German Chocolate Cake Recipe

 German chocolate cake is not "German". It refers to German's chocolate, a type of chocolate developed by Sam German in 1852 for the Baker's Chocolate Company. The recipe is very Texan, from a Dallas/Fort Worth State Fair.

German Chocolate Cake


I typically use the 1234 cake recipe from the back of the Swan’s Down cake flour box. But, here also is the cake recipe for this one. The custard frosting recipe makes a lot and you will have left over frosting for topping on Rice Krispie Treats.


3 cups sugar

1 ½ cups, that is, 3 sticks, unsalted butter

3 cups evaporated milk

12 egg yolks, beaten

3 cups flaked and sweetened coconut

3 cups of chopped pecans

3 teaspoons of vanilla extract


Combine the ingredients except the vanilla, coconut and pecans in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened for about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes and then add the coconut, vanilla and pecans and set aside.


This cake recipe calls for 350 F oven, floured (3) 10 inch pans

2 ½ cups AP flour (assumed 120 g per cup)or, try it with cake flour

1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt, or less if preferred

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 cups sugar

5 large eggs

1 ½ cups buttermilk (the acid in the buttermilk will react with the baking soda)

1 ½ cups strong coffee

1 ½ sticks of softened & unsalted butter.


As bakers, you know that you  beat your softened butter with your sugar until creamy. Then you add eggs. Then the wet ingredients. Separately, you’ve whisked together the dry ingredients and you add these just until blended.


For less of each, divide these recipes in half. Baking time is about 25-30 minutes.