German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Old-Fashioned German Chocolate Cake Recipe: A Timeless Delight

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Welcome to a journey back in time with a classic dessert that has stood the test of time – the Old-Fashioned German Chocolate Cake. Originating in the United States rather than Germany, this cake has captured the hearts and taste buds of many with its rich chocolate layers and decadent coconut-pecan frosting. In this recipe, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of creating this timeless delight, complete with tips, FAQs, and variations to suit every palate.


For the Cake:

  • 1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix (I use Betty Crocker Super Moist)
  • Eggs (as per cake mix instructions)
  • Oil (as per cake mix instructions)
  • Water (as per cake mix instructions)
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

For the Frosting:

  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups Chopped Pecans


  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature specified on the cake mix box.
  2. Prepare the cake batter according to the instructions on the box, adding sour cream along with the other ingredients.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into three well-greased and floured round cake pans.
  4. Bake according to the package instructions until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. In a saucepan, combine evaporated milk, butter, sugar, and salt over medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans.
  4. Let the frosting cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent it from hardening too much.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Cake Texture: Adding sour cream to the cake mix enhances the moisture and richness of the cake, resulting in a softer texture.
  • Frosting Consistency: To achieve the perfect consistency for the frosting, ensure you stir constantly while it’s cooking and allow it to cool to room temperature before frosting the cake.
  • Toasting Coconut and Pecans: For an extra layer of flavor, consider toasting the coconut flakes and pecans before adding them to the frosting.
  • Layered Flavors: For a more intense chocolate flavor, you can add a layer of chocolate ganache between the cake layers before frosting.

Keto Version

  • Cake: Substitute the cake mix with a keto-friendly chocolate cake recipe using almond flour, cocoa powder, and a low-carb sweetener.
  • Frosting: Use a combination of cream cheese, cocoa powder, and powdered erythritol for a keto-friendly frosting. Replace the condensed milk with heavy cream and a keto sweetener.

Low-Carb Version

  • Cake: Opt for a low-carb chocolate cake mix or prepare a homemade version using almond flour, coconut flour, and a sugar substitute.
  • Frosting: Replace sugar with a sugar-free sweetener such as erythritol or stevia. Use unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped pecans to reduce carb content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I make the cake layers in advance? A: Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or freeze them for longer storage.

Q: Can I use a different type of nut in the frosting? A: Absolutely! Feel free to substitute pecans with walnuts or almonds for a different flavor profile.

Q: How do I store leftover cake? A: Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped or covered, for up to 3-4 days.

Q: Can I make this cake without using a cake mix? A: Yes, you can prepare the cake layers from scratch using your favorite chocolate cake recipe.

Indulge in the nostalgia of a bygone era with this Old-Fashioned German Chocolate Cake recipe. With its luscious layers of chocolate cake and heavenly coconut-pecan frosting, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or opt for a keto or low-carb version, the timeless appeal of this dessert remains unchanged. So, gather your ingredients and embark on a culinary journey that will delight your senses and transport you to a world of sweet memories.

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