Oma's Easy German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling

➤ by Gerhild Fulson

This easy German Chocolate Cake recipe might just become one of your favorite cakes. 

It’s a sweet layered chocolate cake famously filled and topped with a decadent coconut pecan filling. Oftentimes the sides of the cake are left bare, while others prefer to spread a rich chocolate buttercream frosting along the sides of the cake and add decorative piping along the edge of the top of the cake to hold in the coconut pecan filling.

But wait! It’s called German Chocolate Cake, but is it really German?

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important & interesting stuff to know right below.

An easy German chocolate cake with yummy pecan & coconut frosting AND an amazing chocolate mousse cream surrounding it. But is it really German? Well, sort of!

Why it’s called German and why it’s not German

Nope! It’s not a German recipe. Personally, I didn't realize that what was sold over here in Canada as German Chocolate Cake wasn't from Germany. I just knew my Mutti never made it. It was only once I went to Germany to visit that I realized I never ever saw something similar to this.

German's Bakers Chocolate

So why, then, is it called German Chocolate Cake? According to Wikipedia,  this cake is named after an American chocolate maker named Samuel German who, in 1852, developed a dark baking chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate Company. It was branded as Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.

In the 1950s, the original recipe for “German’s Chocolate Cake” was published in a Texas newspaper, which called for Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate. The recipe soon became a hit nationwide and people have been making this recipe, often with slight variations, ever since.

Over the years the "s" was dropped from "German's" and it became known simply as German Chocolate Cake, giving the false impression of a German origin.

NOTE: If you came here looking for a traditional GERMAN chocolate cake, and not German’s Chocolate Cake, check out my Chocolate Cream Torte recipe. If you're a chocolate lover and live for traditional German cuisine, this is THE best cake!

But do keep reading to see how I give this non-German cake a German twist!

How to make German Chocolate Cake

There are 3 ways to make this. 

  1. Use your favorite chocolate cake recipe and replace the chocolate with Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.
  2. Use a German recipe for the chocolate cake and make this a real German Chocolate Cake. (This option is ideal if you prefer a not-so-sweet cake.)
  3. Use a yellow cake mix and add in Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate. That’s what I’m showing below.

Using a cake mix makes this a really quick and easy cake to make. Simply follow the package directions, then add in the melted chocolate before beating. Pour batter into two prepared cake pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Easy-peasy.

Mixing the ingredients together for German chocolate cake
The two layers of the chocolate cake are cooling

I rarely use packaged cake mixes, but, this time, it works since the German chocolate frosting recipe is really the star of the show.

While your cake is baking, make the frosting. That way it can cool and be ready to use once your cake has also cooled.

Grab your copy of Oma's favorites in her Special Occasion German Cakes & Tortes e-Cookbook.

Take a look at Oma’s Special Occasion Cakes & Tortes eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

How to make German Chocolate Cake frosting

This delicious frosting is a custard made with egg yolks, evaporated milk, sugar, and butter. Combine these ingredients together in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Once mixture has cooled a bit stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans.

Ingredients for coconut pecan filling for German's chocolate cake
Adding pecans to custard filling
Coconut pecan frosting filling ready to use

Give your cake a traditional German twist with Chocolate Cream

Instead of the chocolate buttercream mentioned above, I’ve opted to make this cake more German-style by using the chocolate cream recipe for Chocolate Cream Torte, a most beloved and traditional chocolate German cake.

The chocolate cream works beautifully here. It's so rich and not too sweet. It’s so good, you'll want to lick the spoon and the sides of the bowl, and it's so much easier to make than buttercream.

However, you will want to start this recipe at least 6 hours before you plan to bake your cake. It's easiest to make this the night before.

Simply mix together 1¾ cups of heavy (whipping) cream and 5 ounces of top quality bittersweet chocolate together in a pot over low heat to melt chocolate, then bring it to the boiling point. Cool, cover, and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. 

Whipping cream and chocolate heating up
Chocolate melted with the whipping cream

How to assemble the cake

Once completely cool, place a cake layer on a serving plate. Cover it with half of the cooled coconut pecan filling. Place the second layer of cake on top. Spread remaining half of coconut pecan frosting on the top of the cake, leaving enough room around the edge of the cake for piping chocolate cream.

If you want to serve your cake 'naked', it's ready to go.

Naked German Chocolate Cake with coconut pecan frosting
Piece of Naked German Chocolate Cake with coconut pecan frosting

When you’re ready to cover your cake with the chocolate cream, remove it from the fridge and whip it with a mixer until stiff peaks form. 

Whipping Chocolate Cream Mousse
Whipped Chocolate Cream Mousse Frosting

Then spread it evenly over the sides of the cake. Pipe some of the chocolate cream around the edge of the top layer for a beautiful finish.

German-style German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling and Chocolate Cream Mousse Frosting
A Piece of German-style German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling and Chocolate Cream Mousse Frosting

And voilà! One of the best chocolate cakes. A gorgeous German-style easy German Chocolate Cake. Enjoy!

Ready to make this easy German Chocolate Cake Recipe?

Oma’s Easy German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling

An easy German chocolate cake with yummy coconut and pecan filling AND an amazing German chocolate cream surrounding it. But is it really German? Well, sort of! Germanize this totally by substituting my real German chocolate cake instead of the cake mix. But this one below is real easy.

The Chocolate Cream needs to be started at least 6 hours before you finish the cake.

Prep Time

45 minutes

Bake/Cook Time

40 minutes

Chill Time

6 hours

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cream:

  • 1¾ cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Cake:

  • 15-ounce package yellow cake mix
  • 4 ounces Baker's German Sweet Chocolate, melted

Coconut Pecan Filling:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

Chocolate Cream:

  1. Start the Chocolate Cream at least 6 hours before needed or the day before you want to make your cake.
  2. Mix together the heavy cream and chocolate in a pot, over low heat, until chocolate is melted, stirring constantly. Bring to boiling point. Cool, cover, and place in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F or as indicated on cake mix package. Grease two round 9-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding melted chocolate before beating.
  3. Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake 35 minutes or as indicated on cake mix package.
  4. Cool 15 minutes in pans on a wire rack. Remove from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack before filling and frosting.

Coconut Pecan Filling:

  1. Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, and butter in medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a low boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking for several minutes until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Let cool to room temperature before filling cake. It will thicken more as it cools.

Finish Chocolate Cream:

  1. Whip with a mixer until stiff just before you need it to frost the cake.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread half of the filling mixture over the cake.
  2. Place the other cake layer over top and spread remaining mixture over the top of the cake, leaving enough room around the edge of the cake for decorative piping with the chocolate cream.
  3. Spread about half the chocolate evenly over the sides of the cake.
  4. Use remaining chocolate cream to pipe around the edge of the top of the cake.

Notes/Hints:

  • Use a 9x13-inch pan for a quicker version of this cake. Cover the top with the coconut pecan frosting, and omit the chocolate cream.
  • Use unsweetened chocolate if you like a not-too-sweet cake.
  • Melt German's sweet baking chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a small bowl in the microwave.
  • If you can't find Baker's German Sweet Chocolate, then replace it with your favorite chocolate. I've even used semi-sweet chocolate chip.
  • Try using toasted pecans
  • Can substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar
  • Can substitute half and half cream for evaporated milk

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma | www.quick-german-recipes.com

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An easy German chocolate cake with yummy pecan & coconut frosting AND an amazing chocolate cream mousse surrounding it. But is it really German? Well, sort of!

Oma's Easy German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling

By
Oma's Easy German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Filling
An easy German chocolate cake with yummy pecan & coconut frosting AND an amazing chocolate cream surrounding it. But is it really German? Well, sort of!

Ingredients: evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, vanilla extract, coconut, pecans, yellow cake mix, chocolate,heavy (whipping) cream,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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Proverbs 17:27 (NLT)