German Chocolate Cake

german chocolate cake

My Dad’s favorite cake and my second favorite cake of all time.  Rich and chocolaty, moist and delicious, this cake will please even those who don’t love chocolate cake.  The chocolate isn’t overwhelming, it’s just perfect.  Last week, I gave y’all the coconut-pecan frosting recipe and this week, I’m sharing the cake.

This is not the easiest cake to make.  It’s not terribly difficult but, you must have all the ingredients prepared and it is a cake that requires your effort and concentration.  It’s definitely not just dump, mix and bake.

Trust me though, the results are worth the time.

Sift together: cake flour, baking soda and salt

sifting flour

Melt chocolate shavings in boiling water

chocolate shavings

Mix Sour Cream and Vanilla

sour cream, vanilla for GC Blend in butter, sugar, egg yolks and melted chocolate


Next, you’ll whip together egg whites and cream of tartar and then add it into the batter.

* I have no pics of this step.. I am only one woman with two hands.

Pour into 3 well greased round cake pans

Bake and once completely cooled; top layer by layer with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

frosting the cake

German Chocolate Cake

coconut pecan frosting

German Chocolate Cake

Rich, Delicious, Wonderful Homemade German Chocolate Cake with an easy and mouthwatering Coconut Pecan Frosting
Print Recipe


  • 2 1/4 C sifted Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 4 oz Sweet German Baking Chocolate
  • 1/2 C boiling water
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C sugar divided 1 3/4 C and 1/4 C
  • 4 large eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  • Butter 3 round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder to keep the cakes from sticking
  • Sift your cake flour, measure out 2 1/4 C and then sift together the cake flour, baking soda and salt (set aside)
  • Finely chop your chocolate and separate your eggs, while your water is heating up to boiling.
  • Combine the chocolate shavings and water until it’s melted and smooth (set aside)
  • In a small bowl mix together sour cream and vanilla
  • In a large bowl beat 2 sticks butter until creamy
  • Slowly add in 1 3/4 C sugar
  • Beat in 4 egg yolks, 1 at a time
  • Add the melted chocolate and beat just until blended
  • Add the flour mixture and Sour Cream mixture in alternating batches. 3 parts flour to 1 part Sour Cream. Beating each addition until fully incorporated. Use a spatula to scoop the sides and bottom, if needed.
  • In another large bowl beat 4 egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, beat until soft peaks form.
  • Beat on high speed and add in 1/4 C sugar. Beat until stiff.
  • Gently fold into the batter and then pour into the 3 buttered and dusted pans. Let the pans settle before baking them.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed in the center with your finger.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
  • Smooth Coconut Pecan Frosting over each layer and build up and top with Coconut Pecan Frosting


If you're not up for making the cake from scratch, or you're in a super hurry... you can buy a box mix and use it.
If you want to make your box mix taste a bit more homemade here are a couple tips:
To make a richer denser box mix cake - substitute an equal amount of melted butter for the oil or buttermilk instead of water: either of these will result in a richer, denser cake.
I am a firm believer in nothing like a scratch cake, but I'm no stranger to a faux-made scratch cake either 🙂
Author: Rachel

Honest to goodness y’all.. it seems like a lot of work but I swear that it is divine and totally worth it, if you’re up to it 😉


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  1. This cake looks really moist and yummy, and honestly, I’m not a tremendous fan of cake. Cookies, cheesecake… well, yeah… Regular cake I can usually take or leave – but FROSTING is definitely what makes or break a cake, and then, once i get past that, a good base cake is just… mmmmmm.
    .-= Sarah´s most recent blog ..Weekly Winners, Week Ending 05.08.10 =-.

  2. Your pictures get better and better. This is a special occasion cake if I’ve ever seen one. I wish, wish, wish I could have a slice for lunch dessert today.
    .-= Rebecca at Toothwhale´s most recent blog ..Beef tips and noodles =-.

  3. This is my favorite kind of cake and yours looks so moist and delicious. I have a fun story that I think of when I see a German Chocolate Cake and the friend who brought it to me. I love to look but I cannot touch…maybe in the next life! Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful photos.
    .-= gnee´s most recent blog ..Memories With a Pretty Twist =-.

  4. Is it possible to gain weight while reading a post? Delish. My recipe this week is a little self-serving. I’m working to raise funds for Cookies for Cancer and have a recipe contest running on Momtrends. I’d love for you to enter!
    .-= Nicole Feliciano´s most recent blog ..Catstudio Kitchen Fashions =-.

  5. D.E.L.I.S.H. Hope to try it soon! Thanks for the inspiration…I spend most of my time “cooking” not baking anymore. Glad to have something new to try!

  6. Hi I adore your german chocolate cake! It is simply my favorite cake of all time, with red velvet coming in second. Sometimes it’s hard to choose! Its my first time to your lovely southern fairy tale and thanks for allowing us all to share recipes and articles in your beatutiful space! My blog is about healthy living in the “middle of the road”, and my article is in honor of my mother and bringing back one of my favorite comfort foods from child hood–Creamy Chestnut Chicken! Gonna follow you! Thanks again! Alex
    .-= Oystergirl@A Moderate Life´s most recent blog ..Revise and conquor…recipe experimentation and correction. =-.

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