German Double-Chocolate Cake Recipe


This take on German chocolate cake is extra chocolaty.


  • To toast coconut: arrange coconut on rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350°F on middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.
  • To toast pecans: arrange pecans on rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350°F on middle rack for about 7 minutes until golden and fragrant.

Recipe Facts

Active: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 8 to 10 servings

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  • For the Cake
  • Baking spray
  • 4 ounce semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the Icing
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut, toasted (See Notes)
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (See Notes)


  1. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Spray once again with baking spray.

  2. Combine semisweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in medium bowl. Add boiling water and stir until chocolate chips are melted and mixture is thoroughly combined; set aside.

  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

  4. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat just to combine.

  5. Add chocolate mixture and beat to combine, about 1 minute, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Beat for 1 more minute to thoroughly combine.

  6. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk.

  7. Divide batter equally between prepared pans and bake until tester inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

  8. Transfer cakes to cooling rack and cool in cakes pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes directly onto cooling racks and cool completely, about 1 hour.

  9. For the Icing: Once cakes are cool, whisk the yolks, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, and 6 tablespoons butter and cook, whisking constantly over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

  10. Stir in chocolate and cook until completely melted and incorporated. Off heat, stir in vanilla, and 1 cup coconut. Transfer mixture to bowl and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  11. To Assemble: Place one cake layer on cake stand or platter. With offset spatula or dinner knife, spread half of icing on cake layer, then, sprinkle with half of pecans. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining icing on top of cake and sprinkle with remaining pecans and coconut. Serve.

Special equipment

Two 9-inch round cake pans, parchment paper, baking sheet, electric mixer, rubber spatula, cooling rack, large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk, offset spatula or dinner knife, whisk

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