Best Ever German Chocolate Cake is a moist chocolate cake with traditional coconut pecan frosting, layer upon layer of goodness.

This Best Ever German Chocolate Cake, or, as my grandpa said, “the best damn cake ever!” A double-layer chocolate cake with a classic German Chocolate Cake frosting.

photo of a slice of Best Ever German Chocolate Cake on a square white plate with a metal fork

Today’s recipe is a tribute to my Grandpa, who passed away at the age of 80.

My Grandpa was one of my biggest cheerleaders, and I honestly can’t think of a time he didn’t praise what I was doing. He especially loved my baking. He had a few favorites—really anything I made—but he would often call and offer to pay me to make biscotti. On his last few birthdays, I would make him his favorite: German Chocolate Cake.

Grandpa loved these German Chocolate Cake Cookies and I wish I would have made the German Chocolate Cake and cookies for him more often.

photo of german chocolate cake cookies with coconut pecan frosting

I have the best memories of my Grandpa while I was growing up. Rode in my first convertible with him, talked on my first car phone in that very same convertible, went to my first flea market, and even learned to barter with him. I got my good business sense from him.

photo of sandra's grandparents with 4 grandchildren siting at a picnic table


My sister, Nicole, and I would fly out to see him and my grandmother in Arizona and make up dance routines in his hot tub. He said we would be famous… and we were to him.
One of the most vivid memories I have was with my first school dance and date, my parents were out of town and I was staying with my grandparents. While I was getting ready, my Grandpa made it clear what would happen to this boy if there was any “fooling around”, and he wasn’t joking.

(That was the last date with that boy. My grandpa read people very well).

My grandpa always had to be somewhere other than where he was and this got worse as he got older. “When are we gonna go grandma?” “Time to get home Betty.” Even though he was always eager to go, we knew he loved being around all of us, especially his 9 great-grandchildren.

He loved to play cards, ride his bike, fish, and he loved people. He worked as a claims adjuster for Prudential and All-State and was passionate about his job!
My grandpa was an American hero, serving in the Korean War as a medic in the Army. After returning from the war, he married his “Marilyn Monroe” – my grandma.

He was proud of my grandma, and over the years, he relied on her to tend to him as he battled many illnesses, including cancer. My Grandpa was a proud Eagle Scout and had recently given all of his scout stuff to my husband, a scoutmaster. He was super proud when my son Aiden recently achieved his Arrow of Light in Cub Scouts. In fact, when Aiden was given the news of his G-pa’s passing, Aiden went and got out G-pa’s Boy Scout sash and said he would wear it in honor of him.

There are many great memories I will cherish, and every time I go to make my biscotti, cookies, and German chocolate cake, he will be next to me, asking for a bite or offering me 5 bucks for a slice.

Love and miss you G-pa! XOXO San

See how easy this German Chocolate Cake is to make.

 

How do you make German Chocolate Cake?

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 3-8 or 9 inch round cake pans and lightly dust with cocoa powder. I like to make a 2 layer cake and set the 3rd aside for kids that don’t like the frosting and my sisters with nut allergies.
  • In mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid), add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  • Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and add boiling water to the cake batter a little bit at a time. Once the water is all mixed in, beat on high for about 1 minute.
  • Evenly distribute cake batter between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
  • Make frosting while cake is baking, as it needs an hour to cool.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine, and vanilla. Cook over low-medium heat until it reaches a slow boil. Stirring constantly until thick, about 12 minutes from when it starts to slowly boil. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut, this frosting will thicken up as it cools.
  • Let cool 1 hour then spread on cooled cake. I use 1 1/2 cups in between each layer and then use the rest to frost the outside. For easier cutting, place the frosted cake in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Tips on making the perfect German Chocolate Cake:

Make sure your eggs and butter are stored at room temperature.

Make sure your cake is completely cool before you frost it.

Prepare the frosting a day ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Then remove from fridge and let it sit out for an hour at room temperature before you frost the cake, this will make it for easy spreading.

It is best to store this cake in the fridge.

How do you store German Chocolate Cake?

If properly wrapped, the freshly baked chocolate cake will last for about 1 to 2 days at normal room temperature.

Wrap tightly with cling wrap or tin foil and refrigerate to extend the life of the cake.

If you’re looking for other German Chocolate inspired recipes, check out my No-Bake German Chocolate Cheesecake that is to die for. For a bite-sized version, try my German Chocolate Cake Cookies, or these German Chocolate Cake Donut Holes that are perfect for breakfast.

After making this delicious cake, be sure to try these next! Lemon Lime Layer Cake, Best Ever Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake, and my favorite, Double Chocolate Nutella Cake.

Don’t forget to pin this GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

photo of a slice of Best Ever German Chocolate Cake with fork on a white plate

Love anything German Chocolate be sure to check out these A Dash of Sanity Favorites.

German Chocolate Cake Donut Holes – my grandpa would have loved these!

photos of german chocolate cake donut holes up close

German Chocolate Carrot Cake – a twist that made my hubby fall in love with carrot cake.

photo of a slice of german chocolate carrot cake

Best Ever German Chocolate Cake

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 650 kcal
Best Ever German Chocolate Cake a moist chocolate cake and traditional coconut pecan frosting, layer upon layer of goodness.

Ingredients
 

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Coconut Pecan Frosting (makes 5 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions
 

Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 3-8 or 9 inch round cake pans and lightly dust with cocoa powder. I like to make a 2 layer cake and set the 3rd aside for kids that don't like the frosting and my sisters with nut allergies. 
  • In mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid), add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  • Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and add boiling water to the cake batter a little bit at a time. Once the water is all mixed in, beat on high for about 1 minute.
  • Evenly distribute cake batter between the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
  • Make frosting while cake is baking, as it needs an hour to cool.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine, and vanilla. Cook over low-medium heat until it reaches a slow boil. Stirring constantly until thick, about 12 minutes from when it starts to slowly boil. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut, this frosting will thicken up as it cools.
  • Let cool 1 hour then spread on cooled cake. I use 1 1/2 cups in between each layer and then use the rest to frost the outside. For easier cutting, place the frosted cake in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Video

Calories: 650kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 9gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 434mgPotassium: 361mgFiber: 4gSugar: 59gVitamin A: 581IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 157mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

photo of sandra's grandparents with sandra's kids
Gpa with some of his great-grandkids Christmas 2014.

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356 Comments

  1. What a beautiful tribute. Some of my most favorite recipes are the ones that remind me of loved ones. Making my grandmother’s upside down cake makes me feel like some small part of her is still here with us on earth.

      1. I’d say it would be about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Check with a toothpick at 15 minutes and add time as needed from there. Enjoy!

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have some wonderful memories of your very special grandpa, and that is a blessing.

    The German Chocolate Cake looks amazing!!

  3. I’m sorry about the loss of your grandpa. He sounds like he was a very special man. I will be sure to make and enjoy this delicious-sounding German chocolate cake in his honor!

    1. I made this German Chocolate Cake 3 times ! And your Grandpa was right it is amazing ! My Husband’s favorite ! Making another one tomorrow go r my friends Birthday Thank you !

      1. I’m so happy to hear that you all enjoyed it! It really is the best. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. I made the cake today. It seemed a little runny after adding the water. When I baked it there was a crunchy sort of bubbling in the middle. Do you know what I might have done wrong?

      1. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out right! We’ve never seen this problem before so we can’t be sure what the cause could be. I hope you give it another try and that it turned out tasty regardless!

  4. What a sweet post. And I do see the Marilyn in your grandma. 🙂

    Thank you for the recipe, German Chocolate Cake is my oldest son’s fave, and it happens to be his birthday month. 🙂

  5. My, my, my….this looks so delicious. I have gotten away for icing or frosting any cakes. However, this can change my mind. Haven’t had a German Chocolate Cake in ages. Really liking the looks of this one…

  6. I’m sorry for the recent loss of your grandpa. Thanks for sharing your German Chocolate Cake recipe here to honour one of his favourite dishes.

  7. It’s so hard to say goodbye to our loved ones. But, it sounds like you have some amazing memories of your time with your Grandpa. And, this recipe for German Chocolate Cake sounds amazing!

  8. Your g-pa sounds like he was a wonderful man, I’m sure he was very proud of you. So sorry for your family’s loss.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss, your grandpa sounds like a special guy. I would “pay” you for a slice of that german chocolate cake though! 😉

    1. Heather, I have been meaning to email you to tell you, I love your blog name!!!! Thanks for coming by! xo San

  10. I’ve very sorry for your loss. This is such a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. I understand why he liked this cake, it looks delicious.

  11. Recipes like these make me miss eating full flour sweet treats! I love German chocolate, and miss it!

  12. Hey! I live in Arizona! 🙂 What awesome memories to have of your grandfather. It sounds like it would be bitter sweet to make any one of his favorites.

    1. Love AZ!!!! Love the smell of the citrus, anytime I smell fresh citrus it takes me back to my childhood vacations there!

      1. Hey. I made the frosting first, and it looks perfect. I have the batter in the oven now. I’m a little worried, though. It looked a little less thick than I’m used to. I’m wondering if I should’ve used less than a cup of water? It smells so good. Thank you for the recipe and sweet story.

        1. I am a little worried you said it was really thick, but if you followed the directions don’t fret – it will turn out.
          Come back and let me know 😉
          xo San

  13. What great memories you have of your Grandfather. Thank you for sharing your story & your recipe!

  14. I am so sorry for your loss, I am glad though that you found a way to do something in his honor. The cake looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  15. Sorry to hear of your loss. It’s always hard when someone special passes, but it sounds like you have great memories and had special moments with him. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

  16. I am sorry to hear about your grandpa’s passing, he sounds like a wonderful man and I feel privileged to know a little about such a great person! Thank you for sharing. That German chocolate cake looks so yummy! It’s been a long time since I had any! Mmmm

  17. I absolutely love German Chocolate Cake. My grandmother used to make it and it just reminds me of growing up! Such a wonderful recipe!

  18. I’m so sorry for your loss Sandra! This is a special, beautiful post and know that he will be with you and your family always. It’s so nice how making a certain food (this cake looks amazing by the way) can remind us of a special person and our memories with them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family ((hugs))

  19. Sandra, So sorry for the passing of your Grandpa. What wonderful memories you have with him!! German Chololate cake is my favorite, I will have to try this recipe sometime. Thanks for sharing at Freedom Fridays 🙂

  20. I’m sorry about your grandpa…

    I’m new in baking, your cake looks very delicious!!! I have tried your recipe but my cake comes out the texture is very compact n not as fluffy as yours, would u mind to share your experience with me? Thanks!

  21. I just finished your recipe and my husband is already picking at it and eating the icing. The best German chocolate he’s ever had. Followed your instructions to the letter and so easy to understand. So sorry about grandpa but we feel he was blessed with a beautiful family, and able to enjoy this delicious cake.
    Husband is already demanding “one a month” pleaseeee!!!

    Thank you for sharing and God Bless

    1. Annie – so happy you loved it! Thank you for letting me know, it’s these comments that make my day! xo San

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa passing. What a wonderful tribute to the celebration of his life. Although I haven’t ever made German Chocolate cake before, I just may try this recipe. May the memories sustain you through the healing time.

      1. This cake looks really delicious, it really does. I’d like to make it for my mother’s birthday cake, but my question is how would I incorporate actual German chocolate instead of cocoa powder? That way it is really a German chocolate cake? Would you know how? I’ve never seen German chocolate in powder form, on in bar form.

  23. I am thinking about making this for my brother’s bday this week. Do you toast the coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) and also do you toast the pecans?
    I know it’s hard to lose a loved one, but I bet your grandpa is smiling down upon you and loving that you are sharing his favorite recipe!

    1. Patti – sorry I am just replying it was a busy weekend, with Easter. I use sweetened coconut. And as for the pecans, I did not toast them, but my grandma does – so you could do it either. I personally think toasted brings out an earthy flavor but still delicious. xo San

    1. Stephanie – So what this does it allows the cocoa to dissolve, making it smooth. I believe this is all it does but I will be checking into this more. xo San

  24. For the white sugar are you using confectioners sugar or regular sugar? I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Destiny –
      You will want to use white granulated sugar, I just changed that in the recipe to say that. You will be bringing the frosting to a boil, so don’t use powder sugar.

      You will love this, come back and let me know what you think. Making this for any special occasion?

      xo San

      1. Made this this for my husband’s birthday and yum!!!! The cake came out perfect at 30 minutes. Thanks for this recipe.

  25. Your Grandpa was right! That’s one beautiful and tasty looking cake. I can hardly wait to make it. And what a lovely tribute to your G-pal! Thank you for sharing

  26. Sorry for your loss, we lost both my husband’s mother and father last fall. In their honor we continue to celebrate their birthdays with their favorite cake. It brings the family together to share memories and make new ones.

  27. i tried your recipe and i liked it- however to remove the eggy taste I melted 5 carmels and added a touch of real cream and it was perfect-

  28. I’m sorry for your loss, but just because you put coconut pecan icing on a cake doesn’t make it German chocolate. The cake isn’t made with cocoa, but with real “German’s sweet chocolate”. It’s a totally different flavor & texture. I do recommend REAL German chocolate cake however.

  29. OK, I came late to the party but I’m so sorry that you lost your G-pa! Grandparents are so special to all of us but especially to children. G-pa left you with a great “scrapbook” of love and memories. How beautiful.

  30. Hey, I just wanted to let you know that http://delightsofculinaria.com/best-german-chocolate-cake-recipe/ has adapted your recipe to include 1 tbsp of vinegar mixed with baking soda to the recipe. BAD IDEA! The addition of vinegar destroys the CO2 production before the cake even enters the oven resulting in a sunken center and a bad rise. So for anyone thinking of trying the adaptation do so only for food-science teaching purposes (of what not to do) to your own kids or students.

    This recipe is great as it is!

  31. Thank you for sharing your recipe! I would like to try it in a 9×13 pan (to make it easy). How long should I bake it?

  32. Help! Quick response needed. About ready to put the cake mix in the oven and since this is my first time making a German cake from scratch I am a little clueless. Is the mix suppose to be runny more so then a cake from a box?

  33. Hello,

    I have never made a cake from scratch before. Yours was the first. I can’t believe how delicious this cake is! G-Chaocalte is my favorite, and now I can make it whenever….how dangerous is that? Thank you!

  34. Just starting making this cake and have not yet out it all together but have tasted the cake. It is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever eaten! I could eat the entire cake unfrosted! Thats how good it is! Thank you for the recipe! I will never buy another boxed chocolate cake again!

  35. I’ve never made anything from scratch but since it was hubby’s birthday gave it a shot. It turned out amazing! So moist n and everybody loved it! He even said its just like how his grandma used to make it! N fyi he’s the cook in this household, I burn even biscuits lol. Now he wants me to make this all the time lol! Thank you so much for the recipe and our new birthday tradition, making memories!

  36. i LOVED this cake! It’s my moms favorite and I made it for her birthday. It was hit.
    I did wonder if anyone else had trouble with the frosting thickening? I thought I followed it to a T but it never thickened. I even tried adding more cornstarch but it didn’t work. It was still awesome!

  37. I just made this for the first time, haven’t tried it yet but wanted to ask about the icing because I stirred on low heat for a least 15 mins and it didn’t thicken up much. I cooled it to see if that would make the difference but it didn’t seem to. I just added more cornstarch to try and thicken it more, which it did a smidge but it’s a runny mess and I have a ton of it now. I found this via Pinterest and directions sounded simple so I printed it. Now, after finishing, I scrolled through the comments and saw you mention at one point the icing will come to a boil. Perhaps that’s the step I was missing. At this point, I don’t intend to make this icing recipe again. If there’s additional information for making the icing please think of revising the recipe and it may be helpful to specify by your meaning of “thick” for it. Thick like pudding? Thinner or thicker??? Thank you

  38. Wow!!!!! So easy to make. Moist and delicious. I will never make this from a box again. Made it for my hubby for his bday and he loved it. Not overly sweet as well.

  39. I have always done two 9 in but I’m making it for someone and the rest of the family does not like coconut so I though I could do 2 8in and make cupcakes out of the others to do different frosting a on those.

  40. I made this cake for my father-in-law 2 days ago. He and his wife have almost eaten it all just between the 2 of them. Rave reviews!

  41. I am planning to make this for my father’s birthday. I love German chocolate cake, and yours look delicious! Is there any substitute I can use for cornstarch?

  42. I made your cake for my husband’s birthday. It is fabulous!!! Super moist and just delicious. I followed your instructions and baked for 30 minutes. The frosting was so good and I had enough to frost a double layer cake. It was a little thin on the sides, but I got them covered. We are down to our last two slices and it is still moist a week later. I will definitely make it again. Best ever recipe!!!

  43. So sorry your Grandpa died. I loved reading about him! I just posted about my Grandma and a cake. Love happy grandparent stories! Your cake looks lovely. German chocolate cake always makes me think of my dear mother-in-law who died 8 years ago.

  44. I am making this recipe as we speak and everything has turned out great! I doubled the frosting to the T like the recipe states to, but it is not thick enough. I have added evaporated milk and cornstarch and it’s back cooling, we will see.

  45. Hi Sandra,

    I found your recipe via Pinterest and made it yesterday for my partner’s birthday. We both agree it is the best german chocolate cake either of us have tasted. This is a lovely tribute to your grandfather and I’m so glad you shared the recipe!

    ~ Susan

  46. Those are wonderful memories of your grandfather. My grampa used to ask me to make Black Forest Cake for every occasion – now whenever I make it I think of him.

    And for the comment about the cake not being German Chocolate – this cake was a fairly names after Samuel German – an American chocolatier and was originally called German’s Chocolate cake. So yes this truly is a German Chocolate cake.

  47. Delicious!!! I made this into a 9″ layer cake – do you have any tips on icing it? I loved your tribute to your Grandfather – You can feel the love through your memories! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  48. I had forgotten to get a store bought German chocolate cake mix, so I decided to make one from scratch, this one was a hit and I’m keeping it. Yummy

  49. umm i am just making it like right now nd i finished baking it but…. i forgot to put in the boiling water in the mix of the cake what would be the difference ?

  50. I made your German Chocolate Cake recipe for my father-in-law’s birthday, after finding out it was his favorite type of cake. This was my first experience making a German Chocolate Cake from scratch. Even my husband, who typically does not like chocolate, said it was great. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It’s a unique way to honor the memory of your grandfather.

  51. I’ve read that 100% pure olive oil is a good substitute for vegetable oil in chocolate cakes. Would you recommend that for this recipe?

  52. Hi,
    Very sorry to hear of your granpas’s death. My condolences. RIP. Regarding both his and my own favourite cake, can you confirm:
    1) is it sweetened coconut flakes?
    2) is it canned evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk?
    3) is the cocoa sweetened or not.

    Grateful for your assistance.
    Cheers
    Bruce

    1. 5 stars
      I have made this cake several times now. It is a big hit at my house. I have only done it has a layer cake. Does it do well in a sheet pan or do I need to make any adjustments to the recipe, thanks.

  53. So I’m in the process of making this cake… I have followed your recipe to the “T,” but the batter seems quite thin. I’m going to pop it in the oven and see what happens when I bake it anyways, but is this recipe normally more runny than other recipes? I’m sorry to hear about your lost loved one. Its always nice to be able to share recipes from the ones who have gone. I make some pretty amazing “coconut dream bars” that were my great grandmother’s recipe… I’ll post the recipe soon!

  54. What a great way to keep your grandfathers memories alive. Your story is similar to mines. I was very close to my grandfather as well and he also loved all my baking. He too had a few favorites he would request once in a while especially on his birthday. My grandfather passed away in 2013 and really left an empty space in my heart. He too was one of my biggest cheerleaders. Baking just wasn’t the same without his loving words of praise. But time has passed and his absence in our daily life’s has becoming a great way to remember all the little things he did to make us smile and laugh. I seriously can’t sit to try your recipe! It’s looks delicious and I love that it’s from scratch. Hopefully it’s comes out great! Thanks for sharing:)

  55. Hey Sandra, stumbled on you at Pinterest. I truly enjoyed reading your fond memories of your grandpa. These little comforts from the kitchen will always serve to remind you of someone very dear to you. By the way, German chocolate cake is my FIL’s favorite, too. My FIL IS 93. He sounds very much like your grandpa.

  56. Very nice tribute to your grandpa. I’m from Germany and I have to ask: why is it called “German” chocolate cake? I have never seen such a cake in Germany and the ingredients aren’t that German either (like pecans or coconut). Do you know the story behind this?

  57. I’m making this cake for my husbands birthday, it looks great!

    Just wondering if anyone has any tips on how I could adjust the frosting recipe as I’ve only got sweetened coconut flakes. Or were sweetened coconut flakes used here? The recipe doesn’t specify so I assumed they are unsweetened but any help or tips would be great!
    Thanks!

  58. My boyfriend requested a German chocolate cake for his birthday and I found your recipe on Pinterest. The cake and frosting were easy to make and the directions were very clear. I ended up with three 8″ layers so I decided to be fancy and use them all. I doubled the icing recipe and it was more than enough. Next time I will follow your instructions and just frost two of the layers but I probably won’t double the icing and see how that works out. Everyone loved the flavor of the cake and icing and the texture was spot on. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  59. Hry, I just had a question. I’m making this on a half sheet tray and I’m going to cut it into small pieces and make it into little shooter desserts. How sturdy is the cake? Would it be best to freeze it or refirigerate it before cutting it? I’m mostly worried about pushing it into the bottom of the shooter glasses that it might crumble.

  60. Hi. I’ve tried making this cake twice, and although it tastes AMAZING, both times it has sunken really bad in the center. I made this both times in a 9×13 and it was nice and fluffy around the edges and flat as a pancake in the center. Any ideas why this happened? We do live at higher elevation, 4500 ft.

  61. When you use “best ever” in the title of the recipe, it had better be spectacular. This was not. I followed the recipe exactly as written. The cake was fine on its own, but the frosting was an unappealing texture, taste, and look. It had a thick layer of melted butter that sat on top of the cooked frosting and when cooled, the excess butter could even be drained off. After spreading it on the cake, it didn’t get better as it remained a big greasy mass. Very disappointed it was a waste.

    1. Ann – Sorry the frosting did not turn out for you. I have made this recipe countless times, so I am not sure what happened. Wish we could do this in the kitchen together – so you could taste how amazing it is.

  62. It’s not german chocolate cake because you don’t use german chocolate. But its a delicious cake. Made it last night and it tastes amazing. Turned out perfect.

    1. German Chocolate cake is from the US, not Germany . It was created by a man whose name was Samuel German. He worked for Baker’s Chocolate Company.

  63. I made this for a co-worker, the cake is excellent, thanks for sharing a part of your heritage & family love with us.
    I’ll be making this cake again and again.

  64. I was in search of a German chocolate cake when came across this and I have never read the history behind someone’s recipe before and I’m so glad I did. I recently lost my sweet grandpa and this brought back such good memories of him taking care of me when I was young and putting a flower in my hair and taking me to church every Sunday in his 1957 caddy, which I called the green car. He would laugh so easily too! It’s bittersweet when we loose someone like that. I’ll be making this cake for my mother in laws birthday tomorrow and will be enjoying it in honor of these two wonderful men ♥️ Thanks for sharing!!

  65. This Cake so shiny and pretty. That plus the best CHOC cake recipe I have tried ., super scrummy! Making frosting now . thanks for this!

  66. My own sweet grandfather was looking for a bakery to make him a German Chocolate cake…I made him this one and he loved it. It’s also my husband’s new favorite cake ever. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

  67. I made this cake today and I have never had a cake frost up as easy as this cake, it is beautiful to look at and if it tastes as amazing as it looks I will never use another recipe. Of course I had a bite of this frosting and it was delicious. I followed your instructions to the letter and couldn’t be happier. Thanks for the beautiful story

    1. 5 stars
      I have seen that every person wants to express their feelings but they are not able to express their feelings properly in words but the content you have written in your post is very beautiful, it seems that you have expressed your feelings Has expressed. Hi, you are a person who writes a very beautiful post, in the same way, you keep writing new posts in your life, our best wishes are with you.

  68. This recipe was amazing! I made this tonight. I was a little worried because I haven’t dealt with a batter so thin. But it cooked beautifully! Its super moist and so delicious! I substituted the all purpose flour with cake flour. Every time I use all purpose it gives my cakes a corn bread texture. Lol. This was my first chocolate cake I have made from scratch and its definitely a keeper! I’m a beginner at baking so I was very surprised it came out perfect! I will have a very happy hubby when he gets home tomorrow! He requested a German chocolate cake 3 weeks ago and I was hesitant about experimenting with chocolate cake! Now I don’t know why I was so hesitant! Recipe well done! I wish I could post the pics. ☺

  69. I made this cake for my little sisters birthday in September, and it was a big hit! I want to make it again for her college graduation party in June, but am hoping to make cupcakes. Have you ever made this recipe into cupcakes? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

  70. I made this cake and it came out great! One of the best cakes I’ve ever made. I only changed one thing, I used coffee in place of the boiling water. I think it added some depth to the flavor profile. Wonderful recipe!!!!

  71. I made this for my husband in honor of his mom. His mom is passed on, but she is fondly remembered often. She would bake a German chocolate cake that he absolutely loved.
    I tried your recipe in April on her birthday – a way to celebrate her memory. It turned out beautifully. Absolutely delicious!
    I made it again today. For a neighbor lady’s birthday. We are having a surprise party for her 81st Birthday. I know she will love it.
    Thank you for passing on a damn good recipe!

  72. This is the best german chocolate cake I have ever made, and the icing is amazing! Don’t cut corners and use that canned garbage, my kids are begging me to make this again! Thanks for the great recipe- and your Grandpa is right.

  73. This recipe was to die for! Made it for Father’s Day and was an absolute hit everyone raved oh how amazing it was. It came out exactly like the photo so moist and fluffy

  74. I made this for my grandpa’s 91st birthday last weekend (mostly because my gramma likes it – grandpa isn’t a sweets person!) and it was a huge hit. My aunts and uncles loved it, gramma approced, and grandpa ate his whole slice! This cake is phenomenal.

    1. I just made two of these cakes for a family event. The first cake I followed the directions and the cake batter was very thin. (I saw that another review mentioned this as well) The second cake I only used a half cup of boiling water rather a full cup and it was perfect. 🙂 Thank you!

      1. Amy – did you bake the first cake batter? If you didn’t, you should have tried. You would have seen it bakes just perfectly. The batter is very thin.
        Enjoy!
        XO San

  75. I really like your recipe. I tried it today for my husband. It’s his birthday and German chocolate is one of his favorite…it looks just your picture. Very moist and delicious!!!! Your recipe is simple comparing to many. I like it simple but delicious!!! Great story behind it by the way.. thank you again…

  76. Does this need to be refrigerated or can it sit on the counter overnight in a covered cake stand? I’m looking forward to baking this weekend!

  77. I just made this. PERFECTION. Hard to wait on the cooling part and stirring the frosting for 12 minutes, my shoulder screamed for me to stop. But worth it. Totally. I declare This my birthday cake every year from this year forward.

  78. What a beautiful tribute. I found this recipe by accident and used it for my husband’s Birthday cake. It was amazing. This frosting is easy to make and turned out beautifully. The flavor is out if this world. Thank you so much for sharing.

  79. Good Morning

    From a sunny South Africa. Well, sunny but very dry as we are experiencing the worst drought in more than a 100 years.

    However, we can still bake and i really need to compliment you on the German Chocolate Cake. I have baked it a few times now and the compliments and requests for more never stops.

    I use Baking Powder and then what we have on our shelves a product called Bicarbonate of Soda. I can’t really find out if this is the same product you call Baking Soda. What do you think?

    I know level above or below sea place a role in baking in different parts of the world and i find that although this is a wonderful recipe, i still find the “baking soda taste” a little overwhelming.

    Anyway, i will perhaps try to bake it without any baking soda the next time and see what happens and let you know.

    The other component of this cake that i think is just wonderful is the Icing. Listen women of the world and whoever may read here. This icing is the best and i am sure it will work wonders on any cake.

    Warm wishes from South Africa

    1. Anneke – can you order it through amazon? I am not sure of the product Bicarbonate of Soda. I am so glad you LOVED the frosting we do too!

  80. Hi Sandra! My husband loves this cake and my mother in law always makes it for him when we visit or when we get together. This time I baked the cake for his birthday for the first time following every step religiously and came out perfect! The only thing I noticed is that the butter in the frosting separated and sort of “floated” on top when I was waiting for it to cool off…I wasn’t sure if it needed to be melted or softened But since the instructions did not call for it I added it cold. DId that ruined it? I will let you know my husband’s thoughts tomorrow when he eats it

  81. Made this cake yesterday for my husband’s birthday. It was a huge success! I used a 9×13 pan and it did sink in the middle a it after taking it out the oven. Evened it out with frosting and it looked great! It was the moistest cake I’ve made one eaten in a very long time. I used butter instead of margarine and followed the recipe as written. Thank you for a great cake.

  82. I just wanted to let you know that this is an incredibly fast recipe for German chocolate cake. I have not cut into it yet but the cakes blew my mind in terms of their rise during baking. I would suggest that you note in your process that this batter is very runny…First I thought I made a mistake, then I figured it was a misprint and almost tried to ‘correct it’ with flour, then I nearly threw it out! Thankfully I decided to do none of those things and give your recipe a chance, and am glad I did. It appears other people who are used to thick batters were as skeptical a as I was. Cakes came out good. 🙂

  83. I really want to try your Grandpa’s favorite German Chocolate Cake recipie.
    However, I find no instructions for making it. All the ingredients are listed and sounds wonderful.
    It does not have a ” Make It” or ” Read” bar and goes into comments about the cake on your blog from others. I may just not know about how to find it…but I’m old and not very techie on websites.
    Thank You

  84. I found your recipe by searching for a german chocolate cake. I wanted to have a german chocolate flavor, so I decreased the cocoa to 1/2 cup and added 4 oz of chopped german chocolate to the hot water and then poured it into the mix. Loved how this cake came together, baked and served. I didn’t get to taste the finished product because it was for a niece’s birthday, but she LOVED it. This recipe is easy to follow and has a beautiful chocolate color with great texture and body. It’s definitely a repeat.

  85. Thank you so much for your recipe! I had promised a German Chocolate cake for my daughter who’s in college now. It was a little late, but it finally got baked, and even though i was a bit leery because I usually make cakes with butter, as opposed to oil, it turned out perfect! It Was the best German Chocolate cake I had ever eaten. We cannot wait to try your recipe for the cookies. I just wanted you to know that there are still folks trying your cake. God bless.

  86. Oh well, I haven’t haven’t heard from you yet but the cake turned out absolutely delicious with one cup of buttermilk! However, even though the taste was magnificent it was soft and crumbly. Not sure if there’s a way to change that or not

    1. Julie – sorry I wasn’t able to reply earlier, I was out of the country. Now that I am back and I so thrilled to hear that you thought it was delicious and that the buttermilk worked. I love buttermilk and think that it is perfect in chocolate cakes. As far as the crumbliness, you could try adding an additional egg. I haven’t had this issue but I think that this would help. So glad you enjoyed it as much as we did. XO San

  87. Quick question, what kind of cocoa did you use? I’d imagine that its unsweetened dark chocolate for the flavor or is the cocoa I mix with water on a cold day? I am making this for my husbands birthday and need it to be perfect so any other advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    1. I use Hershey’s cocoa powder. This is easy girl. You got it. The only big tip is set a timer for the frosting. And these cookies are flat and chewy which is perfect for the frosting. XO San

  88. I’ve made this recipe twice and my family loves it! I am thinking of making it in cupcake form.. would I change anything in order to do this? Thanks!

  89. I made the German Chocolate cake tonight for my father-in-law’s 71st birthday. It was delicious & he was so tickled! Everyone enjoyed the cake. Your instructions were easy to follow & ingredients were “real” ingredients that I usually have on hand. Will definitely add this to my list of go-to recipes! Thank you for sharing.

  90. The people I work with are foodies and a lot of them are fans of the German Chocolate Cake. I decided to make this for a coworker’s birthday. It was a HUGE hit! They devoured it and all of them had seconds! The cake was moist, flavorful and the frosting wasn’t too sweet. I doubled the frosting as suggested, only I forgot to double the butter, but it turned out fabulously! I also used unsweetened coconut <– not on purpose, I accidentally picked it up, but it worked perfectly! I have been requested to make another for someone else's bday. Not only was this one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever made and I've made plenty, but it was by far one of the easiest to put together as well and this includes the frosting! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! This recipe has been saved and will be used always!

  91. I made this for my husband’s birthday. It was delicious! I didn’t have evaporated milk so I substituted coconut milk for both the cake and the icing. Everyone loved it. My daughter wants it for her birthday, too!

  92. This was perfection. The batter was runnier than I had expected but it turned out beautifully. I made a 9″ double layer and 1.5x the frosting… it was just enough (although I may double the frosting next time). Thank you for a recipe even the most novice baker could find success with… it was as delicious as it was pretty to look at.

  93. I use this recipe for my husband’s birthday. Your grandpa was right, best damn cake ever!! I just used one recipe for frosting 2-9inch round pans and it was perfect for us. We don’t like too much frosting. Thank you for the recipe!! Definitely use it again!!

  94. I made this “Best Ever German Chocolate Cake” today for a co-worker who is moving away. He told me that he had only ever eaten boxed cake mixes, and german chocolate was his favorite. Let me tell you…….This cake was the biggest hit!!! Several others workers joked they would be moving soon and want this cake for their party also!!!! This is definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing

  95. I made this cake for the first time yesterday for a friend’s birthday. I was a little worried while making it thinking the batter was kind of thin. HOWEVER, the result was an incredibly moist and delicious cake with an amazing frosting!!! Thank you for sharing. Definitely a keeper.

  96. I am so glad I came across this recipe! I made it for my mom’s birthday dinner and it was a huge hit. So so good and so easy to make!!

  97. My teenage daughter requested a German Chocolate Cake for her birthday this week, so during my search for a recip,e I found yours, and your blog! The cake and frosting were fantastic! I made 2 round 9″ cakes and since I didn’t have enough evaporated milk to double the frosting, I did 1.5 of the recipe which turned out great. The frosting was so rich that I decided to frost the top of each cake, layer them, and leave the sides unfrosted. I then served the extra frosting on the side so people could help themselves. The cake was moist and delicious, and the frosting, oh the frosting… it was SO amazing! Thank you!

  98. I made this last weekend, and it was a HUGE hit. The cake was AMAZING…and then the frosting made it beyond amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the touching story behind it. I can’t wait to make this again.

  99. I made this cake yesterday and you are definitely right on about it being the best German Chocolate Cake EVER! It was amazing!! So moist and the frosting was incredible!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!

  100. I bake and cook a lot, but I never leave comments. I HAD to leave one for this recipe. My mom’s favorite desert is german chocolate cake so I just made this for her for her birthday tomorrow. This is maybe the BEST recipe I have ever made for any desert. The topping is spectacular and the cake is delicious and moist! I did sub out almond milk in the cake. Is there a good substitute for the evaporated milk in the frosting that is non-dairy? Maybe canned coconut milk? I can’t wait for the family to try this.

  101. Hello. I’ve made this cake twice, and I love it. However, the coconut mixture isn’t much to cover the cake, and I don’t really find it appetizing to look at. I have a friend who’s a maitre patissier, and she just uses the coconut mixture for laying the cake, and topping it. She decorates it with chocolate ganache. Also, what would happen if I omit the boiling water? How much cocoa powder can I add if I want a richer chocolate feel? Thank you for sharing your recipe. I hope to hear back from you.
    Best regards.

    1. Riccardo – in the post I mention to double the frosting recipe to cover the entire cake. Hope that helps. You need the boiling water for the recipe or it won’t work. You can’t really take out ingredients and expect it to turn out. Love the chocolate ganache idea – yum!

  102. Just made this with Trader Joe’s coconut cream extra thick and creamy in place of the evaporated milk and it is to die for!! Adds some extra coconut flavor too. Delicious! Thank you!

  103. Like you, German chocolate cake has a special place in my heart. My great-aunt Luanna made the most wonderful German chocolate cake ever and had her recipe memorized. I can remember so many family gatherings growing up where that was the most anticipated treat there. Unfortunately, she passed away several years ago without ever having written the recipe down so I’ve spent several years playing with recipes and trying to find one close to hers. As a professional baker, you’d think I’d have figured it out easily but NOPE. Amazingly, this recipe is the closest I’ve ever come to replicating my Aunt Luanna’s perfect German chocolate cake. It’s SO good. Thank you so much for sharing!!!! I’m so glad I finally can show up to family gatherings with this cake.

  104. I really dislike coconut, but my mom’s absolute favorite cake is German Chocolate Cake. I’ve decided to try to surprise her with her favorite for her 60th birthday! Your recipe was the first to pop up on my Pinterest search. And then when I read your accompanying story about your beloved Grandpa, it touched my heart. I make peanut butter cookies (my Grandma’s recipe) in honor of my grandparents, and I always feel the love that went into every batch Grandma made for all of us kids when my kitchen starts smelling like peanut butter. I just love how our favorite recipes are attached to these great memories with family, and can be passed down through generations with our fun memories attached. I can’t wait to surprise my mom with a recipe that has meant a lot to another family. Maybe it will turn out to be a family favorite for us as well!

    1. I am so glad you got this recipe and I can’t hardly wait for your family to enjoy it as well. I am sure it will turn out great and looking forward in hearing how it all played out. Thanks for coming and commenting, this truly made my day. I will be calling my grandma too – she loves comments on this post for the obvious reasons. xo San

      1. It was a hit! We hosted a surprise party for my Mom yesterday, and I made it for the party. She told me today, that she had a slice of the leftover cake for lunch! She was so happy.

  105. Thank you for sharing your grandpa’s wonderful cake. Even though it’s been a couple of years since your loss, one has been blessed with special memories. My sister’s favorite cake is German chocolate! I made your recipe and it was a hit!! Blessings to you!

  106. Absolutely incredibly delicious. Made it for my mother in-law’s birthday and was told it’s the best she’d ever had. Now it seems I’m tasked with making it every year from here on out! I couldn’t be happier than making yummy cakes for those I love.

    1. Do you have something to store it in to keep it from drying out? I love using a cake server/carrier. Do you plan on frosting it right away? Or just making the cakes early? You can do it all early if you need to – just store or over it once completely cooled.

  107. Your Grandpa had excellent taste. This too is my all time very special favorite cake. Sadly, since I’ve been told I have to eat gluten free I haven’t been able to find a gluten free recipe yet that will pass my taste test. Oh I’ve had one or two that weren’t bad, but none that I can let out a big deep sigh and say, “that’s IT, that’s the one”.

  108. Made this cake for my son’s birthday, and everyone loved it! They said it was better than what we get at the bakery. I couldnt agree more. The ones i get at the bakery are not as moist as this one. Thank you! Much love to you, your grandpa, and the rest of the family.

  109. This weekend is my 30th birthday and I will be making this for me! It’s funny I bake for everyone else but never for myself so even though German chocolate is my favorite I’ve never made it. Lol! I’ll let you know how it turns out but I already know it’ll be fabulous!

  110. My grandparents raise me from the age of eight after I had lost both my parents in a two year span so most definitely they hold a very special place in my heart. I have this recipe now and hopefully I’ll do your grandpa and it honor when I attempt to make it. My mouth waters just looking at the picture and hopefully my cake will cause my family tro do the same.

  111. My grandparents raise me from the age of eight after I had lost both my parents in a two year span so most definitely they hold a very special place in my heart. I have this recipe now and hopefully I’ll do your grandpa and it honor when I attempt to make it. My mouth waters just looking at the picture and hopefully my cake will cause my family to do the same.

  112. Thank you so much for not only sharing a recipe but a story as well. It was delightful to read about your Grandfather. I just made the cake and waiting for it to cool.

  113. Hi, I absolutely loved this recipe, but I was wondering if the cake could be made into cupcakes, and if so do you have any time estimates for how long to bake them? Thanks so much!

    1. I would say to bake for about 15-20 minutes, you can check with a toothpick to see when they’re done. I hope you enjoy!

  114. Thats very sweet of yours. german chocolate cake is really fascinating and tempting. cake and frosting is really good and whole family loved it. keep doing such stuff. You arre awesome.

  115. I couldn’t help but smile when reading this. Love when recipes hold a special meaning and we’re able to pass on that love to others. Thanks for sharing!