German Chocolate Cake

Serves 8-10



  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, yolks & whites separated, room temperature
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray

Custard Filling/Topping

  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1⅓ cups toasted coconut
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped


  • three 9" spring-form pans
  • parchment paper rounds
  • stand mixer with paddle & whip attachments
  • fine-mesh strainer
  • plastic wrap
  • offset spatula


Toast Coconut & Pecans for Filling/Topping (not demonstrated in the video)

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. To toast coconut, spread flakes onto a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasty and brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool
  3. To toast pecans, spread onto a baking sheet and bake until fragrant, about 6-7 minutes, watching carefully that they do not get too dark. Transfer onto a plate to stop the cooking process and allow to cool

Melt Chocolate & Prep Pans

  1. Prepare three 9” spring-form pans by coating with nonstick cooking spray. Line each bottom with a parchment round, and coat with spray atop parchment paper again
  2. Combine water and semi-sweet chocolate over low heat in a saucepan, and heat until melted, 2-3 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool

Mix Batter

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until just combined
  2. With the mixer turned off, add half of the melted chocolate and mix until just combined. Add remaining chocolate and mix until just combined
  3. Add the yolks from the separated eggs and beat until just combined, scraping down the bowl once
  4. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. In a separate container, combine buttermilk and vanilla
  5. Starting with flour mixture, add one-third and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Add one-half of the buttermilk mixture and beat on low until just combined. Continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the last one-third of the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to assure that everything is incorporated
  6. Transfer the batter to a separate large bowl, and clean and dry the bowl of the stand mixer thoroughly (egg whites won’t whip properly with any film, particles or moisture in the bowl). Change to a whip attachment
  7. Add egg whites to the mixing bowl and start whipping at medium speed, and gradually increase to high speed. You are looking to reach medium peaks, careful not to over-whip
  8. Fold whites into the batter. This does not need to be done in stages, however, just assure that there are no streaks of whipped white throughout batter

Portion & Bake Cake

  1. Transfer to prepared pans, distributing the batter equally. Smooth the top of the batter with a spatula, and tap the cake pans on the counter a couple of times to eliminate air pockets
  2. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center removes clean. Allow to cool in pans

Make Custard Filling/Topping

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter over low heat, stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes
  2. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl
  3. Cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the custard surface and refrigerate for 30 minutes

Fill & Frost Layers

  1. Remove cooled cakes from pans, peeling away parchment paper rounds
  2. Remove cooled filling/topping from refrigerator and fold in the toasted coconut and pecans
  3. Place one cake round on a serving platter. Spread one-third of the coconut-pecan filling atop, almost out to the edges. Top with cake round, repeat
  4. Place last cake round on top, and spread the remaining third of the filling/topping, allowing it to cascade and drip over the sides of the cake slightly. Slice and serve