This Authentic German’s Chocolate Cake is the original recipe for this super moist, mild chocolate cake, and it’s frosted with the most delectable Pecan Coconut Frosting that you’ll ever eat!!   

German Chocolate Cake.

Back in the 1950s, this wonderful cake became very popular, and I requested it for several of my childhood birthdays.  Oops, I’m telling my age.  Today it is still just as popular as it was back then, although we now see many variations of the recipe, and most of them called German Chocolate Cake, dropping the s” on German.

germanchocolatecake - 31

This original recipe is made using Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate,  The chocolate is a bar of mild sweet chocolate, thus resulting in a mild chocolate cake.  The recipe can be found on the inside wrapper of the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Bar.

Many bakers today, replace the chocolate bar with dark chocolate.  Sorry, I just can’t do it.  I’ve enjoyed this authentic German’s Chocolate Cake for years, and I’m not changing a thing.  Besides, if you’re substituting the chocolate with any other chocolate, you’re not making an authentic German’s Chocolate Cake.

How to make Authentic German’s Chocolate Cake

It takes a few minutes to prepare the cake filling for this cake, but trust me when I say it is totally worth the effort.

  1. Line three 9-inch cake pans with wax paper. Grease the paper and insides of pans. Lightly dust them with cocoa powder tapping out the excess cocoa powder.
  2. WHISK THE EGG WHITES: Separate 4 egg whites from the yolks and reserve the yolks for the batter.  Place the egg whites in a large bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to whisk them to stiff peaks. 
  3. MIX THE BATTER: Melt the chocolate bar in some hot water until it melts. Set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Then add the chocolate, egg yolks, some sugar & vanilla.  Mix everything together until well combined.
  4. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately to the mix. Don’t over mix the dry ingredients.
  5. FOLD IN EGG WHITES: Gently fold in the beaten egg whites, using a spatula.  It’s important to gently fold in the egg whites.  If you mix them with the mixer, you’ll deflate them, and you want them to remain fluffy.
  6. Divide the batter equally between the cake pans.
  7. Bake the cake layers for approximately 21 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out with just slightly moist crumbs on it. Don’t over bake.


A delicious pecan coconut frosting completes this wonderfully moist chocolate cake. This original German’s Chocolate Cake cake doesn’t call for frosting the sides.  If you want to frost the sides, simply make 1 1/2 batches or even double the recipe. I suggest doubling it because you’ll be eating quite a bit with a large spoon. Trust me! 🙂

  1. In a medium saucepan, I combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla.
  2.  Cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickened.  This takes about 12 minutes for a single batch, and 3 to 4 minutes longer if you make 1 1/2 batches.
  3. Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes and frost the cooled cake layers.

Coconut Pecan Frosting.

Pro tips for making this recipe

  • Separate the eggs a few minutes before making the cake. It’s easier to separate cold eggs. Whisk the egg whites when they are room temperature. Egg whites whip up with more volume when they are at room temperature.
  • Don’t mix the whipped egg whites into the cake batter. Gently fold them in with a spatula. You will see some white streaks left in the batter. That’s okay.
  • Sift the cake flour first, then measure it by using the spoon and level method, (spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the edge of a knife). Measuring unsifted/compacted flour results in too much flour and a dry cake.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk you can make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a 1-cup measuring cup, then filling it to the 1-cup line with milk.
Germans Chocolate Cake.

A Frequently asked question about this cake

How did German’s chocolate cake get its name?

German’s chocolate cake is named after Samuel German, the inventor of a dark sweet chocolate. The name of the chocolate is German’s sweet chocolate after Mr. German. The cake is therefore named German’s Chocolate Cake after the chocolate. It has nothing to do with the country. It’s name after Mr. German. Today most people don’t realize the cake was named after a person, therefore they drop the S on German.

German's Chocolate Cake.

You might also like this recipe for Cocoa Brownies with Coconut Pecan Frosting!

If you make this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on how it turned out. I love to hear from you!

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Authentic German’s Chocolate Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 26 reviews
  • Author: Cindy @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 90
  • Yield: 14 Servings 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Bake


This is Authentic German’s Chocolate Cake, made with German’s sweet chocolate.  It’s a very moist and sweet light chocolate cake, slathered with a to-die-for pecan coconut frosting!


Units Scale

For the Cake

  • 1 package, Baker’s German’s sweet chocolate, 4 ounces
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (sift then measure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 stick real butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the Cake

  1. Prepare three 9″ round cake pans, by lining them with rounds of wax paper. Grease and the insides of the pans and the wax paper rounds and dust them with cocoa. You can also use parchment paper if you prefer. I’ve used waxed paper for 45 years to line my cake pans. It works perfect.
  2. Place the water in a measuring cup and heat in a microwave until it’s very hot. Break up the chocolate bar and drop into the water. Stir it once or twice with a spoon and set it aside to cool.
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, or use a hand mixer. Set aside while you sift the cake flour. Egg whites whip up with more volume when they’re room temperature. 
  4. Sift the cake flour into a bowl. Remeasure and place back into a sifter or wire mesh strainer. Add the salt and baking soda and sift again. Set aside.
  5. Using the whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on high speed for a couple of minutes until they form stiff peaks. Transfer to a smaller bowl and refrigerate until ready to fold into the cake batter.
  6. Add the butter and sugar to the same mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix until they are fully incorporated.
  7. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients only until incorporated. Do not over mix.
  8. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites with a spatula.  It’s okay if you see specks of egg white in the batter.
  9. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer, comes out with only a moist crumb on it, about 222 to 25  minutes.
  10. Transfer the cakes to a countertop. Let sit for five minutes. Run a sharp knife around the inside edges of each cake pan. Slightly shake each pan to ensure that the cake is not sticking to the pan. Invert each cake layer onto a wire cooling rack. Peel off the wax paper rounds and let the cake layers cool while making the frosting.

For the Frosting

  1. Place the milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat while stirring slowly but constantly until the mixture has thickened. This usually takes about 12 minutes. If you double the recipe, it takes 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the coconut and pecans. Mix to combine and frost the cake as desired.
  3. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.


  • The frosting recipe is meant to frost the top and in between the layers of the cake. If you desire to frost the entire cake, you might want to double the recipe.  This will increase the cooking time by about 3-4 minutes.  I make 1 1/2 batches of the frosting and I don’t frost the sides.  I love the frosting and like lots of it between and on top of the layers.
  • The cake and frosting hold up well at room temperature. The frosting will not break down as some frostings do after a couple of days.
  • This cake can also be baked in a 9 x 13 pan. It will probably take about 30 to 35 minutes.