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  • Writer's pictureHeather

German's Chocolate Cake

Hungry for more? This recipes was featured in a podcast episode!


iced three layer chocolate cake with coconut pecan icing on a plate

This is the original German's Chocolate Cake recipe made popular in the 1950s, with one exception - it is made using semi-sweet baking chocolate, rather than its namesake German's Chocolate. Either way, it's a delightfully moist and fluffy chocolate cake topped with a coconut pecan boiled icing.

Prep Time: 1 hr

Cook time: 30 min

Servings: approx. 14



  • 1 package semi-sweet baking chocolate (or Baker’s German’s sweet chocolate if you can find it), 4 ounces

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 4 egg whites

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (sift then measure)

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp soda


  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla

  • 1 1/3 cups flaked sweetened coconut

  • 1 cup chopped pecans


For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Prepare three 9-inch 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.

  3. Pour the water in a measuring cup. Break up the chocolate bar and drop into the water. Stir it once or twice with a spoon and set it aside to cool.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Using the whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on high speed for a couple of minutes until they form stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to fold into the cake batter.

  7. Place the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix.

  8. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately, starting with the buttermilk and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients only until incorporated. Do not over mix.

  9. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites with a spatula. It’s okay if you see specks of egg white in the batter.

  10. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of each cake layer, comes out with only a moist crumb on it.

  11. Transfer the cakes to a countertop. Let sit for five min. 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 icing.

For the icing

  1. Put 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, about 12 min. If you double the recipe, it takes 3 to 4 minutes longer.

  2. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in coconut and pecans. Ice the cake between the layers and on top, leaving the sides bare.

Zhuzh it up!

  • Make this cake extra pretty by topping it with flaked toasted coconut or shaved chocolate.

Credit for this amazing recipe goes to a Mrs. George Clay who submitted it to her local Dallas, Texas newspaper in 1957, and the rest is history. We followed the very helpful detailed instructions on


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