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Mom’s German Chocolate Cake

A slice of German Chocolate Cake on a white plate

German Chocolate Cake could very well be renamed “Dad’s Birthday Cake” in our family. Mom has made this triple layered goodness most every March, for as long as I can remember. It’s what Dad loves. It’s what Dad gets!

This was my first time creating Dad’s signature cake, however. And my premier with a triple layer cake, too. I didn’t have enough round pans, and needed to run out for a third one. But I knew it would be an investment. An acquired asset for our future’s eating pleasure.

birthday celebration in 1975
Dad’s birthday, 1975

When Mom assembles her German Chocolate Cake, she leaves the sides unadorned of the coconut-pecan frosting. You can see all three layers of sweet chocolate cake, each crowned with that sinfully wonderful frosting, just like what’s shown in the above photo from 1975.

I took the liberty of changing up Mom’s usual look just a bit, by frosting the whole perimeter. I kinda smooshed the frosting on real tight, which made for a more modern looking cake. And it pleased both Dad and Mom just fine. We licked the cake platter clean!

I love you dearly, Dad.
Happy Birthday!

a whole german chocolate cake on a white stand

Mom’s German Chocolate Cake

prep time: 35 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This German Chocolate Cake, topped with coconut-pecan frosting, is out-of-this-world good. A triple-layer chocolate cake may seem daunting, but I promise that you will love the results!
4.7 Stars (3 Reviews)


  • For the Cake:
  • 4 oz. Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate
  • ½ c. water
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • ¾ c. butter or margarine
  • 1 7- oz. pkg. flake coconut about 2-2/3 cups
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped pecans


For the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cover bottoms of three 9″ round cake pans with wax paper and grease the sides of the pan. Set aside.
  • Microwave chocolate and water in large microwaveable bowl for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  • Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.
  • Add egg whites and stir gently until well blended. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  • Beat egg yolks, evaporated milk and vanilla in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Add coconut and pecans. Mix well. Cool to room temperature and of desired spreading consistency.

To Assemble the Cake:

  • Place first cake layer on your serving platter. Spread with a thin layer of frosting. Repeat with remaining 2 layers of cake. Then frost the sides. You will need to be conservative to cover all of this area. Alternatively, you can eliminate the frosting on the sides, and only frost the layers and top, as shown in my post’s photo from my dad’s birthday in 1975.


Adapted slightly from the recipe on the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate wrapping, the only German Chocolate Cake recipe my mom has ever made!

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 691kcal Carbohydrates: 79g Protein: 7g Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 21g Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 149mg Sodium: 389mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 62g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
german chocolate cake

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62 comments on “Mom’s German Chocolate Cake”

  1. Hands down, this is the best German Chocolate cake I have ever had. Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe with us. Your dad was a very lucky guy.

  2. 5 stars
    Hands down, this is the best German Chocolate cake I have ever had. Thank you for sharing your family’s recipe with us. Your dad was a very lucky guy.

  3. For years I have been making this cake (the Baker’s version) at least twice a year. Once in May for my son’s birthday and then again in August for my husband’s birthday! I make it the way your mom does with the sides not iced. I have tried several times to frost the entire cake but it always falls down. How do you get it to stay? Would love to know! Do you change the frosting recipe? I haven’t compared yours to the on on the Bakers Choc packaging yet but was just curious as to how you get it to stay! Thank you!!

  4. Delicious recipe, thank you!! The BF wanted a german chocolate rum cake for his birthday, so I poked some holes in the baked layers with a fork and drizzled on some rum… kept it nice and moist. :)

  5. Yum! My favorite cake ever, and I make it exactly like this, only I toast the pecans and the coconut before making the frosting. Amazing! I just found your blog this morning and I love it! :-)

  6. I just made this cake using the recipe found on the back of
    the Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate box and they’re the same
    but it seems as if you toasted your coconut slighty.

  7. I just wanted to say that this was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe. I discovered your blog a few months ago and I have gained a lot of love for it. Thanks for blogging! :)

  8. this was always my favorite bday cake but I’m sure it came in a box..but maybe not-I’ll try this again! thanks

  9. Truly I don’t think I would be able to stop myself if I got my hands on your dads b’day cake. It looks amazing!!

  10. Katie @ This Chick Cooks

    Hey! I wanted to let you know that I’m featuring your recipe today. Thanks so much for sharing it. I’d love for you to stop by if you get a chance.


  11. On the outside it reminds me of a bird cake – you know the type with seeds mixed with lard? But no offence meant there, the inside of the cake looks yummy! And 3 layers looks great! Maybe I should invest in a third cake tin though so I can make one!

  12. So much yummy stuff, cakes from scratch are the best!! Would like to invite you to link up any & all of your delightful creations to The Homespun Bake Shop @ The Tattered Tag. It’s a great new place to share & find delicious inspiration.

    1. Actually…I intentionally made this a few weeks ago, when Dad & Mom were visiting, so we could share it. Mom said she was going to try a new cake for Dad’s birthday this weekend, since he got his German Chocolate in his birthday month. :)