German Chocolate Cake




For the chocolate cake:

2 cups granulated sugar

1¾ cups all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur’s All-Purpose Flour)

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ tsp baking soda

1½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 large eggs (preferably brown organic eggs)

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup of vegetable or canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract (preferably Watkin’s Pure Baking Vanilla)

1 cup of boiling water


Coconut Frosting:

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsalted butter (preferably Land ‘O’ Lakes)

3 large eggs (preferably brown organic eggs)

¾ cup of evaporated milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract (preferably Watkin’s Pure Baking Vanilla)

1 cup shredded pecans

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

1½  sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter (preferably Land ‘O’ Lakes)

1 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

5½ cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1½ tsp vanilla extra (preferably Watkin’s Pure Baking Vanilla)




  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. You can use parchment paper if you like; just be sure to grease the pans before you place the parchment paper in the pans and then spray the pan again.
  2. For the German Chocolate Frosting: In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, pecans, and coconut. Sit aside and allow to cool completely while the cakes bake.
  3. For the Chocolate Cake: Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine. Stir in the boiling water (the batter will be very thin). Pour the batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Use a toothpick to insert into the middle of the cake to ensure the cakes are done; it should come out clean. Cool cakes in the pans for 5 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Melt butter. Stir on cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating in a stand mixer or hand mixer until desired spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. NOTE: This frosting will seize up quickly if you do not keep an eye on it. Add a little more milk should it start to and mix well again. If too thin, add a little more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
  6. Cake Assembly: Once the cakes are cooled, place one cake top side down onto a serving plate or stand. Spread about 1 inch of frosting over the top, and then spoon half of the coconut frosting on top, spreading it into a smooth layer over the chocolate frosting. Then, place the second cake (bottom down this time). Gently press down to get a slight seal but be sure not to let the coconut frosting slide onto the sides of the cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake generously with the chocolate frosting. Make sure to allow the frosting to extend over the bottom of the cake to cover any space/gaps that might be there. Then, spoon the remaining coconut frosting on top of the cake. Bon appetite!


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~This recipe is a variation of a recipe found on