in the north of Norway and has earned it's nickname as verdens beste, “the world's best”.What do Germans drink when eating cake? ›
The unofficial fourth meal of the day, Kaffee und Kuchen, or Coffee and Cake, is to Germans a time in the middle of the afternoon between meals to take a break and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee or tea with a slice (or two) of cake or fresh pastry.
How to refrigerate cake: You can store this German Chocolate Cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days.Do they eat German chocolate cake in Germany? ›
However, the popular dessert isn't from Germany at all. Instead, it originated in the country that loves it the most: America. So why is it called German chocolate cake? We found out.What is a rich German cake called? ›
This rich cake is made with a heavy yeast dough mixed with candied fruit and nuts. It is one of the many traditional specialties of Bremen's cuisine.
Too Little or Too Much Moisture
If your cake isn't moist enough, it can sink in the center. But too much moisture can also ruin a cake. This happens most often in humid climates, where extra moisture can collect naturally in ingredients like flour.
German chocolate cake wasn't actually born until around a century later, in 1957. In Dallas, Texas, housewife Mrs. George Clay sent in her cake recipe to be featured as 'Recipe of the Day' on “The Dallas Morning News.” She had called it 'German's Chocolate Cake' after the baking chocolate she used.Is German chocolate cake American? ›
Contrary to what many people believe, this cake did not originate in Germany. It is actually an American recipe. In 1852 Samuel German, an English American Baker who worked for Baker's Chocolate Company, created a new type of dark baking chocolate.What is the most famous German dessert? ›
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is Germany's most famous dessert. It's also known as Black Forrest Cake.What frosting do professionals use? ›
Swiss meringue buttercream is probably the most standard buttercream for pastry professionals. It is incredibly smooth, making it an extremely popular choice for icing cakes. Compared to American buttercream, it has a much stronger butter flavor, but is considerably less sweet.Why are German bakeries so good? ›
History in the baking
Germany doesn't have the same amount of sunshine as southern France or Italy, and many areas are not conducive to wheat production, so grains such as rye and spelt tended to thrive better here and produced breads still consumed today.
In a classic red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting is paired but the cake can be really be frosted with anything. Although red velvet does contain a bit of cocoa powder in it, it is not considered to be a chocolate cake in the same way a German or Belgian cake would be.
Both cakes are made with cocoa powder (although red velvet often uses much less), but the liquid ingredients are typically different. While devil's food cake usually uses water, sour cream, or coffee, red velvet cake usually contains vinegar or buttermilk.What German cake is popular in Japan? ›
Baumkuchen (German pronunciation: [ˈbaʊ̯mˌkuːxn̩] ( listen)) is a kind of spit cake from German cuisine. It is also a popular dessert in Japan. The characteristic rings that appear in its slices resemble tree rings, and give the cake its German name, Baumkuchen, which literally translates to "tree cake" or "log cake".What is the rarest type of cake? ›
Masami Miyamoto's diamond chocolate cake is hands down the most expensive cake in the world. The flavor of this ridiculously expensive cake is Unknown, but reports state it as ganache chocolate. It stood not that tall as it was only 14-inches, but it was layered with 100 diamonds, weighing up to a total of 50 carats.What is the number one cake in America? ›
Red Velvet Cake
This American classic is traditionally made for Valentine's Day and Christmas.
- Red Velvet Cake.
- White Cake & Vanilla.
- Strawberry & Angel Food Cake.
- Chocolate Cake.
- Carrot Cake.
- Rainbow Cake.
- Funfetti Cake.
- Lemon Cake.
Scotland is the country called the land of cakes which is originally one of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom.What is the most famous American cake? ›
Boston Cream Pie
With the affixing of a chocolate glaze, it became one of America's best known and favorite treats.
Whilst there are regional variations in food culture, most German recipes focus heavily on bread, potatoes, and meat, especially pork, as well as plenty of greens such as types of cabbage and kale. Cake, coffee, and beer are all highly popular elements of German cuisine too - which will be good news to most!Is it rude to leave food on your plate in Germany? ›
It's considered impolite to leave food on your plate. If you aren't sure what to do, watch what others are doing. Also feel free, as a stranger in a strange land, to ask your host discreetly about what is appropriate.Is it polite to burp after a meal in Germany? ›
While in other cultures, burping or smacking might be a signal that the food was good and enough, in Germany you try to eat as quietly as possible. That doesn't mean you're not allowed to talk; quite the reverse, you should talk as much as you can to boost your German.
In general, a cake will last anywhere from 2-7 days in the refrigerator, if kept well covered, depending on the type of frosting and filling.Can you freeze slices of German chocolate cake? ›
The assembled German Chocolate Cake can also be frozen, covered well, for 2-3 months (I recommend slicing the cake and wrapping each slice really well in plastic wrap, then placing in a freezer-safe container, for best results). Allow to come to room temperature before serving.How do you thicken German chocolate frosting? ›
If your frosting doesn't fully thicken, you may not have cooked it long enough to evaporate out the excess liquid and get it to thicken on its own. In this event, try adding a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar as a thickening agent and chill the frosting in the fridge to see if you can get it to come together.What is Germany's favorite chocolate? ›
There is almost no German chocolate as famous as Ritter Sport. With their famous chocolate squares, Ritter Sport has a variety of high-quality chocolate flavors. What is this? This is one of the best chocolate brands in Germany and is easy to find around the world.What is the German name for cake? ›
Kuchen is the German word for cake, and is used in other languages as the name for several different types of sweet desserts, pastries, and gateaux. Often sold at Christmas fairs and Carnival.Is German chocolate the same as bakers chocolate? ›
German's sweet baking chocolate is just that, sweeter baking chocolate— at least, sweeter than both semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. According to MyRecipes, to substitute semi-sweet chocolate for German's sweet baking chocolate you would need to add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of sugar per ounce of chocolate.What does kuchen mean in Germany? ›
Kuchen (pronounced “koo-ken”) is the German word for “cake,” but a real kuchen is so much more than that! Traditional kuchen is like a delicious mash-up of cake and pie, topped with creamy custard.What is a German cake that starts with B? ›
Bienenstich Kuchen – or Bee Sting Cake – is a traditional German dessert comprised of two thin layers of yeast cake with a creamy filling, and a crunchy, buttery, honey-and-almond topping.Is bundt cake German? ›
The Bundt cake derives in part from a European brioche-like cake called Gugelhupf. In the north of Germany and the southern Anglia peninsula Gugelhupf is traditionally known as Bundkuchen (German pronunciation: [ˈbʊntkuːxn̩]), a name formed by joining the two words Bund and Kuchen (cake).Is it OK to leave German Chocolate Cake out overnight? ›
Does Cake Need to Refrigerate? No! Keep cake in an airtight container or cake saver at room temperature for up to 5 days for best results. You can however refrigerate this cake if you prefer the frosting to have a chilled texture and flavor.
German Chocolate Cake
Of these three cakes, German chocolate is the only one that relies entirely on melted chocolate, as opposed to cocoa powder, for its flavor. In fact, its name comes from Sam German, the man who developed a sweet baking chocolate for the Baker's chocolate company of Boston.
- Use fresh ingredients. ...
- Use a scale. ...
- Bring ingredients to room temperature. ...
- Add dairy. ...
- Avoid overmixing. ...
- Bake at a lower temperature.
The most common one is Bäckerei. This translates to bakery, and they usually sell bread, bread rolls and various pastries. Today, most of them also offer drinks, so you can get a coffee or a tea here.Is there coconut in German chocolate cake? ›
This variation of German's chocolate cake has a gooey coconut and toasted pecan filling, a dark and super-moist chocolate cake, and deliciously creamy chocolate buttercream on top!What's the difference between a German chocolate cake in a regular chocolate cake? ›
While the standard chocolate cake is chocolate through and through, with icing on top and sides, the German Chocolate Cake takes it up a notch with layers of caramel flavored icing between three layers of chocolate cake -- making for a very moist cake.How is German chocolate different than regular chocolate? ›
German's sweet baking chocolate is just that, sweeter baking chocolate— at least, sweeter than both semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. According to MyRecipes, to substitute semi-sweet chocolate for German's sweet baking chocolate you would need to add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of sugar per ounce of chocolate.Why does German chocolate taste different? ›
European chocolates, with their smoother, richer flavor, use European butter and cream, which has a higher fat content. To accentuate the smoothness of the chocolates, Europe also uses more cocoa butter, further accentuating the difference in taste.What is a fact about German cake? ›
In 1852, an English American baker named Samuel German invented a baking chocolate that incorporated more sugar than traditional semi-sweet baking chocolates. The recipe was sold to the Baker's Chocolate Company for $1,000.What is the difference in chocolate and German chocolate? ›
German sweet chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate because it contains a higher proportion of sugar. Semi-sweet chocolate is made by adding sugar to unsweetened chocolate. According to the editors of "Cooks Illustrated," semi-sweet chocolate contains an average of 50 percent sugar depending on the brand.
However, the popular dessert isn't from Germany at all. Instead, it originated in the country that loves it the most: America. So why is it called German chocolate cake?What is equivalent to Baker's German chocolate? ›
Combine one ounce of melted unsweetened baking chocolate and four teaspoons of granulated sugar. Then, use in place of one ounce of German's sweet chocolate.Why do Germans eat so much chocolate? ›
Chocolate is one of the most popular flavors in the world, and in Germany there is no exception. Chocolate is so loved in Germany that it is engrained into the culture. Children grow up enjoying it more than any other candy. Chocolate is also part of many traditions and celebrations.What makes German chocolate so special? ›
Of these three cakes, German chocolate is the only one that relies entirely on melted chocolate, as opposed to cocoa powder, for its flavor. In fact, its name comes from Sam German, the man who developed a sweet baking chocolate for the Baker's chocolate company of Boston.Why is German chocolate called German? ›
It was called "German's" chocolate after Samuel German, who invented the sweetened chocolate while working for Baker's Chocolate, which was then owned by General Foods. (It's now owned by Kraft).What do Germans call cake? ›
Kuchen (pronounced “koo-ken”) is the German word for “cake,” but a real kuchen is so much more than that! Traditional kuchen is like a delicious mash-up of cake and pie, topped with creamy custard.Is Red Velvet cake Devil's food cake? ›
Both cakes are made with cocoa powder (although red velvet often uses much less), but the liquid ingredients are typically different. While devil's food cake usually uses water, sour cream, or coffee, red velvet cake usually contains vinegar or buttermilk.Can I substitute semi sweet chocolate for German chocolate? ›
Use one ounce of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate plus 1/2 tablespoon granulated white sugar for each ounce of German chocolate called for in the recipe. Mix in with the other ingredients and stir well. Baking chips for the chocolate in this substitution work well.