German Chocolate Layers Cake

A few months ago, my Uncle Larry asked me to make him a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday. I really haven’t made many German Chocolate Cakes over the years, but because he’s been sick for several months, I wanted to not only make him one… I wanted it to be excellent!!

German Chocolate Cake Layers

Other than requesting the cake, the most important thing he asked was that I pile on lots and lots of the Coconut Pecan Frosting. Lots of frosting? Yes, I think I can handle that!

As I was looking for a good recipe, there were just so many out there that looked good and I was surprised to learn that German Chocolate Cake is considered a “guy’s cake”. Why is that, I wonder?

It was listed as a favorite of men, perfect for Father’s Day and Dad’s birthday desserts… everywhere I turned, it was decidedly a masculine dessert. I was baffled.

But I’m here to tell you… this cake will be a crowd-pleaser for men and women! It’s filling and chocolatey and rich and has loads of texture with the roasted coconut and pecans.   Maybe the men will go crazy for it, but the women will be coming back for seconds too!

German Chocolate Cake Frosted

Oooh, and while my favorite pictures of this cake were of the “naked” layers… it was also very pretty once I covered the whole thing in the Coconut Pecan Frosting (as requested!).

So, without further delay… let me share the recipe with You. If you’d like to see this recipe as cupcakes, be sure to check out my post here: German Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting and Milk Chocolate Buttercream.

This recipe was slightly adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns cookbook.

Here’s what you’ll need for the cake:

1 (4 oz.) bar of German’s sweet chocolate (I prefer Baker’s brand OR you could also substitute 4 oz. of milk chocolate chips)

1 (16.5 oz.) box of German Chocolate cake mix

2 oz. all-purpose flour

1 (3.5 oz.) box of instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup water

4 oz. sour cream

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

For the frosting:

1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

12 tablespoons salted butter

4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spray (3) 8″ round pans with cake release spray (or a homemade version).

2. Break the milk chocolate bar into pieces (or milk chocolate chips) and place them in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted chocolate, cake mix, flour, pudding mix, water, sour cream, oil, and eggs. Beat on low until the ingredients are incorporated and then on high for 2 more minutes. The batter will be smooth and thick.

4. Divide the batter evenly into (3) 8″ pans.

5. Bake until the top springs back when touches, usually for 28-32 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting:

1. Place the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a large boiler over medium heat.

2. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and golden brown. This took about 12 minutes for me.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. Allow it to cool to room temperature (I stuck mine in the frig – it got a little too thick, but it worked!). It’ll take at least 30 minutes to cool to room temperature if left out.

Assemble the cake by alternating layers of cake and frosting. I love the look of piling up the frosting between layers and then a big pile on top OR you could do thinner layers between the cakes and cover the entire outside with frosting. I recommend covering the entire outside if you will not be serving immediately so the cake does not dry out.


Happy Caking!