German Chocolate Cake

I’ve been making this cake ever since my mom gave me Pillsbury’s Kitchen Family Cookbook (1979), when I moved into my first apartment. I have even tripled the recipe to make the groom’s cake for our backyard wedding in August of 1991. Don’t try and calculate my age; you’ll just hurt my feelings. My real point is that this cake is money, and you have got to try it. My hubs asks for this darn thing all the time.

German Chocolate Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings:  12 Servings

German Chocolate Cake


  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz bar sweet cooking chocolate
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Coconut Pecan Frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 nine inch pans. I also put a parchment paper circle on the bottom.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and water together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined.
  7. Divide mix into the 3 pans.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tester comes out clean in the center.
  9. Remove from and oven and cool completely.
  10. Frosting:
  11. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and eggs. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. You must stir constantly, so the eggs do not overcook. Once mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat.
  12. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cool until of spreading consistency.
  13. Assembly:
  14. Spread frosting between each layer and on top.


Adapted from Pillsbury Kitchen’s Family Cookbook, 1979.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. German chocolate cake was birthday cake in my family growing up. Mom used the recipe on the back of the german chocolate bar. She baked all 3 layers, but used 2 to make a 2 layer cake and cut the last one in half to make a half size 2 layer cake, which she would freeze for later. We all loved it when it was someone’s birthday!

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