German Chocolate Cake is a rich, indulgent cake that is covered with plenty of luscious coconut pecan frosting. This classic recipe has been around for generations and it’s just as good today as it was back then.
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Key to Success #1 – Whip the Egg Whites to Stiff Peaks
German Chocolate Cake is meant to have a soft and tender crumb. The way to achieve this result is to separate your eggs then whip just the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
The egg yolks will go into the cake batter after the butter and sugar are creamed together with an electric mixer (side note – how pretty is this mixer?!).
Then you add the dry ingredients and buttermilk and mix together until completely combined.
Once the rest of the ingredients are combined, you’ll switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Just turn the batter over and over with the spatula.
You may think it’s not combining but just keep going. After several strokes, the cake batter and the whipped egg whites will come together into a light and fluffy batter.
Key to Success #2 – Line Cake Pans with Parchment Paper
I’ve mentioned this before but lining your cake pans with parchment paper is one of the biggest keys to making any layer cake.
It’s literally the worst when you’ve spent all this time baking and cake and then you can’t get it out of the pan.
You can buy parchment paper rounds that will fit a 9-inch cake pan exactly.
If your local supermarket doesn’t have them, look in the baking section of Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Or you can get them online for just a few bucks.
You can make your own rounds from a roll of parchment paper though.
Tear off a piece of parchment that is slightly larger than 9 inches then use a pencil to draw around the outside of your cake pan and cut out with scissors.
No need to put parchment on the sides of your cake pan, just in the bottom of the pan.
It’s easy enough to run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan after the cake bakes.
Just be sure to grease the pan after you put in the parchment paper.
Key to Success #3 – Use a Large Saucepan for the Coconut Pecan Frosting
The Coconut Pecan Frosting that tops a classic German Chocolate cake is a boiled caramel frosting and it’s got a lot of ingredients so you’ll want to cook it in a large pot.
I’d suggest using at least a 3-quart saucepan for this frosting.
I highly recommend using a stainless steel saucepan that does not have a nonstick coating on it.
Even the more modern coatings have a tendency to flake off and it can get into the food that you’re cooking if you’re no super careful with it.
Stainless steel saucepans are unbeatable and will last a lifetime with very little care.
Look for one with a thick bottom like this one. They will retain heat very well and can be used on the stovetop or in the oven.
When you’re heating up the frosting for your German Chocolate cake, be sure to set your heat to medium and stir it constantly.
Cook the frosting until it is golden brown and starting to thicken, which should happen in about 12 minutes. The frosting will continue to thicken as it cools.
The Coconut Pecan Frosting
This German Chocolate Cake recipe came from my Grandmother Evelyn’s Recipe Drawer.
I compared her recipe to the recipe on the back of the Baker’s Sweet Chocolate bar package and the ingredients and instructions for the cake are exactly the same.
Her recipe also included the Coconut Pecan Frosting but the recipe was slightly different.
The ingredients were the same but the amounts were smaller so that it would only make enough frosting to top the three layers but not cover the sides of the cake.
As we can all agree, the best part of German Chocolate Cake is the Coconut Pecan Frosting so I included the frosting recipe from the Baker’s Sweet Chocolate bar package so that you’ll have enough frosting to cover your entire cake.
Save this German Chocolate Cake recipe to your favorite Cake Board or your Chocolate Desserts board
For the Cake
- 1 pkg (4 oz) Baker's German Sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 egg whites
For the Coconut Pecan Frosting
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 pkg (7 oz) sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover bottom of three 9-inch round pans with parchment paper. Grease well.
- Chop chocolate and mix with water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 - 2 minutes, until chocolate is mostly melted. Stir until smooth.
- In small bowl, whip egg whites with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Blend in chocolate and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda) alternating with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- Add whipped egg whites, folding gently with a spatula until completely combined. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Immediately run knife around the cakes to loosen. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool completely
Make the Frosting
- Whisk egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan until blended. Add sugar and butter.
- Cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Add coconut and nuts. Mix well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g