Classic German Chocolate Cake



For the cake:

  • 4 oz. German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup coffee or water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 3/4 cups flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F and line 2-3 round, 8-9-inch cake pans (depending on how thick you want your cake layers) with wax paper.
  • Grease and flour your lined cake pans and set aside.
  • Set up a double-boiler with a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and melt chocolate until smooth.
  • In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and lightened in color. 3-4 minutes.
  • One at a time, beat in egg yolks (waiting until each is incorporated before adding the next), then add melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  • Alternate between adding the flour mixture and buttermilk and coffee to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Beat egg whites in a small bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining egg whites, only until just combined.
  • Pour batter equally into prepped cake pans and place in oven. Bake for 25-28 minutes, rotating in the middle, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
  • For the frosting: combine sugar, evaporated milk, egg yolks, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook, whisking continuously, until mixture is thick and golden.
  • Remove mixture from heat and fold in pecans, coconut and vanilla extract.
  • Let cool until you can spread it thickly on the cake. Frost cake (leave sides bare), stack in layers and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

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