This cake seriously can’t be beat, especially if you’re a chocolate lover! This Classic German Chocolate Cake Recipe is made with layers of decadent, moist chocolate cake and frosted with rich buttery coconut-pecan frosting and indulgent chocolate buttercream. This cake is sure to impress for the holidays, a birthday or any celebration!
If you haven’t had a slice of German Chocolate heaven, you are missing out! This cake is decadent, nutty and somehow just a tad tropical because of the coconut. Each bite is rich yet perfectly balanced. In other words, you need to have some. A second slice wouldn’t hurt either.
For the coconut frosting
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans toasted and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
For the chocolate frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup oil canola or vegetable
2 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the coconut frosting
Combine egg yolks, evaporated milk, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally as the mixture comes to a low boil. Once boiling, whisk constantly until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Stir in pecans and coconut just before using.
To make the Cake
Combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl to make buttermilk. Leave out at room temperature until the milk starts to curdle, for about at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the sugar, oil, chocolate, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract together until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the boiling water, and whisk or beat it all until the batter is completely combined.
Divide batter evenly between 3 pans. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
To make the chocolate frosting
In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter and cocoa powder. Add powdered sugar and milk, beating to a spreadable consistency. Once desired consistency is formed, stir in vanilla.
To assemble the cake
Level the cakes if needed then place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Smooth a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the cake. Then spoon ⅓ of the coconut frosting on top, spreading it into a smooth layer. Leave about 1/2″ between filling and edge of cake.
Top with the 2nd layer and repeat with ⅓ of the coconut frosting. Top with the third cake layer.
Smooth chocolate frosting over the entire cake. Spread remaining ⅓ coconut frosting on top of cake and pipe a decorative border around the top of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing or else the cake may gently fall apart as you cut.
Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.