baked's german chocolate cake

for the last almost five years, it's been my own mission to make an amazing german chocolate cake. i've only had it a few times in my life, and really only one that's worth remembering. almost five years ago, on my birthday, i cut myself a big piece of homemade german chocolate cake - made by my grandmother's best lifelong friend - and was sitting in my grandparents dining room eating it. after a couple bites, dad told me german chocolate cake was my grandma's favorite. how fitting that afternoon - of my birthday and her funeral - was the day i realized how much my grandma and i actually have in common. 

it's taken me almost five years to get up the courage both to make it and to eat it. and this cake was definitely worth it. the cake and the filling sound a bit complicated, but couldn't be easier to throw together. and while this cake is pretty damn good, nothing can beat my twenty fifth birthday cake.

baked's german chocolate cake
adapted from baked: new frontiers in baking
2 hours start to finish, makes a three layer 8" cake

for the cake:
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces melted dark chocolate

for the filling:
1 1/3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/3 cups chopped pecans, toasted or untoasted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
  1. make the cakes. preheat your oven to 350F. grease three 8 inch round cake pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper. set aside.
  2. using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. while the butter and sugar are beating, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. when the butter and sugar are creamed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. add the vanilla extract and about a third of the dry ingredients. mix well. alternate additions of the coffee and buttermilk and the dry ingredients until they are all added. mix in the melted chocolate.
  4. divide the batter evenly among the three pans. bake about thirty minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. let the cakes cool in the pan about 20 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. cool completely and remove the parchment paper from the bottoms before filling.
  5. while the cakes are cooling, make the filling. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. and heat your oven to 300F spread about half of the coconut on the baking sheet. if your pecans aren't already toasted, spread those on the baking sheet as well. bake about five minutes, or until the coconut just starts to brown. 
  6. in a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and egg yolks over medium low heat until the mixture begins to boil and thickens. be careful not to cook the mixture too long or the yolks will turn to scrambled eggs. mix in the coconut and pecans. to cool the mixture quickly, place the pan in an ice bath and stir continuously until cool; otherwise let the mixture cool in the pan. 
  7. to assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving tray. if it isn't flat, slice off the top to flatten the cake. spoon about one third of the filling onto the layer and spread to the edges. continue with the other two cake layers. serve with a tall glass of milk.
check out more sweet treats at sweet tooth friday!


  1. I love,love, love German Chocolate Cake! I'm glad you decided to make it again. I'm sure your grandmother would be proud :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I loved the story behind the cake. The cake looks amazing :D

  3. The cake looks delicious and your grandmother would be thrilled that you have mastered it. This is my first visit to your blog, so I've taken some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. Dear Kate,
    Thank you so much for posing this recipe. I chose this after pouring over all the German Chocolate Cake recipes that FoodGawker had to offer. I wanted to make a from-scratch cake for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day, and yours seemed perfect. I used an 8"x7.5" heart shaped nonstick pan, and since it was smaller than the recommended size, I had some leftover batter to make nine heart shaped cupcakes even after the three layers. The result was a very soft, not-too-sweet cake that was perfectly complimented by the accompanying frosting. Beautiful.
    The cupcakes were cut in half, a layer of frosting was slathered in between, I put them back together, and another layer of frosting was spread on top. So cute! I'm giving those to my friends.
    Thank you again!

  5. I made this cake yesterday for my husband's birthday. Both of us agreed it was the BEST German Chocolate cake we had ever had!!! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. It's so sinfully dangerous that it keeps on running through my head so I'm gonna make one today. Lovely recipe!

  7. I used this icing on your chocolate peanut butter layer cake (cake only). BEST ICING I HAVE EVER TASTED! Thank you so much.

  8. German Chocolate Cake is my husband's favorite. I typically make Betty Crocker's version and double the frosting. This year I was going to make a version that has chocolate frosting on the side with traditional coconut frosting as filling and top frosting, that is until I saw your recipe with that rich looking cake. Looks better than the traditional version. I am going to try your recipe.

  9. I love old recipes and this one sounds great!

  10. Very interesting article, really. I visit again here to see more. Thank you. Happy Birthday Status

  11. I’m usually to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has genuinely peaks my interest Birthday Wishes

  12. Thank you for all the hard work you put into it. It's really shows. i read you all post i love to read your post and you work well.clever wifi names


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