This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

German chocolate cake is one you will make over and over again.

German chocolate cake

German Chocolate cake is one of my favorite cakes.  The frosting makes the cake.  This is a great cake to serve to guests and family will love it, too. The original recipe came from an early seventies Progressive Farmer Southern Country Cookbook. I have made a few changes over the years.   I used to make this cake when my children were young and we lived on the farm. It has always been a favorite.  You might also like our recipe for old-fashioned brown sugar pie.

German chocolate cake is an old-fashioned classic recipe.

4 ounces or 1/4 pound package German’s sweet chocolate (You can get this at most groceries in the baking section. It is a 4 ounce bar like a candy bar).
1/2 cup water
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt chocolate and water on top of the stove in a pot and cool.   Cream butter, sugar and eggs; beat well.  Add cooled chocolate and water, flour, salt, soda, buttermilk and vanilla extract mixing well with mixer.  Spray three 9 inch cake pans.  Divide the batter between the 3 pans (comes out to about 2 cups per cake pan).  Bake layers in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool about 10 minutes and remove from pans.  Frost with Pecan Frosting.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine or 8 tablespoons
3 eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped (can use walnuts, too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat eggs and add to milk, sugar and butter.  Cook on medium heat about 12 minutes until bubbles and begins to thicken.  Stir constantly because it will burn easily.  Remove and add nuts, coconut and vanilla extract. Mix well and let cool.  Spread on tops of cake layers. Note: You can double this frosting if you like a lot.
German chocolate cake
German chocolate cake
Don’t forget to pin German chocolate cake.
Love this cake? Click the picture to order my “Sweet Things” Cookbook: CoverFirstCookbookHeritage
Feel free to “share” with your friends by clicking on the Facebook, Pinterest or E-mail buttons at the bottom of each post. You can print by clicking on the printer icon below.
© The Southern Lady Cooks photos and text – All rights reserved. No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.




  1. His could you ad adapt this to cupcakes?

    • The Southern Lady says:

      I have not tried making cupcakes but if I did, I would just add the batter to cupcake pans as usual. You might cut the time about 10 minutes. Just keep checking on them.

  2. Cathie Walsh says:

    Can this be made in a sheet pan for easier transporting?

  3. I am looking for your pie cake recipe with frosting , it’s a chocolate cake with raspberry pill in side with a special frosting, could you share the recipe with me, you cane mail me recipe, thank you Robin !

  4. On the frosting do you use the egg whites also? Years ago I had a recipe very similar to this but I lost it. The recipe I had you just use the egg yolks.. I want to try to make this so I just wanted to be sure.

  5. Thank u so much for all your recipes ….. I simply am glad that I came across your website !

  6. Gorgus cake i love it an easy to follow as i am from south africa

  7. So many precious memories from my childhood, I will be making this for my daughter and husband this Christmas! Oh the memories!!! I wanted this recipe from scratch… no boxes for me..thank you!

  8. My favorite cake…one will be waiting for me in Heaven

  9. Can this be made in a 9×13 pan?

  10. I am German but unfortunately I´ve never heard of this recipe before – it is so delicious. Thank you for sharing

  11. Ohhh! My Momma used to make this cake when I was little…about 50 years ago. So darn good. I’ve made it a few times but never as good as Mommas touch!

  12. I’ve made this cake for the last 30 years, one of my favorites and one that I get many requests to make for other family and friends.

  13. melinda clemons says:

    My all-time fav cake. My mom is 83 y/o and still bakes me one for my birthday and at Christmas.

  14. Linda Elandt says:

    Thank you for a wonderful memory. My mom was making this back in 1964 ish. Wasn’t a cakemix then.

  15. wanda f grubbs alexander says:

    Can you mke this if you dont have buttermilk.I have everything but.

  16. Can you use 2 percent or whole milk in the icing recipe?
    I do not like the taste of evaporated milk. Thank you!

  17. Cynthia Swart says:

    Thank you for this recipe. One of my Aunt’s used to make this for my brother. I have been looking for this recipe for some time. I plan to make for him the next time our famlies get together.

  18. My oh my oh my! I think I’m melting into a puddle under my chair.;} That cake looks divine! Thanks for sharing – I sooo love homemade gc cake!

  19. Love the frosting.

  20. Oh my! My all time favorite cake….even more so than red velvet cake! Headed for my daughter’s home…may just bake one there. I have been known to make just the icing and eat it by itself…..when I was younger and the pounds did not pile on as easily…lol.

  21. Susan Wheeler says:

    Oh yea! My favorite! This has been my birthday cake for over 30 yrs! This is a pic from last year, March 1st, I was home with my mom and dad for my birthday. Never better! Like yours, it has to be three layers!! Sent from my iPad

  22. Martha Highfill says:

    Glad to get this receipe, mine is not in good shape and it was handed down from my Aunt and we always loved her German Chocloate Cake, especially at Christmas, brings back good memories, i grew up in Alabama, thank you for passing it on, Martha Highfill.

  23. Martha Linn says:

    My all time favorite cake. I have one made now. I double the icing recipe so it is really good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *