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German Chocolate Cake

This classic homemade German Chocolate Cake recipe is all about the coconut filling and chocolate ganache frosting. Made with rich cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate, the cake has a light texture and a rich chocolate flavor. I added a special ingredient to enhance the chocolate flavor.



  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 3/4 all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tsp expresso powder (optional but my special Ingredient, brings out the flavor of the chocolate)


  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil (vegetable or canola ok)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk (1 can)

  • 1 tableesppon vanilla

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut


You can watch quick video for instructions


  • 2 cups chopped chocolate chocolate

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream



Heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. Line your pan with parchment paper circles for easy release.


  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

  • Bake for 25 - 35 minutes (depending on your cake pan size. The 9'' pan takes less time to bake) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with few crumbs. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

German Chocolate Filling

  • In a medium saucepan add brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.

  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and coconut. Allow to cool completely before layering it on the cake.

  • Chocolate ganache frosting Melt chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Start with 30 seconds and stir. Continue with 10 second increments until melted stirring after each. Once melted cover and place in refrigerator until spreading consistency. If too stiff when ready to use just let it set at room temperature or microwave for 10 seconds and stir.

Watch Instructional Video

  • Place one of the cake rounds on your serving stand or plate.

  • Smooth a thin layer of chocolate ganache over the cake layer, and then spoon part of the coconut frosting on top, spreading it into a smooth layer. Leave about 1/2 inch between the filling and edge of cake.

  • Stack the second cake round on top. Repeat

  • Spoon remaining coconut frosting on top of the cake.

  • Decorate or leave as is

Make Ahead Instructions: Both frostings (coconut and chocolate) can be made ahead and placed in a covered container in the fridge. The coconut frosting will keep for 1-2 weeks, depending on the freshness of the ingredients used. Freezing Instructions: After baking the cake layers, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them well in plastic wrap and stick each layer in a ziplock freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months. Frost the cakes when they are frozen--they are much easier to frost this way! The assembled German Chocolate Cake can also be frozen, covered well, for 2-3 months .

You can also substitute chocolate ganache for with you favorite butter cream recipe but I must say the ganache takes it up a notch. :)

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