German Chocolate Cake

You can make a 2-layer or 4-layer cake with this recipe. For a 4-layer cake, carefully slice each cake in half, horizontally.

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for pans
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken to mix
½ cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees°.

Two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans shaking out the excess flour.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until combined. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.


For a 2-layer cake, cut the frosting recipe in half. For a 4-layer cake, make the entire recipe.

1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1½ cups untoasted unsweetened shredded coconut
1½ cups toasted chopped pecans
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and cream to a boil. In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk the yolks together, then slowly whisk in one-fourth of the hot cream mixture (don’t mix it all in at once or the yolks will curdle). Slowly whisk in the remaining cream mixture. Return this to the saucepan and cook slowly over low heat, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon about 170°.

Place this mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and with the whisk attachment beat in the untoasted coconut and the pecans. Mix 8 to 10 minutes until cool. On medium speed add in the vanilla and the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time scraping down the sides from time to time.

Once the cake and the frosting are at room temperature, frost the tops of the each cake (2-layer) or each half cake (4-layer).