The BEST homemade German Chocolate Cake with layers of coconut pecan frosting and chocolate frosting. This cake is incredible! I think the hundreds of reviews of this recipe speak for themselves, but let me add my own testament that this German Chocolate Cake is THE CAKE that every person in my family requested for their birthday growing up. I was super lucky, being a twin, because my mom would make both of our favorites: German chocolate cake for my sister, and carrot cake for me! The name German chocolate cake is a little deceiving as it is not actually a German dessert and traditionally the cake is a lighter colored cake with a mild chocolate taste and the entire cake is usually covered in coconut pecan frosting. My family’s version is a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting covering the cake and coconut frosting on top and in the center of the cake. This cake seriously can’t be beat, especially if you’re a chocolate lover!
For the Chocolate Cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the Coconut Frosting:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
For the Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 375°F. Grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. I like to cut a round piece of wax or parchment paper for the bottom of the pan also, to make sure the cake comes out easily.
For the Cake:
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 25 – 35 minutes (depending on your cake pan size. The 9” pan takes less time to bake) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with few crumbs. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
For the German Chocolate Frosting:
In a medium saucepan add brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and coconut. Allow to cool completely before layering it on the cake.
For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed to thin the frosting, or a little extra powder, until you reach your desired consistency. Stir in vanilla.
Place one of the cake rounds on your serving stand or plate.
Smooth a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the cake layer, and then spoon half of the coconut frosting on top, spreading it into a smooth layer. Leave about 1/2 inch between the filling and edge of cake.
Stack the second cake round on top. Smooth chocolate frosting over the entire cake.
Spoon remaining coconut frosting on top of the cake.