Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

This is the traditional light chocolate cake with the coconut and pecan icing that we remember from our childhood. Note: if you are making the 3 tiered version, I highly recommend you make more of the icing. (It also doesn't hurt to do that if you are making the 2 layered version. Ha ha!) Please use the ingredient amounts in parentheses to increase the yield by about 50%. In response to the one-star review: Yes, it *was* originally called German's Chocolate Cake but most of the mixes, recipes and ads for selling a cake like this, that I see, call it "German Chocolate Cake". That is also what everybody I know calls it and what I would search for if I was looking for the recipe. Therefore, that's what I'm calling mine.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9-inch square pans or 3 8-inch round pans. Line bottom of pans with wax paper.
  2. Pour boiling water on chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted; cool. Mix sugar and butter in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs yolk, one at a time. Beat in chocolate and vanilla on low speed.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Fold in egg whites.
  4. Divide batter among pans. Bake square pans 40-45 minutes or round pans 35-40 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick in center. Cool and top with Coconut-Pecan Frosting.
  5. Coconut Pecan Frosting: Mix sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and egg yolks in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 12 minutes. Take off heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Beat until spreading consistency. Allow to cool & thicken before icing cake.


Most Helpful

Awesome cake! Couldn't eat enough of it. My family loved it also! So much better than mixes. Great with vanilla icecream served with it. Of couese, I can only splurge like this every once in a while.

Vada Marks July 04, 2002

FYI, The correct name of the cake is not "German Chocolate Cake", but rather "German's Sweet Chocolate Cake," named for the BRAND of chocolate used in it (German's Sweet Chocolate, made by Baker's), not from its country of origin. You will not find this cake in Germany.

John Allen Bankson December 03, 2001

Really great flavor! I used half the frosting amount and then some chocolate frosting since we like our German Chocolate Cakes really chocolatey. I also piped melted chocolate across the top to make it pretty, and patted some crumbled cake scraps (from leveling the cake layers) into the chocolate frosting on the sides.

Diana Johnson || January 10, 2017

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