German Chocolate Cake


German Chocolate Cake

If you’ve got an overactive sweet tooth or a nearly insatiable craving for the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of chocolate, grab a cold glass of milk. This German Chocolate Cake is sure to satisfy.

It isn’t an exaggeration to say most of our staffers are chocoholics, which means it’s also safe to say it’s never in short supply in the Test Kitchen — especially when you discover the two drawers we’ve devoted entirely to stashing it. If chocolate is your weakness, too, we have the recipe for you. This German Chocolate Cake has an extra chocolate twist, which comes from stirring the signature pecan and coconut topping of German chocolate cake into chocolate caramel.


12 servings

Total Time

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Preheat oven to 350° with racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Coat three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds.

For the cake, pour boiling water over bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl; cover and let sit 2 minutes to soften. Whisk mixture until chocolate melts.

Whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and table salt in a large bowl.

Beat butter 1 minute on mediumlow speed. With the mixer running, add sugar in a steady stream. Once all sugar is added, increase speed to medium and cream mixture until light and fluffy, 45 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.

Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 11/2 tsp. vanilla and the melted chocolate mixture.

Alternately beat flour mixture and buttermilk into creamed mixture in thirds, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 1822 minutes. Remove cakes from oven; cool in pans on cooling racks, 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks, remove parchment, and let cool completely.

For the topping, toast coconut and pecans on separate baking sheets, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 1218 minutes.

Boil 1½ cups sugar, ¼ cup water, and kosher salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the color of iced tea, swirling occasionally, 710 minutes. Add cream and whisk until mixture dissolves. Add semisweet chocolate; whisk over low heat until chocolate melts.

Off heat, stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; let caramel cool until warm to the touch, about 10 minutes, then stir in coconut and pecans.

To assemble cake, spread a heaping cup of topping on each layer and on top of cake.


To both melt and bring out the flavor of the chocolate, pour boiling water over it and let it sit 2 minutes.


To create cake layers with the best texture, add the sugar gradually with the mixer running.


So that the coconut flavor comes through in the filling, be sure to toast it until golden brown.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 698

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 43g 66%

Saturated Fat 25g 125%

Cholesterol 125mg 41%

Sodium 395mg 16%

Carbs 78g 26%

Fiber 2g 8%

Protein 8g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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