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Easy German Chocolate Cake Recipe for the Holidays

This is an authentic recipe for German Chocolate Cake that’s been in my family for years, and most people love this particular cake, especially for the holidays. But what’s not to love? It’s rich, moist, and decadently delicious.

Origin and History of German Chocolate Cake

Because of its name, most people think this scrumptious dessert originated in Germany; however, that wasn’t the case. In fact, the “Motherland” of this popular cake is the United States. Then again, according to Germanculture.com, it isn’t unusual that a dessert this rich would be associated with German cuisine since German cooks are noted for their “complexity and extravagance” in the kitchen. The cake, however, was actually named after an American: Sam German.

German created a mild, dark chocolate baking bar in 1852 for Baker’s Chocolate Company, and the company named the bar “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate” in his honor. However, the apostrophe and “s” were later dropped, leading to the misconception that the chocolate was of German origin, as was the cake. (Germanculture.com)

What’s more, although legend has it that German immigrants brought the recipe for this delectable cake with them when they settled in the American Midwest, a Texas homemaker was actually the creator, and after her recipe was published in a Dallas newspaper in 1957, the cake rapidly became a popular dessert all across America. (Germanculture.com)

Best Recipe for German Chocolate Cake

This recipe calls for sweet chocolate, but you can substitute unsweetened chocolate. Moreover, you can also replace the butter with margarine, even light margarine, to reduce the caloric content, but the difference in calories will be minuscule, so why bother? Besides, everyone should spurge a little during the holidays.


  • 1 package (1/4 pound) Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate
  • 2 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, unbeaten
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  3. Melt chocolate in boiling water then allow.
  4. Allow chocolate to cool.
  5. Cream butter (or margarine) and sugar together until fluffy.
  6. Add egg yolks, beating after each yolk.
  7. Add vanilla and melted chocolate, blending thoroughly.
  8. Add flour alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition.
  9. Blend until batter is smooth.
  10. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  11. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Cool layers before frosting.

Recipe for German Chocolate Cake Coconut-Pecan Frosting


  • 1 cup canned milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and 1/3 cup coconut
  • 1 cup pecans


  1. Combine canned milk, sugar, yolks, butter or margarine, and vanilla in saucepan.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add coconut and pecans.
  5. Beat until of spreading consistently.
  6. Spread frosting between each layer of cooled cake then spread remainder on top.