German Chocolate Cake Recipe

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

The German chocolate cake, with its sweet, light chocolate cake layers and rich coconut pecan filling, is one of America's favorite cakes!
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 16 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the coconut-pecan filling and frosting ingredients.
  2. Step 2

    Combine the evaporated milk and egg yolks in a large saucepan (off heat) and whisk until well blended. Add the brown sugar and whisk to blend.
  3. Step 3

    Add the pieces of butter. Place the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the butter melts and the mixture thickens, about 12 to 15 minutes,
  4. Step 4

    Remove the pan from the heat and add the coconut, pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir to blend and set aside to cool for about 1 hour. The filling will thicken as it cools. Meanwhile, make the cake. Make the Cake
  5. Step 5

    Gather the ingredients for the cake.
  6. Step 6

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper .
  7. Step 7

    Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl .
  8. Step 8

    In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  9. Step 9

    Add the egg-buttermilk mixture to the flour-cocoa powder mixture, stirring until blended.
  10. Step 10

    Add the boiling water (and espresso powder if using) and mix until smooth. The batter will be pretty thin.
  11. Step 11

    Divide the batter evenly among the 3 cake pans. You will have about 16 ounces of batter in each pan.
  12. Step 12

    Bake the cake layers for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes.
  13. Step 13

    Remove from the pans and place on racks to cool completely. Assemble the Layers
  14. Step 14

    Place a cake layer on a cake plate or stand and top with about 3/4 to 1 cup of filling. Add another cake layer and top with more filling.
  15. Step 15

    Finish with the third layer and top with the remaining filling. Leave a little space around the edge if you plan to decorate with piped ganache. Finish With the Optional Ganache
  16. Step 16

    Gather the ganache ingredients.
  17. Step 17

    Place the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl; set aside.
  18. Step 18

    Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. It should be hot and steaming, not boiling or bubbling.
  19. Step 19

    Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for 10 minutes without stirring.
  20. Step 20

    Whisk the cream and melted chocolate chips with the vanilla extract until smooth. If you see any unmelted chocolate lumps, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the ganache is smooth.
  21. Step 21

    Let the ganache cool for about 1 hour, whisking every 10 minutes. The ganache should be thick enough to hold peaks. Beat the ganache with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
  22. Step 22

    Frost the side of the cake with the whipped ganache. If desired, pipe the remaining ganache around the edge of the cake.