German Chocolate Cake


I love when holidays draw closer because that means there’s definitely going to be some amazing desserts around! Amazing desserts like this German Chocolate Cake! All we need in life is chocolate cake, right? :) Chocolate cake has a way to my heart and whomever discovered chocolate is my hero. Truly though, this German Chocolate Cake is one of those desserts that’s so good it should become a tradition in your home for a yearly holiday like a birthday, Easter or Mother’s Day. It’s perfectly chocolatey and that coconut pecan topping is totally irresistible!

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate CakeGerman Chocolate Cake

I got this recipe from Robyn Stone’s amazing new cookbook – Add a Pinch: Easier, Faster, Fresher Southern Classics. Robyn is the food blogger behind and I’ve been following Robyn’s blog for years. I always love what she has to share! You can just tell cooking is one of her passions and she puts her heart into it. Her new cookbook is filled with fresh takes on classic family-friendly recipes – all of which are straight forward and easy to follow and the end results look dreamy! The photographs in the cookbook are simply gorgeous (can’t you just tell by that cover photo below?)!


German Chocolate Cake

There are far too many recipes I want to try for me to name them all. Of course I had to start with this German Chocolate Cake recipe then next up I want to try the Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms. Then there’s Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Zucchini, Easy Skillet Lasagna, Sticky Molasses BBQ Ribs (made in the slow cooker!), Balsamic Beef, Easy Pepper Steak, Mushroom and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers, Jambalaya, Weeknight Chicken Pot Pie, Mama’s Meat Loaf, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Creamed Corn, Roasted Okra (confession I’ve never cooked with okra), Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Chicken and Dumplings, Lemon Meringue Pie and Strawberry Shortcakes.  And many, many more. I highly recommend this cookbook! If you’d like to read more about this cookbook or to buy a copy for yourself you can follow this link here.

German Chocolate Cake German Chocolate Cake


German Chocolate Cake

5 from 5 votes

Yield: About 14 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans , toasted


  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 9-inch round cake pans then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment then dust pans lightly with cocoa powder or flour and shake out excess. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk, eggs and vanilla and using an electric hand mixer beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the oil. With the mixer still on low, carefully and slowly pour in boiling water and mix until well combined, about 2 - 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  4. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 - 35 minutes. Let cakes cook 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool spread about 1/3 of the frosting over one layer of cake. Top with the second layer of cake and frost only the top of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  5. For the frosting:
  6. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks and evaporated milk until very well combined. Pour mixture into a large saucepan along with the sugar and whisk to dissolve sugar. Add butter and cook mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 10 - 12 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from heat, add in vanilla, coconut, coconut and pecans. Let cool until just warm then spread over cake.
  8. *If you scoop and level to measure flour (like I do) then only use 1 3/4 cups flour.
  9. Recipe source: adapted from the Add a Pinch cookbook

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  • Deanie: I made this cake for my husband’s 60th birthday and it is amazing! September 21, 2018 at 11:23am Reply

  • Pat Sulek: Hey!
    Is not your cake.The Hershey Cocoa Cake?
    It is the exact recipe on he can of Hersheys Cocoa tin.
    Was it slightly adapted or one of the same?
    Just curious.
    Thanks for the frosting recipe. June 17, 2018 at 4:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hi Pat this is actually a recipe from the cookbook mentioned here so I’m not sure. Either way it’s a delicious cake :). June 17, 2018 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Alexis: Can I use vegetable oil instead of canola oil? April 11, 2018 at 6:31pm Reply

  • Connie Siebold: Oh my goodness I just made this cake for my husband. German chocolate cake is his absolute favorite cake. He just told me this is the best cake he has EVER eaten! And I would agree. I was worried because the batter seemed very runny. Not thick like a cake mix. But it turned out perfect! It was moist and chocolatey. I’ll be making this from now on. Birthdays, Easter, Valentine’s day! February 13, 2018 at 9:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yay! So glad you both enjoyed it Connie! February 16, 2018 at 9:46am Reply

  • Jo: Absolutely delicious! And ingredients I already had on hand. Normally I’ve had to do some special grocery shopping to make a German Chocolate cake. Family loved it and will definitely make again February 3, 2018 at 10:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it! Thanks Jo! February 5, 2018 at 12:55pm Reply

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