German chocolate cake

A stunning German chocolate cake for your next special occasion – this super chocolate-y cake is layered with a luscious coconut and pecan-studded frosting that you’ll want to double!

My husband’s birthday was coming up, and this year he requested a German chocolate cake. He and his family are 100% German, so I tried to bake a dessert from his heritage.

The cake was reminiscent of my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and the frosting was something new to me – it was a boiled concoction that was thickened by egg yolks and cornstarch. Almost pudding-like, if you ask me. Mix in some coconut flakes and pecans and you’re set. My only complaint was that the frosting didn’t make enough to cover the sides. So I have a rustic cake here to share with you. Rustic. Yeah. That’s what I’ll call it.

The chocolate cake was just about perfect, and it complemented the frosting well. The frosting was a bit too coconutty and nutty for my tastes, but I am strange and normally don’t like those ingredients anyway. My husband adored this cake and has been eating a little bit every day.

Happy (belated) birthday to my dear husband! I hope you enjoyed the cake as much as I enjoyed making this for you. XOXO

German chocolate cake

A stunning German chocolate cake for your next special occasion - this super chocolate-y cake is layered with a luscious coconut and pecan-studded frosting that you'll want to double!
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Eva Bakes



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1 and ½ cups evaporated milk 1 standard 12-ounce can
  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks beaten with 1 and ½ teaspoons water
  • 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 and ½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut


Bake the cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and line three 9-inch baking pans and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt (I used a silicone spatula to mix the ingredients together). Then add the milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla (again, I mixed by hand). Turn the mixer on and mix the ingredients together on medium speed until well combined.
  • Turn the mixer off and slowly add in the boiling water and mix by hand until it is mostly combined. Then turn the mixer on low speed and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  • Evenly distribute the batter among the 3 baking pans. Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the evaporated milk and cornstarch. Add the sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla over medium heat, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to come to boil and continue whisking for another 10 minutes or until the frosting thickens to pudding-like consistency. Once the frosting has thickened, take the saucepan off the heat and add in the coconut and pecans. Mix well.
  • Set the frosting aside and allow to cool for at least an hour. It will thicken even more as it cools.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one cake piece down on a cake platter or plate. Add some frosting on top and repeat with all layers. This frosting does not make enough to cover the sides of the cake, so I recommend doubling it if you want a completely frosted cake.


Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days.
Source: Ever so slightly adapted from A Dash of Sanity

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