German Chocolate Cake is one of my favorite cakes of all time!  …although for me, it might be a bit more about the frosting than the actual cake :0)  Anyway, we went down to my parents house to celebrate our June/July b-days and Father’s Day so I decided to bake one.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt

First, a little history….did you know that German Chocolate Cake did not originate in Germany?  Basically, there was an American by the name of Sam German who made a brand of dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company back in 1852.  They named the product- German’s Sweet Chocolate- in his honor and in 1957 a baker from Dallas TX introduced the German Chocolate Cake recipe using the chocolate.

Soft, fluffy and tasty cake batter ready for the oven!

OK- now the cake.  I did a lot of research on this one because I wanted to use buttermilk so that the cake would be moist and I didn’t want to worry about separating eggs (just lazy).  In the end I used the Joy of Baking recipe as a reference.

What you will need- CAKE:

  • 4 to 6 ounces of semi sweet chocolate, melted (I used 4oz Ghirardelli and 2oz Baker’s Sweet Chocolate)
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt, sifted
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 1/4 sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 to 2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter and flour three 9″ baking rounds (don’t forget the flour- this will help you in the end!)

Divide evenly among three buttered-floured 9 inch rounds

Melt your chocolate using a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (do NOT microwave or get water in the chocolate- trust me)

In another bowl, sift your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Let cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from the pans

In a small bowl, combine your water and buttermilk

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then add the sugar…continue beating until fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and then add the vanilla.  Then add the melted chocolate.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

In the same bowl, you are going to add the water/buttermilk mixture and the flour, etc in three splashes….starting with the flour mixture and ending with it.  Flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, buttermilk, flour :0) Mixing well with each addition…the batter will be nice and fluffy!

Then divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth the tops (don’t skip this because your cakes will be lopsided).

Over medium heat, combine ingredients and cool

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.  Remove and let them cool for 15-20 minutes…then remove the cakes from the pans and set on a cooling rack until they are cooled completely.

German chocolate cake, Done!

By now, the house should be smelling VERY yummy…time for the Coconut Pecan Frosting!

What you will need- FROSTING:

  • 2-3 cups pecans, browned and finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (yes, EM or heavy cream will do)
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2-4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the pecans on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes until they are lightly browned.  Remove, cool and chop finely.

Happy Birthday Hayes!

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, egg yolks and butter.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it starts to boil and thicken (about 7 minutes).  Remove from the heat and then stir in the pecans, coconut and vanilla.  Let it cool until spreadable and then get to assembling your masterpiece!


Place one layer of cake on your serving plate, cover with 1/3 of the frosting and repeat three times.  If you have leftover frosting, pile it on!  I recommend serving with a little scoop of vanilla ice-cream or whip-cream.


and a slice of german chocolate cake for me :0)