Homemade German Chocolate Cake

This indulgent Homemade German Chocolate Cake is a symphony of rich chocolate cake layers, decadent coconut-pecan frosting, and luscious chocolate buttercream. A timeless classic that never fails to impress, this cake is perfect for any occasion, from birthdays to special celebrations.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This recipe yields a moist and tender chocolate cake with a deep cocoa flavor, thanks to the addition of boiling water. The coconut-pecan frosting adds a delightful chewiness and nuttiness, while the chocolate buttercream provides a perfect balance of sweetness. Plus, assembling and decorating the cake is a fun and rewarding experience, making it a great project for bakers of all skill levels.


For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Coconut and Pecan Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. For the Cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the boiling water until the batter is thin.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  1. For the Coconut and Pecan Frosting:
  • In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut. Let the frosting cool completely before using.
  1. For the Chocolate Frosting:
  • In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from heat.
  • Alternately add powdered sugar and evaporated milk, beating until smooth and spreadable. Stir in vanilla extract.

Cake Assembly:

  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread a thin layer of chocolate frosting over it.
  • Spoon half of the coconut-pecan frosting on top, spreading it evenly.
  • Top with the second cake layer and frost the entire cake with chocolate frosting.
  • Finish by spreading the remaining coconut-pecan frosting on top of the cake.

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Servings: 12

Storage: Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Tips:

  • Make sure to cool the coconut-pecan frosting completely before layering it on the cake to prevent it from melting the chocolate frosting.
  • For extra flavor, toast the chopped pecans before adding them to the frosting.
  • Feel free to customize the cake by adding a layer of chocolate ganache between the cake layers for extra indulgence.

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