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German Chocolate Cake

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  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 2 hr 20 min
  • Servings 12
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We know you're Betty, you know you're Betty, now show it to the world with this amazing homemade German chocolate cake. There’s no cake more special, with its signature coconut-pecan filling and topping. This classic from-scratch German chocolate cake recipe is the best way to bring all the flavor to the table in just 30 minutes and gives you all the Betty bragging rights you could ever ask for. Pick a day, grab the ingredients and start making amazing in your kitchen, like we know you can.
Updated Sep 27, 2023
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  • Cooking spray to grease pans
  • 4 oz sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ All Purpose Flour or 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Coconut-Pecan Filling and Topping

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (from 12-oz can)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch or two 9-inch round cake pans with the cooking spray. Cut three 8-inch or two 9-inch rounds of cooking parchment paper. Line bottoms of pans with the paper.
  • 2
    Coarsely chop the chocolate. In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the chocolate and water over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is completely melted; remove from heat and cool.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda and salt until mixed; set aside. In another medium bowl, beat 2 cups sugar and 1 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; set aside.
  • 4
    On medium speed, beat 1 egg yolk at a time into the sugar mixture until mixed. On low speed, beat in the melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla. On low speed, beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture just until smooth, then beat in 1/2 of the buttermilk just until smooth. Repeat beating in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk just until smooth.
  • 5
    Wash and dry mixer beaters. In a small bowl, beat the eggs whites on high speed until beaten eggs whites form stiff peaks when beaters are lifted. Add egg whites to the batter; to fold in, use a rubber spatula to cut down vertically through the batter, then slide the spatula across the bottom of the bowl and up the side, turning batter over. Rotate the bowl 1/4 turn, and repeat this down-across-up motion. Continue folding until batter and egg whites are blended.
  • 6
    Pour batter into pans; use a rubber spatula to scrape batter from bowl, spread batter evenly in pans and smooth top of batter. (If batter is not divided evenly, spoon batter from one pan to another.) Refrigerate batter in third pan if not all pans will fit in oven at one time; bake third pan separately.
  • 7
    Bake 8-inch pans 35 to 40 minutes, 9-inch pans 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • 8
    Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. To remove cake from pan, invert onto cooling rack, then invert right side up on second cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 9
    In a 2-quart saucepan, stir the 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, the evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well mixed. Cook over medium heat about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbly. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Cool about 30 minutes, beating occasionally with a spoon, until mixture is spreadable.
  • 10
    Place 1 cake layer, rounded side down, on a cake plate; using a metal spatula, spread 1/3 of the filling over the layer. Add second layer, rounded side down; spread with 1/3 of the filling. Add third layer, rounded side up; spread with remaining filling, leaving side of cake unfrosted. Store cake covered in the refrigerator.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Bake cakes on center oven rack, arranging pans so that there is at least 1 inch of space between the pans and the sides of the oven. If not all pans will fit on one rack, refrigerate one pan of batter until the others are baked, and then bake remaining layer separately.
  • tip 2
    Be absolutely sure you don’t get any egg yolk into the whites as you separate them. Then keep the whites at room temperature while mixing the cake batter; they’ll beat up more quickly.
  • tip 3
    Pour the last of the evaporated milk in a container, cover and refrigerate. Try stirring into a creamy soup or a slow-cooked breakfast hot cereal.
  • tip 4
    Sweet or German baking chocolate bars are sold in the baking section.
  • tip 5
    Beat the sugar and butter until it’s very light and creamy; the air you beat into it is part of the leavening (rising) of the cake. The air beaten into the egg whites and the acid in the buttermilk activating the leavening action of the baking soda also play a role in creating the rich, fluffy cake layers.


730 Calories, 40g Total Fat, 9g Protein, 83g Total Carbohydrate, 62g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 4 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 1 High-Fat Meat; 6 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
5 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • This all-time classic dessert combines rich chocolate cake with a distinctive coconut-pecan as the perfect complement. In fact, for many people, it’s the German Chocolate Cake frosting that really makes this a dessert worth the indulgence. This German chocolate cake recipe is one of Betty Crocker’s most popular desserts, and for good reason. The step-by-step instructions clearly walk you through the process you need to create a homemade masterpiece. For bakers who want to learn more about how to make the perfect cake, this easy German chocolate cake recipe is the ideal hands-on learning experience — with the most delicious results. For a baking challenge that’s impressive yet truly achievable, there’s no better recipe to start with than German Chocolate Cake. Once you’ve mastered this fancy dessert, you can check out more traditional favorites, intriguing variations and fresh new takes in this collection of Betty’s Best German Dessert Recipes.
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