Mama’s German Chocolate Cake

Hands On Time:

30 mins

Total Time:

3 hrs 48 mins

German chocolate cakes are known for being rich desserts, so this homemade chocolate cake recipe is not one for the faint of taste buds. It’s so indulgent, in fact, that it’s best served with a dollop of whipped cream or a tall glass of ice-cold milk.

The recipe isn’t too complicated, so we have a feeling you’ll master it in no time. Most ingredients you’ll find you already have on hand, and the most important ingredients here are the two packages of sweet chocolate baking bars.

Once baked, the cake is enrobed in our gorgeously rich and craveable coconut-pecan frosting—one fantastic way to put your fresh pecan halves to good use.

This cake is hands down our best German choclate cake recipe. It’s so beloved, Mama didn’t mind putting her name on it. Not only that, she was proud to. So copy it down, put it on the menu, and make Mama proud. Once you’ve got this easy version down, try your hand at this delicious German Chocolate-Pecan Pie Recipe, too. 

Mama's German Chocolate Cake


  • Parchment paper
  • 2 (4-oz.) packages sweet chocolate baking bars
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Coconut-Pecan Frosting


  1. Preheat oven, and prepare cake pans:Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper.
  2. Microwave chocolate: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.
  3. Combine dry ingredients:Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Make butter mixture:Beat butter and sugars with a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate mixture and vanilla; beat on low speed until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition.
  5. Beat egg whites:Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool cake layers:Remove from oven, and 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).
  7. Frost the cake layers:Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired, with chocolate-dipped toasted pecan halves.