German Chocolate Carrot Cake – Layers of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting slathered in German chocolate frosting, making it the best carrot cake ever.

German Chocolate Carrot Cake slice on a plate

This may come as a surprise, but my favorite cake is carrot cake, or I guess I should say it is a close race between my chocolate cake and carrot cake.

Then, to follow up on that, my favorite frosting is a tie between German chocolate frosting and cream cheese frosting. So this German chocolate cake recipe is a winning combination of them both.

German Chocolate Carrot Cake slice on it's side on a plate

This cake is dedicated to my favorite cousins, Mindy and Amy. They are not only family but also dear friends.

Mindy lives in Utah, loves everyone she meets unconditionally, and family is everything to her. Her hubby, Daniel’s birthday was last week, and he came up with the idea of this cake – I wouldn’t have thought of this on my own, and honestly, when she told me about it, I was a little hesitant. I am so glad I listened to her encouragement to make it because it is the bomb—the perfect cake for Easter.

German Chocolate Carrot Cake frosted on a cake stand

The carrot cake recipe is from my cousin Amy, aka baker and mom extraordinaire. Being a McCollum genetically means you love two things: food and family. Therefore, every get-together is full of fun, laughter, and lots and lots of food.

The first time I met Jake’s family, I knew that I would always stay in touch with all his cousins regardless of where we ended up. Amy, who first smiled, hugged, and greeted me. She was an instant friend. She has the biggest heart, and she makes the best food. And her carrot cake recipe was just a perfect match with the layers of cream cheese and German chocolate cake frosting.

German Chocolate Carrot Cake slice on a plate next to cake on a cake stand

This German Chocolate Carrot Cake is delicious. I love that it combines two traditional favorites into one. Enjoy carrot cake with a twist, as the cake has never tasted so good.

Sandra’s Tips

  • Using oil instead of butter is the key to a lighter and more flavorful carrot cake. The lighter crumb makes the rich flavors shine, making it the perfect choice for a cake loaded with shredded carrot.
  • Ensure the oven is fully preheated before baking.
  • It’s a good idea to pop that German chocolate cake in the fridge because of its butter-based frosting. But hey, if you’re gonna gobble it up within a day or two, leaving it out at room temperature works too.

Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • Carrot baby food or 1 3/4 cup carrot puree – use the baby food!
  • Eggs
  • Canola Oil
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • Evaporated Milk
  • Sugar
  • Egg Yolks
  • Butter
  • Pecans
  • Vanilla
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
frosted German Chocolate Carrot Cake on a white cake stand

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German Chocolate Carrot Cake

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 12
German Chocolate Carrot Cake – Layers of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting; slathered in German chocolate frosting making it the best carrot cake ever.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CARROT CAKE - Layers of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting; slathered in German chocolate frosting making it the best carrot cake ever.

Ingredients
 

Carrot Cake

  • 32 ounces carrot baby food or 1 3/4 cup carrot puree. I use the baby food every time
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, gently spray 2 – 9 inch round baking pans with cooking oil and set aside.
  • Mix all of the ingredients listed above together until smooth and there are no chunks. Pour batter into the prepared pan, making sure to divide evenly.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until completely cooled.
    While the cake is cooling prepare frostings. Make German Chocolate Cake Frosting first, so that it has time to cool.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk and cornstarch and mix; add in 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 the frosting completely cool. I sit it out at room temp for about an hour, you can also place in the fridge after 30 minutes to help speed up the process.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cake Instructions

  • Once cakes are completely cool, remove from pans. Place on cake on cake stand or serving plate.
    Top with cream cheese frosting. Set in fridge 5-10 minutes to allow the cream cheese frosting to become cold so that when you add the next cake it won’t come out the sides.
  • Add the second cake on top of the cream cheese frosting and frosting with cream cheese frosting.
    Set in fridge again for 10 minutes.
    Remove cake from fridge and frost the outside of the cake with one layer of German Chocolate Cake frosting. You will have a thin layer and that is perfect, set in the fridge to set frosting for 10 minutes. Remove from fridge and frosting again with German Chocolate Cake frosting, making a thick second coat. Set in the fridge to set again.
  • Remove from fridge and serve. If you are making this cake for a later time, make sure to remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

You don’t have to set in the fridge between layering the frostings and cakes but I do just to help with the presentation of the cake. But if you are pressed for time, don’t stress about it.
You may or may not use all of the frosting, I usually have a 1/3 – ½ cup of frosting left over for both the cream cheese and German Chocolate Cake frostings.
Total recipe time does not include time for cake to cool.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CARROT CAKE - Layers of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting; slathered in German chocolate frosting making it the best carrot cake ever.
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

This post was recently updated from it’s original posting date of February 2016.

 

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44 Comments

  1. My mouth started watering just reading the name of your recipe—-and then I saw the gorgeous photos! Oh, how I want a slice!!! LOVE!!!

  2. Is the cake suppose to be dense versus fluffy? I’m not inexperienced so I am a bit perplexed as to why my cakes came out so dense per following your recipe 🙁 (just to clarify- no baking powder and use all purpose flour?)

    1. 3 stars
      Mine came out the same way, not cakeish but more like pumpkin pie. I followed recipe to a tee. The frostings were superb!

  3. This looks like the perfect mash up of two of my favorites! This is going to be center on my Easter dessert table!

  4. This recipe looks amazing, especially with the coconut pecan frosting. I have making cakes for years, and no matter how much milk I add my cakes don’t look as moist as this one! I’m going to follow this recipe exactly as it says, I hope it comes out just as good as yours!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds incredible! I would love a BIG slice right now!!

  6. Recipe is slightly confusing given that German Chocolate Cake is called that because of the German Chocolate. The frosting is just a coconut pecan frosting. Lol. Still looks divine.

  7. 4 stars
    I added baking powder and would make this again but would cut the oil in half; it’s way too oily. Otherwise I think it can be good!

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