Classic German Chocolate Cake

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This cake is moist, decadent, and one of the Loon’s all-time favorites.

We love everything about this dessert. The dark coffee adds a depth of flavor to the cake that is just wonderful. This goes right up there with our Red Velvet Cake, Classic Carrot Cake, and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. This is the real deal, folks! And fun to prepare.

A slice of German chocolate cake sitting on it's side on a white platte next to a cake stand with the cake on it.
German Chocolate Cake


You may be wondering why it’s called a ‘German’ chocolate cake? Actually, it has nothing to do with Deutschland! Read about the interesting origin here.

Now, let’s get to making this iconic dessert.

It all starts with the delicious icing, so let’s make it first! Incorporating eggs into the icing while cooking on it on the stovetop brings a silky texture that is heavenly.

A large skillet filled with a silky icing mixture with a wooden spoon in it.
Stirring the egg mixture for the icing

The addition of pecans and coconut is classic and so good.

The icing can be made up to 1 day in advance. The challenge of making the icing in advance is not to eat it all before you prepare the cake!

If making the icing ahead of time, be sure to store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Shredded coconut, pecans and vanilla being added into a skillet of silky icing for German chocolate cake. to the mixture
Adding the coconut, pecans and vanilla to the mixture


It’s all about the batter for this amazing cake.

You will want to go with good-quality dark chocolate, along with good dark coffee, and the results will be incredibly delicious.

EXPERT TIP: You will need to bake the batter in two well-greased and floured cake pans. Insert a toothpick to ensure it’s fully cooked. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready. But, if batter sticks to the toothpick, it’s not quite done.

German chocolate cake batter in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment pulled out of the batter.
German chocolate cake batter

We really must say that this cake is a true show-stopper and every time we make it and it doesn’t stay on the counter for long!

Your entire family will flip for this cake and get ready for repeat requests!

A slice of German chocolate cake sitting upright on a plate next to a cake stand with the cake on it.

Ready to make one of the most-loved cakes of all time? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!

A slice of German chocolate cake sitting on it's side on a white platte next to a cake stand with the cake on it.

Classic German Chocolate Cake

This classic German Chocolate Cake has been a long time in the making. The Loon loves German Chocolate Cake (and so do I), and I've been tweaking this recipe for a number of years. I think this is pretty dang good. Be sure to cook the cakes so they aren't wet. Varies from oven to oven, but usually about 25 minutes should do the trick. Yum!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keyword: German chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 1524kcal



  • 3 cups sugar
  • cup unsalted butter 3 sticks
  • 3 cups evaporated milk
  • 12 eggs yolks slightly beaten
  • 3 cups sweetened coconut shredded
  • 3 cups pecans chopped
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp aking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • cups buttermilk shaken
  • cups coffee
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter melted, 1½ sticks


  • Combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and egg yolks for the filling in a lareg saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Cool for about 20 minutes, then fold in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla.
  • Add the icing to the fridge.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour three 10-inch round cake pans.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and coffee.
  • Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.
  • Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared pans.
  • Bake until to firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Remove the cakes and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the rim of the pans, then invert the cakes onto a rack, and cool completely.
  • Place the bottom cake on your serving dish.
  • Take the icing from the fridge, and then, using a plastic spatula, spread the icing on the bottom layer of the cake, then place the second cake layer on top.
  • Frost the top of the 2nd layer, then place the 3rd layer on top of it.
  • Then, cover the top and sides with the remaining icing.
  • To serve, I like to cut the cake with a long sharp knife, and the wipe it off with hot water, making the next slice that much easier to cut!


Calories: 1524kcal | Carbohydrates: 178g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 463mg | Sodium: 927mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 140g | Vitamin A: 1983IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 392mg | Iron: 6mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!