Easy German Chocolate Cake

Easy German Chocolate Cake – if you like chocolate cake, coconut, and pecans, you are going to LOVE this dessert. This is a semi-homemade cake, meaning that I doctored up a box of cake mix and made the frosting from scratch. The frosting is to-die-for! Evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Can make in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake. Great for dinner parties, birthdays, and potlucks.

a slice of german chocolate cake on a plate

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Semi-Homemade German Chocolate Cake

If you like chocolate cake, coconut, and pecans, you are going to LOVE this Easy German Chocolate Cake! This is a semi-homemade cake, meaning that I doctored up a box of cake mix and made the frosting from scratch. This is super easy to make and tasted great. The cake is soft and tender and the frosting is to-die-for delicious! I could just eat the frosting with a spoon and be happy!

german chocolate cake on a plate on the table

How to Make German Chocolate Cake

This cake is very easy to make. I like to start with making the frosting. In a large saucepan, mix together sugar, butter, milk, and egg yolks. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Let the frosting cool and refrigerate until ready to frost the cake.

To make the cake, mix together a box of cake mix, eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk. Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake. Let the cake cool a few minutes in the pan and then remove from the pan and cool completly on wire racks.

When ready to assemble the cake. Place one cake layer on a plate. Top with half of the frosting. Add the second layer and spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake.

Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • To make homemade buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes or until the milk starts to curdle.
  • You can bake the cake in any size cake pan that you prefer. Use the cake mix package directions for cooking times.
  • The frosting can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to frost the cake.
  • Want a more decadent cake? Frost the outside of the cake with chocolate frosting.
  • Does German Chocolate Cake need to be refrigerated? No. You can store the cake in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
a slice of german chocolate cake on a plate

Easy Dessert for a Crowd

I made this cake for a family dinner a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit! Everyone gobbled it up and I didn’t have any leftovers. This is a great dessert for parties and potlucks. If you want to get crazy, add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to your slice. YUM!

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a slice of german chocolate cake on a plate

Easy German Chocolate Cake

Yield: 12 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Easy German Chocolate Cake – if you like chocolate cake, coconut, and pecans, you are going to LOVE this dessert. This is a semi-homemade cake, meaning that I doctored up a box of cake mix and made the frosting from scratch. The frosting is to-die-for! Evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Can make in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake. Great for dinner parties, birthdays, and potlucks.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 box German Chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • cups sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (7-oz) bag sweetened coconut flakes
  • cup finely chopped pecans

Instructions:

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease & flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Mix all ingredients
  • Combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer for 2 minutes.
  • Pour batter evenly into pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool in pans for ten minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting

  • In a large saucepan, add evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Cool slightly and refrigerate until firm.
  • Spread frosting between cake layers and serve.

Notes:

  • To make homemade buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes or until the milk starts to curdle.
  • You can bake the cake in any size cake pan that you prefer. Use the cake mix package directions for cooking times.
  • The frosting can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to frost the cake.
  • Want a more decadent cake? Frost the outside of the cake with chocolate frosting.
  • Does German Chocolate Cake need to be refrigerated? No. You can store the cake in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.

Steph

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german chocolate cake on a plate on the table
a slice of german chocolate cake on a plate

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Comments

  1. Now this is so good! It looks like what a German’s Chocolate Cake used to look like back in the old days. I have my sister’s recipe she got from the back of a Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate baking bar back in the 50’s it makes 3 layers and it’s so good, but rather time consuming to make. This one is so much easier and just as good as the “scratch” made recipe. Thank you for sharing.
    Claudine in Fort Worth, TX

  2. Hi there…did you develop this recipe based on the new smaller cake mix boxes? We’ve lost more than an ounce in cake mix during the past year.

    Do a google search on are cake mixes smaller now….

    I’ve actually burned 9 inch cakes using doctored recipes since the boxes have gotten smaller…recipes I’ve depended on for years.

    1. I just did a search because I’ve been complaining about the price increases in the last year. Apparently the size decreased because they thought we wouldn’t notice. But I guess the stores in my area didn’t notice because the prices have gone up in my area 25-50%. Shame on them.

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