Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours 48 Mins
Makes 12 servings

Bake a cake that would make mama proud. German chocolate cakes are known for being rich, indulgent cakes, so enjoy a slice with a glass of milk.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper.

Step 2

Microwave chocolate baking bars and 1/2 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through.

Step 3

Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Step 4

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Step 5

Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Step 6

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Step 7

Note: We tested with Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate Bar.

Ratings & Reviews

September 25, 2016

September 25, 2016
Then why just 1 star? Did you mean to give it more stars, and didn't notice? 

December 18, 2015
Sorry to here ur cake came out sweet and sticky. I made this same cake with the same recipe and my came out delicious. I had no compliant

July 04, 2016
Next time lightly dust plastic wrap with flour and wrap each layer of cake in the refrigerator about 30min. That will help your cake from falling apart and allow foe easier frosting

June 17, 2018
Hopefully you didn't so it, this cake can't even hold a standard round shape well.

grannyg57's Review

February 23, 2013
OMG...this is the hands down best German chocolate cake recipe ever....It is perfection! I went right by the recipe and there is nothing I would change. I made it a second time last week and it was once again perfect. People went crazy over it...the only thing I did differently the second time was bake it in 2 layers, then slice these to have 4 layers and I made 1 1/2 recipes of icing. Makes a big beautiful cake. Go that extra mile and toast your pecans and garnish as in photo. I would also suggest cutting this with an electric knife. It makes cleaner slices when you have coconut and nuts in your icing. YUM YUM !

tmgale06's Review

September 30, 2013
I loved this recipe. I make a German Chocolate Cake only once a year for my birthday. They are tedious but worth it. Last year it turned out wonderful but a but too chocolatey rich for me. I normally make the original recipe but wanted a bit more so i opted for an extra half a bar of chocolate. The 1 1/2 bars were perfect!! it was moist and just the right amount of chocolate I was looking for with out being over-bearing. I guess I will have to make a 2nd cake with the other half.


November 02, 2015
When I first made this cake it was very moist and fell apart. I didn't follow the directions to a T..I believe I forgot to beat the egg whites and a few other things I missed. Although it was good it fell apart. The second time I made it, I follwed the recipe to a T and it came out perfect! I also made the homemade icing and it was delicious! Everyone loved it!

Rich, Moist, Tasty, & Hard Work!

January 04, 2016
This is a very good homemade cake recipe, but there are a lot of components to this cake...But its well worth all of it. I made my cake with 3 layers, and next time I believe I will make 2 layers...Why, because my cake fell apart, due to the moistness, the cake was also very crumbly on the sides, & on the top of the cake too... Can someone tell me if this is normal? But after the homemade pecan, and coconut icing was made it all came together...As I said a very Rich, Moist, Tasty, and Lot of Hard Work Cake...But Yummy!!!

kass26's Review

July 11, 2012
I have made the original (on the package) recipe of German's Sweet Chocolate cake every year for the past 30 (yikes) for my husband's birthday. He's a total homemade cake snob (would never eat a box cake). He RAVED about this recipe! The only difference from the oringinal is the TWO bars of chocolate, but it is genius! So much more chocolatey and so much more delicious. "Mama" sure knew how to bake a delicious cake!