Original Baker’s German Chocolate Cake

The original Baker’s German Chocolate Cake is a mildly sweet chocolate cake topped with a decadent coconut pecan frosting.

Baker's German Chocolate Cake on a black plate

History

The German chocolate cake has taken on many different variations over the years. But the original is a hands-down favorite! Technically it’s named Baker’s German’s Chocolate Cake. Not German Chocolate Cake.

The authentic German chocolate cake with Baker’s chocolate is not actually German. It’s named for the creator Samuel German, an employee of Baker’s Chocolate Company.

Why You’ll Love This

It’s a light and fluffy chocolate cake layered with coconut frosting.

A real crowd pleaser that’s perfect for any occasion such as the holidays and birthdays.

Easy to make!

If you would like to use the original recipe method see the notes in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

I made some changes, such as not beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form. I found that it didn’t make much difference and just made the cake easier to come together.

If you’re a fan of coconut try our light and fluffy Coconut Cake Recipe and our Coconut Cupcake Recipe.

A slice of original Baker's German chocolate cake on a black plate.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Boiling water – This melts the Baker’s chocolate.
  • Baker’s German’s Sweet Baking Chocolate (Bakers Sweet German Chocolate)– This baking chocolate contains only 46% cacao, making for a subtly chocolate-flavored cake.
  • All-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt – These make the cake light and fluffy.
  • Unsalted butter – The original recipe calls for butter or margarine.
  • Granulated sugar, vanilla extract – For good flavor!
  • Eggs, buttermilk – Room temperature.
Original Baker's German Chocolate Cake on a black plate.

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How to Make the Original Baker’s German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line with parchment paper and grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans or 2 (9-inch). Set aside.

Chocolate squares in a glass measuring cup with boiling water.

In a glass measuring cup microwave the water until boiling. Stir in the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

In a medium-size bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cake batter in a metal mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract.

Beat in the flour mixture in thirds alternating with the buttermilk, beating after each addition until smooth.

Divide the cake batter evenly into all three prepared cake pans—about 2 1/2 cups of batter for each pan.

Baker's german chocolate cake layers in three round cake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center.

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan back to the wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

How to Make Baker’s German Chocolate Cake Frosting

Coconut pecan frosting in a metal mixing bowl.

In a large saucepan over medium heat add the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and salt. Cook stirring constantly for 12 minutes, until thickened and golden brown.

Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

How To Assemble

Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread one-third of the coconut pecan frosting over the top of the cake, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with the second layer, and spread with half of the remaining filling.

Place the third layer on top and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top, leaving the sides of the cake exposed.

A slice of original Baker's German Chocolate Cake on a black plate.

Tips

  • Measure the flour correctly. Aerate, spoon, and swoop level.
  • Use room-temperature eggs and buttermilk, they will incorporate more evenly.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk make your own. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk.
  • You should be able to find Baker’s German chocolate bars in the baking aisle at most grocery stores. But if you can’t find it use semi-sweet chocolate and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar per ounce of chocolate.
  • When adding the chocolate to the boiling water, do it carefully, it might bubble up for a second.
  • I use cake strips to achieve flat layers. You may need to trim the tops for flat layers.
  • If the coconut frosting gets too thick for spreading, microwave it just a little to soften it up.

FAQ

Can you make a German chocolate cake ahead?

Yes. Bake the cake layers, and let them cool completely. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost to room temperature, make the frosting/filling, and assemble.

What can I substitute for Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate?

You can use semi-sweet chocolate and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar per ounce of chocolate.

Storing

You can store this cake in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Bring to room temperature before serving, the icing turns firm when cold.

Freezing

I recommend cutting slices, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freezing them for about 1 hour or until hard. Wrap the frozen slices tightly in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, and freeze for up to 2 months for best quality.

More Dessert Recipes

Baker's German Chocolate Cake on a black plate

Original Baker’s German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Baker's German Chocolate cake is a mildly sweet chocolate cake topped with a decadent coconut pecan frosting.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baker’s, cake, chocolate, German
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 889kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup Water boiling
  • 4 oz Baker's German's Sweet Baking chocolate 1 package
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 4 large Eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature

Coconut Pecan Frosting/Filling

  • 12 oz Evaporated milk (1 can)
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 large Egg yolks
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Coconut flakes sweetened
  • 1 1/2 cups Pecans toasted and chopped

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line with parchment paper and grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans or 2 (9-inch). Set aside.
  • In a glass measuring cup microwave the water until boiling. Stir in the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract.
  • Beat in the flour mixture in thirds alternating with the buttermilk, beating after each addition until smooth.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly into all three prepared cake pans—about 2 1/2 cups of batter for each pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan. Remove the cakes from the pan back to the wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Coconut-Pecan Filling/Frosting

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat add the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and salt. Cook stirring constantly for 12 minutes, until thickened and golden brown.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  • Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread one-third of the filling over the top of the cake, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with the second layer, spread with half of the remaining filling. Place the third layer on top and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top, leaving the sides of the cake exposed.

Notes

If you choose to stick to the original recipe, you will need to separate the egg yolks from the whites. After creaming the butter and sugar you will add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue with the recipe as stated above until all the dry ingredients and buttermilk have been added. Then in a separate bowl, you will beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
Storing – Store this cake in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Bring to room temperature before serving, the icing turns firm when cold.
FreezingI recommend cutting slices, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and freezing them for about 1 hour or until hard. Wrap the frozen slices tightly in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, and freeze for up to 2 months for best quality.

Nutrition

Calories: 889kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 1107IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 3mg

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