Photo: Oxmoor House
18 servings

We've lightened up a traditional German chocolate cake but kept the flavor in the moist chocolate cake layers and the gooey coconut-pecan frosting.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray, and dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Step 3

Combine cocoa and chocolate in a small bowl; add boiling water, stirring until chocolate melts. Set aside.

Step 4

Combine sugars, butter, and oil in a large bowl, and beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add yogurt, extracts, and egg whites; beat well.

Step 5

Lightly spoon sifted flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in cocoa mixture.

Step 6

Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Step 7

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/3 cup Coconut-Pecan Frosting, and top with another cake layer. Spread with 1/3 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Ratings & Reviews

Vicuska's Review

September 21, 2013
The dough is fantastic and moist. I did not have coconut extract, so I used 3 tablespoons of coconut milk powder and reduced the amount of flour by 3 tablespoons. The frosting is extremely sweet and gluey to my taste though. It either needs evaporated milk instead of condensed milk, or the brown sugar would need to be cut to 1/3 or even 1/4 cup, or omit it altogether.

Chrysalis101's Review

August 17, 2013
Love this recipe! It takes a bit of time, but it is totally worth it. My father-in-law's fav cake is German Choc cake, so I make this every year on his bday. To be honest, I usually make it in a sheet pan and put the frosting on top. Spreading this frosting is a bit of a hassle. You want to make sure the frosting doesn't get too chilled and hard in the fridge before you want to spread it. Definitely don't bother trying to frost the sides of the cake, you won't have enough frosting and it will just slide off and make the cake look disheveled.

artbypauline's Review

January 14, 2013
My family's favorite dessert when I was a kid was my Mom's homemade German Chocolate cake, made with the recipe on the Baker's chocolate box. This recipe tastes every bit as delicious! I served it at our dinner club last night and they practically licked their plates. It was very moist with wonderful pecan and coconut flavor, and the fact that it has half the calories and 2/3 less fat than the original makes it all the more fabulous! I suspect that the reviewers that found it to be dry and dense did not use cake flour and did not sift before measuring. I have found that exact measurements are extremely important in light cake recipes. I did wind up making another half recipe of the frosting as there wasn't quite enough for the three layers, sides and top of the cake. I highly recommend this recipe, and will definitely make it again!

Fashionjean's Review

November 21, 2012
Awesome!! Very moist. My family loves it! This is the best German Chocolate Cake I have ever made!

PlumpMama's Review

January 13, 2012
Thanks for the tip regarding the flour. The frosting saved the dry cake. I will try this again now that I know to sift first.

Chezwhat's Review

December 01, 2011
If the cake turned out dry or dense, it may have to do with how the flour was measured. The recipe calls for 2¼ cups sifted cake flour - not cake flour, sifted. So you sift first, then measure. Sifting adds air, so you get less flour in your 2¼ cups if you sift first. Without sifting, 2¼ cups scooped cake flour would weigh about 10.4 ounces. Sifted first, then measured, you get 7.9 ounces. Measure first, sift later, and the 2¼ cups you started with will be nearly 3. A classic recipe for a 3 9-inch layer cake calls for 9 oz. flour; 7.9 sounds much more right for a smaller cake than 10.4 ounces!

MLLoudRed's Review

August 02, 2011
I make German chocolate cake every year for my dad's birthday so I decided to try to find a healthier version. The cake was right on-- I did make the traditional version of the frosting though, so I can't comment on this frosting recipe. For the flour I used 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat, it wasn't dry at all.

Jocilyn's Review

February 14, 2011
This wasn't bad, a little dry, but overall good.

mobroliu's Review

September 22, 2010
This is a great tasting cake. Very moist. Those who complained it was too dry probably used all-purpose flour. It's fine to use sifted all-purpose flour but you must adjust the amount. I used sifted all-purpose but reduced the amount to two cups. The results were great.


September 23, 2009
This cake was horrible, it was too dense and I will not ever make it again. Yuck! I guess it would be good if you were a diabetic and didn't care what your desserts tasted like.