Garth Brook's German Chocolate Cake With Coconut Frosting

Total Time
1hr 34mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 4 mins

Trisha Yearwood says every February, when it's Garth Brooks birthday, she makes this beautiful and delicious cake for him. She says last fall, Garth made a sad statement like only three more months until you make me that awesome German chocolate cake again! She made the cake the next day. She doubles the frosting recipe to frost the entire cake, because Garth likes extra frosting, but one recipe will frost the tops of the layers and do the trick just fine- unless you are Garth! If you have some frosting left over, it's good spread on graham cracker or on brownies. Okay, it's also good right off the spoon! Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare the chocolate by melting it in the top of a double boiler, stirring until it is smooth. add 1/4 cup of the butter and stir until it is melted and blended. Add 1/4 cup of warm milk and stir until smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  3. Line the bottoms only of 3 9" cake pans with circles of parchment paper, or grease each pan bottom only with solid shortening and dust lightly with flour. Sift together the sifted and measured flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Whip the egg whites until stiff using the wire beater of the mixer. Transfer the beaten whites to a separate bowl and set aside.
  5. In the mixer bowl, cream the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg yoks one at a time, beating well after each addition(Trisha says separated egg yolks will slide easily and individually from a small bowl if the bowl is rinsed with water first). Add the melted, cooled chocolate and the vanilla. Mix well.
  6. With the mixer on very low, stir in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Do this by adding about a third of the flour and slowly stirring it in completely. Then add about half the buttermilk and stir it inches Continue adding flour and buttermilk in this manner, ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir again. With a long handled spoon or spatula, fold and stir the beaten egg whites into the batter until the batter is smooth with no visible clumps of whites.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, allowing at least 1/4" clearance between the pans and the oven walls. The cake will rise above the pan edges as it bakes but will not spill over and will settle back down as it continues to bake. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pans and springs back to a light touch. Cool layers in the pans for about 8 minutes.
  8. Run a knife around the edges of each pan and turn the layers out onto wire racks that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Cool layers completely before frosting.
  9. To make the frosting:.
  10. Combine the sugar, egg yolks, and evaporated milk in the top of a double boiler. Stir with a wire whisk until the yolks are fully incorporated. Add the butter. Place over simmering water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 12-15 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Add the vanilla, coconut, and nuts. cool.
  11. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake stand and spread with frosting. Frost each layer completely, top and sides, as it is added to the cake.
  12. Note:.
  13. You can also make the frosting in a regular saucepan, but be sure to stir it constantly, as it scorches easily. Also, you MUST use the finely grated fresh or frozen coconut, not canned or shredded, to be able to spread the frosting on the sides of the cake easlily.
  14. Another note from Trisha's sister, Gwen:.
  15. Refrigerate the cake after it's frosted. Before serving, touch up any frosting that may have run down the sides.
  16. Hint: Trisha says if you use a lot of sweet baking chocolate, you can purchase it in bulk online at Choose La Equatoriale-Dark Chocolate Coverture. The cost, including postage, is half what you would probaly pay in grocery stores. Share the large bar with your friends who bake. I haven't checked this out, but you might want to.
Most Helpful

This is an awsome recipe. Two years ago I made the cake for my son's wedding. I made this recipe for the grooms cake. It is very good.
Before I made the cake for the wedding, I tried it out and took it to a singles picnic. I recieved three marriage proposals, one from a friend, the other two from men I had not met before that day. For you single ladies, german chocolate cake is a favorite with men.
I am making this cake tonight for a gentleman friend for his birthday, perhaps a real marriage proposal will be the result.?!?.

deborahlea October 23, 2010

I made this cake yesterday for my husband and love it! It is so delicious! You have not really tasted Germain Chocolate Cake to you taste this one! Thought I would add a couple of notes

Cake: go for a 90% bitter chocolate if you want a really deep chocolate flavor

Icing: No frozen coconut available, so I went for fresh. One medium coconut yields plenty for one and one half batches of frosting When you dig the coconut out of the shell, try to keep it in big pieces. The meat will have a dark skin on it. Use a peeler to remove the skin and it will make quick work of it. I used my food processor to shred the meat and then pulverize it. Pulverizing fresh coconut is the way to go - its kind of tough and stringy in the shredded form. I don't know if this is true with frozen. Chew a few shreds and I think you will agree.

This morning we had a another piece of cake for breakfast, YUM. My husband commented that the frosting is so good that he wishes there was more. I think Garth's wife mentioned increasing the frosting too. I have to agree. I will make half again as much next time There was enough to frost my three layer cake, but I got nervous with the top layer that I wouldn't have enough. The frosting is not overly sweet, so more would not overpower the cake. I see there is a comment about plenty of frosting for a one layer cake. - I'm sure that is right too, but I wanted to go for the layers.

When making the cooked part of the frosting, it doesn't have to be stiff, I cooked it in a sauce pan just fine, just keep the heat low and keep stirring till its like thin pudding. Double boiler it and you will be standing there for a long time. This cake takes a few hours to make, so don't be in a rush. Have a great time with it! I have no doubt about the marriage proposals!

Waterdragon November 20, 2011

Note: This review is for the frosting only. I cheated and used a boxed German chocolate cake mix. The frosting was so flavorful, it gave the whole cake a made-from-scratch taste. I followed the recipe to a T, except I added more like 8 oz of coconut as that seemed to be thick enough. I was pressed for time, and put the saucepan of frosting in snow to cool it rapidly, and it held together just fine when I did this. The recipe makes a lot of frosting, I only needed half of it for a 13 x 9 in. flat cake. You would probably use it all on a two-tiered round cake. Great coconut flavor and the classic texture and color you would expect.

highplainsdrifter January 05, 2011