German chocolate cake has been my dad’s favorite cake for as long as I can remember.  So, it’s probably pretty surprising that I have never attempted making one from scratch before now.  Growing up my fabulous nanny who was more like a second mom always brought us a birthday cake in our favorite flavor – always a sheet cake, and always from a box with canned frosting.  She still makes me my standard strawberry cake with vanilla icing and darn it, it’s delicious!  This year though, she has had some other things going on in her life requiring her attention so Dad did not get his standard German chocolate cake.  I saw this as the perfect opportunity to finally try my hand at one – I’ve been itching to give it a shot for so long!


I’ve had this recipe from David Lebovitz bookmarked for quite some time.  It was of course, not surprising to me that this turned out nothing short of amazing, like nearly every other recipe of his that I have tried.  Truly, this cake was to die for.  One of my brothers was working while the rest of the family sampled the cake, but the next day I received a text message from him stating, “Last night, hands down, best cake I have ever eaten in my entire life.”  Considering that German chocolate is his favorite, and that he has tasted nearly every cake I have made, I think that says it all.  The coconut-pecan filling was absolutely divine, the cake tasted wonderful and the rum syrup really helped keep the layers moist.

As far as the recipe goes, I had a few minor issues.  Despite the fact that I drenched my cake layers, there was a TON of rum syrup left over so unless you have some other use for it, I would reduce the amount by at least half and maybe even more (I have reduced by half in the version below).  The only other problem was that this is frosted with a ganache-like icing which, when freshly made, cannot possibly neatly frost a cake and would really require pouring.  I chilled mine in the fridge and then the freezer for quite a while but I finally ran out of time before we needed to leave, so I just did the best I could with the consistency I had.  I definitely recommend chilling this ganache very thoroughly before attempting to frost or decorate with it.  This cake may seem like a big project, but I made the whole thing easily in one morning with no trouble (other than waiting for the frosting to cool).  Enjoy!


For the cake:
2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp. water
4 large eggs, separated
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the rum syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp. dark rum

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
½ tsp.  salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted*

*I was unable to find unsweetened coconut, so I used sweetened and the filling tasted great

For the icing:
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream


  • 01

    To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Butter and flour the sides of the pans; set aside.

  • 02

    Using a double boiler (or the microwave in short bursts), melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with the water, stirring until smooth.  Set aside until the mixture cools to room temperature.

  • 03

    In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form soft droopy peaks.  Slowly add ¼ cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl and return the mixer bowl to the mixer base.

  • 04

    In the bowl the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with 1¼ cups of the sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in the melted chocolate.  Mix in the egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  • 05

    In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture on low speed just until incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk and vanilla extract until combined.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold about a third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites just until incorporated.

  • 06

    Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the cake pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 07

    While the cakes are cooling, make the rum syrup.  Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.  Off the heat, stir in the rum.

  • 08

    To make the filling, combine the cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan.  Put the butter, pecans and coconut in a mixing bowl; set aside.  Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (170-175° F.)  Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted.  Cool completely to room temperature.  The mixture will thicken as it cools.

  • 09

    (*Note – I found that my filling was still a bit thin even after cooling.  I mixed in more coconut and that thickened it up perfectly.  Probably depends on how tightly packed the coconut is in measuring.)

  • 10

    To make the icing, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and butter.  Heat the cream just until it begins to boil.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth.  Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator or freezer until firm enough for decorating.

  • 11

    To assemble the cake, cut the two cake layers in half horizontally to yield four layers.  Set the first layer on a cake circle, cut side up.  Brush well with the rum syrup.  Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach the edges.  Set another cake layer on top of the filling.  Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.  Ice the sides of the cake with the chilled chocolate icing.  Pipe a decorative border around the top layer, encircling the coconut topping.


  • HB

    Looks divine! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making a German chocolate cake from scratch. Although, what could I sub for the rum? We have plenty of kids around any time a cake is made/eaten in our family!

  • It really is the BEST German Chocolate cake ever. SO good. I’m glad you had some of the same issues as me (namely, extra syrup and a hard time piping the ganache). I ended up chilling mine but also adding a little confectioners sugar. Mmm, I want a piece of this right now!

  • Wow, this looks incredible!

  • I make this cake and it is divine! Love your photos!

  • Looks so pretty! Bet this was so good :)

  • Oh my goodness, this is exactly what I needed this morning. I’m a complete sucker for a good german chocolate cake. And this looks sublime! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Annie

    Hello HB,
    You can just omit the rum altogether, no need to substitute anything. Then you will just have a basic simple syrup, perfect for keeping cake layers moist, mixing into drinks, etc. Good luck!
    :) Annie

  • Though not a huge chocolate cake fan, I love German chocolate cake for the gooey coconut factor. It looks gorgeous! The bummer is that I am now going to be sad that I’m not eating a slice for breakfast. =(

  • This cake looks divine!! I wonder if there is a non-alcoholic substitute for the rum. Hmmm.

  • Annie

    See my response to HB’s question above about the rum. You can simply omit it, no need to substitute.
    :) Annie

  • It’s my husbands favorite cake too. This one looks wonderful!

  • German Chocolate Cake is a favorite in my family! I’ve made a couple versions, but not this one (yet!). Looks delicious!

  • WOW. that cake looks just about perfect. What an appealing dessert. It’s one of my favorites…but I’ve never seen one as pretty!!!

  • nutmegnanny

    This looks so delicious! My dads favorite cake is German chocolate too. I wish I had a slice in my kitchen right now:)

  • Robyn

    Just wondering what Icing Tip # you used to make the little starbursts of icing?

  • Katie

    This is my husband’s absolute favorite cake! I’ll have to make this for our 10 year anniversary next week!

  • This cake looks absolutely delicious ! I’ve never made a German chocolate cake but I think it won’t be long before I try !

  • Sara

    Holy Cow that looks absolutely fabulous!!!!!

  • that’s one STUNNING cake, annie, and perfect for a birthday celebration. :)

  • Wow! Your pictures always look so spectacular! Are you using a light box? I am thinking of making one of my own at home out of cardboard. I hear it helps with the lighting when photographing food. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks! :)

  • Rachel

    Oh my goodness! This cake looks beautiful! I was checking in for recipe ingredients so I can add them to my list, and the first thing I see is this cake – there goes any thoughts about dinner ;) It looks amazing – great job!

  • Even though you had to make a few adjustments, the final result is simply spectacular!

  • Annie

    Hi Veronika!
    Thanks for the compliments on my photography. I’m constantly trying to improve! I currently use only natural light since it is still summer, but I do have a lightbox that I use occasionally in the winter months. You can read about it in my post about cranberry sorbet. I haven’t used it much since I got an external flash for my camera, but it is a good cheap way to get better lighting!
    :) Annie

  • My favorite cake! It looks gorgeous!

  • Annie

    Hi Robyn,
    I’m honestly not sure, I never pay much attention – I just grab one that looks good and go for it! I just went and looked at them, and I *think* the one I used was a small one that came with my mechanical pastry bag from Williams Sonoma, but I’m not entirely sure. It has #7 on it, but that’s about all I know.
    :) Annie

  • Holy cow! This looks beautiful and dangerous. German Chocolate is my dad’s favorite cake too. Maybe one day I’ll have to make this for him. Yum!

  • This is my dad’s favorite cake too! What is it with men and German Chocolate cake? I am putting this on my must try list. I’m already to make the chocolate cake from few days ago too! Thanks for great inspiration!!

  • That cake looks absolutely AMAZING!!! Wow!

  • This looks incredible! I’ve been searching all morning for a great German Chocolate Cake recipe. I wanted to make one for my husband’s birthday this weekend, and this looks like a winner! Can’t wait to try it out!

  • Great photos – this one looks amazing!

  • Oh my lord, I loveee German Chocolate Cake. It’s my favourite, and I’ve never made it because of the condensed milk based frosting.

    I will have to try to do this….

  • Michelle

    I made this cake this week as well for my friend’s birthday. I agree about the syrup! I made the cake, filling and frosting the night before and let it all cool so I didn’t have a problem with the ganache being too thin. Leaving it overnight made it perfect for piping. I also had to use sweetened coconut and it tasted great. I could have used a bit more filling however.. I had to do the ganache border as well, because I simply didn’t have enough filling (I used it sparingly between layers).. just a little more would have been good. Maybe I’ll just use more pecans/coconut.

  • betchacanteatjustone

    What a Gorgeous Blog!

    I haven’t had German Chocolate Cake in quite some time! I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Annie,

    I am going to make this cake tomorrow for my husband’s birthday. Since it’s just the 2 of us and our 3 year old, I was thinking about halving the recipe…just making one round cake and slicing it in half…so my cake would be 2 layers and the same diameter as your cake, but half as tall. Can you forsee any issues I would have doing it this way? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I can’t think of any reason that would cause a problem. Just know that the layers are fairly thin to begin with, so the cake will definitely not be tall. If you have any small round pans (like 5 or 6-inch) I would probably use those, but if not I’m sure the one regular layer will be fine.
    :) Annie

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks Annie. I don’t have any smaller round pans. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Elizabeth

    My “half cake” turned out really well. I didn’t quite halve the filling so that I would have plenty and it worked out nicely. This cake is very rich!

  • Melanie

    Annie – How far in advance do you think the icing could be made since it should be well chilled?

  • Annie

    Hi Melanie,
    That is a really tricky question that I just can’t answer. If you let the ganache chill for too long, it will become solid. Also, even if you do use the fridge to help speed up the cooling process, you need to stir it every 10-15 minutes to help it cool evenly. I wish I had a better answer. You really can’t make it in advance because it will set and then not be workable.
    :) Annie

  • omg my dad loves german cake to thats what me and my mom are making for his b-day!

  • Jeannie

    My daughter and I made this today, for my husband’s 40th birthday…. he loved it, and it really was amazingly not that hard to make. It looked intimidating at first, but once we got started, and my peaks formed with the egg whites, it was all good from there! And, I used imitation rum extract, and we could still pick up that “rum” taste, and it was absolutely delicious!!! I love your site…. thank you!! :)

  • Sarah Kate

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I used it for my husband’s birthday cake, and we both loved it!

  • KJ


    I live in CO about a mile high!! Will this recipe work at high altitudes? I saw another – similar recipe (I want to try yours tho!), and it said that the cake WILL collapse at about a mile high altitude….. WILL THIS WORK??? Thank you (quick response please – I am standing by ready to bake!)…..

  • Annie

    Hi KJ,
    Unfortunately since I live in Indiana, I know absolutely nothing about baking at high altitude. I don’t know what the conversions are, pitfalls, etc. I just have no idea! I’d suggest Googling high altitude baking and see what research you can do.
    Good luck!

  • April

    Can I just use the Baker’s German Chocolate vs the two different types of chocolate?

  • Annie

    Hi April,
    I’m sure you could, but I’m guessing the recipe calls for those two chocolates for a reason. But you can try whatever you would like.
    :) Annie

  • Vicki

    I made this cake last night for my boyfriend’s birthday, and Googled it this morning to see if my results were the same as others who had tried the recipe. I also found the icing to be very difficult to work with, and not having time on my side, I couldn’t chill it to see if it would thicken. I wound up making a buttercream out of it and it was still runny. Needless to say, it’s not pretty but my good lord, it’s rich and gooey and tasty and amazing!

  • michelle

    Hi Annie,
    I’m looking just to make a (regular) chocolate cake for my son’s birthday party this weekend — would you say the cake recipe is as good for just cake? I’m looking for an outstanding chocolate cake recipe and Annie’s Eats never lets me down :) I’m planning to decorate it as a race track, which is why I’m not as interested in the “German chocolate part” — thank you :)

  • Annie

    Hi Michelle,
    It’s tough to say because I’ve only ever eaten this cake as the German chocolate cake, so I’m not sure about it on it’s own. I think it is good but it’s tough to evaluate the cake alone when it’s covered in all the other good stuff :) To be honest I haven’t found my perfect chocolate cake yet, but I am planning on doing a comparison soon to find the one I like the best (rough job, I know ;) )

  • Sarah

    Hey Annie,

    I’m making this for a friend’s birthday this week, and was just wondering if you had ever tried this with your Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Frosting instead of the ganache? Thanks! Love your blog!

  • Annie

    Nope, I love ganache way too much to use something else instead. Just made this cake yesterday, actually!

  • Daniella

    Hi Annie,
    With the unsweetened coconut.. Is that dessicated coconut or shredded coconut?
    Thanks :)

  • Annie

    My grocery store only sells one kind – sweetened shredded coconut, so that’s what I use. I always thought dessicated and shredded were the same thing.

  • linda b

    Hey, Annie!

    Just wanted to let you know I baked this cake for our county fair yesterday and won 1st place! Never made a german chocolate cake in my life, so I was absolutely thrilled! It was absolutely beautiful and I will definitely be making it again soon.

  • Annie

    That’s awesome! Way to go!

  • Jeanne

    My cake is sitting on the counter right now! It’s a little lopsided… And my ganache was too runny last night, so I gave up trying to frost with it and just stuck it in the fridge! It’s now sort of “gritty”, but it still tastes delicious! I wish I would hVe read the comments about not cooling it in the fridge before I made it!

    Also – the filling calls for salt in the ingredient list, but does not tell you when to add it.

  • Annie

    Cooling it in the fridge is perfectly fine but you have to stir it every 10-20 minutes or it will cool unevenly. Cooling overnight is too long.

  • Jeanne

    Yes, that’s what I found… But it was still wonderful! So many compliments on this cake! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  • Rachel

    Hi Annie,

    I am making this cake for my mom’s 60th birthday party. The party is on Sunday but I would like to make the cake in advance. Is it ok to let it sit for a day?


  • Annie


  • Angela

    I know Michelle asked the question like 6 or 7 months ago, but the cake on it’s own is fantastic. I hate pecans so very much, so I made the cake part with a cherry chocolate glaze and it was delicious. So, yes, the cake on it’s own is lovely.

  • Vanessa

    I made this cake last night and it is sitting at home in my fridge waiting to be eaten tonight for my Grandfather’s bday. I used ALL semisweet chips for the cake cause I could not find unsweetened and I did not have a scale so I did 1/2 cup plus 12 chips to equal 4oz. for the cake and then I used the remainder of the 12oz bag (now 8oz) to make the ganache. I had no trouble with the ganache. I let it sit out for a little while and then transferred to the freezer and kept stirring every 10-15 min. until I like the consistency. I have not tasted the cake all together, but took little taste throughout the baking process last night and it is AMAZING!! My only tips would be to double the filling. I did this and it was the perfect amount for the cake. 1 recipe of the filling was not enough. Also, I would make a 1.5 batch of the ganche. I would have liked to coat the cake in more ganache and then I only had enough to pipe on the top and not the bottom. Thanks Annie!!! This cake was awesome!!

  • Lisa

    This looks wonderful. I have been asked to bring dessert to a dinner party and of course… yours is the first blog I visited for inspiration. I’m wondering about mixing the chocolate with the water… it doesn’t seize? Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. :D

  • Annie

    No, it doesn’t.

  • I couldn’t get German Chocolate in Hawai’i so I used the 60% chocolate in the recipe I have. I liked it better. German chocolate has coconut in it from what I’ve read, so I adapted. Also, since Macadamia Nuts were from right down the road I made the frosting with them instead of Pecans. The cake was loved by all!

  • Annie

    No, if you notice the recipe doesn’t actually call for German chocolate. Just unsweetened and bittersweet. I’ve never seen German chocolate that contains coconut. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Thanks so much for this recipe – I’m planning on making this cake for my fiance’s birthday next week! Does anyone know if cake flour would work out ok in this recipe? I wasn’t sure if the cake needed the extra stability that AP flour provides. Thanks!

  • Annie

    If a recipe calls for AP flour, it was designed with that in mind and works best with that. See the FAQ page for more substitution info.

  • sherin

    Hi Annie,

    I’m thinking about making these as cupcakes with the filling as the frosting and then not having to bother with the ganache or syrup. Do you think a lot of the magic in this recipe lies in the syrup and ganache? Or do you think the cake and filling are spectacular enough on their own? Just your opinion…Thanks!

  • Annie

    I’ve made it as cupcakes multiple times and still make the syrup and ganache. I think both are important, and help make the recipe great.

  • Yas

    HI Annie,

    Your cake looks amazing!! My question is, what kind of chocolate did you use for this recipe? And in general, do you have a particular brand of chocolate you like to use? Thanks!

  • Annie

    I have made this cake many, many times but I don’t know what specific brand I used. Usually just whatever I have in the pantry. I tend to buy Ghirardelli because it is a nice balance between quality and price, but I don’t think it matters all that much.

  • Samatha

    Going to make this for my boyfriends bday next week, do you think it’ll be just as yummy if i omit the coconut? he hates coconut,but loves a good chocolate cake. Thanks!!

  • Annie

    Not really. Coconut is one of the key flavors of a German chocolate cake, not to mention a big part of the filling in this one. I would probably just use a different chocolate cake recipe – maybe chocolate overdose cake instead.

  • Christina

    This cake looks amazing! Does it freeze well? A friend has asked me to make her father in law a German Chocolate cake (it’s his favorite), but she will have to travel with it. Can the entire cake be made in advance and frozen then thawed out?

  • Annie

    Not sure, I’ve never tried it. I don’t think I’d recommend it but I suppose the only way to know is to try it and see.

  • Christina

    Thanks for the feedback! Think I’m going to try a German Chocolate pie and save this one for another time!!

  • Sharon

    I have made over 10 German chocolate cake recipes in the last week looking for a perfect one for my husbands 50th birthday. This is excellent and will work wonderfully!!! Its moist! The rum syrup brings it up to a whole new level. Best German chocolate cake ever! I never realized how difficult this cake is to make great. You did it.

  • Angie Pasqua

    OK, Annie, I am sorry to need my hand held so badly on this, but can you give a little more detail on how you do these as cupcakes since you don’t have the side surface area for the ganache? I was thinking of coring and putting the ganache inside and filling on top…is the consistency of the filling such that you could mound it up like typical cupcake frosting? Or put filling inside and frost with ganache (I’m guessing you would need to radically increase the amount of ganache?) Or just make a little cake with ganache surrounding filling like you have here? So many options, I can’t decide what the best filling to icing ratio is. :) TIA!

  • Megsaccents

    i cannot image why, i have never tried german chocolate cake before! it took my best friends sons bday cake request to make one. let me tell you, it was yummy. i switched the chocolates in the ganache to 3/4 milk choc to 1/4 dark and 1 1/2ed it to make more decoration. love having your blog to go to for inspiration. saw david’s post and then said to myself, let me see if annie’s made it, and yep, you did. thanks again.

  • Silverlily

    This turned out very well, although I had a minor issue. I thought that 45 minutes of baking time sounded a bit long for this type of batter, so I checked on the cake 30 minutes into baking, and lo and behold, the cake was slightly overbaked. I use an oven thermometer, so I know the oven wasn’t off in terms of temperature. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps you meant for the oven to be preheated to 350, then turned off?

    As a side note, there was too little filling for my taste! This is, of course, a personal preference, and not a gripe against the recipe. Next time I will double the filling.

    No doubt you’ve heard this before, but this was the best German chocolate cake I and the people with whom I shared it have ever had. Thanks so much for posting this.

  • annieseats

    No, every time I bake this cake, I make it according to the directions here and my cake is not overbaked. Not sure why that would be the case for you. Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

  • Silverlily

    I just wanted to say that it’s been a week since I made this cake, and people are still raving about it. Personally, I was never much of a fan of German chocolate cake before I tried this recipe, but it’s now one of my favourites. Thanks for your wonderful blog. :)

  • Silverlily

    I made this cake again, and it was quite an odyssey! One of the layers broke in half when I was getting it out of the pan (I managed to sort of glue it back together, and in the end it turned out fine); the ganache refused to firm up within a timely manner (read: 6 hours), so I had to add more chocolate to it; and, after filling the layers, I noticed the cake was leaning to one side, so I did some emergency surgery to correct the leaning. Despite these setbacks, the end product was both beautiful and toothsome.

    The first time I made this cake, I overbeat the egg whites; and, as stated below in my previous comment, the cake was overbaked at 30 minutes in. This time, I did not overbeat the egg whites, and baking time was about 38 minutes. The mystery of why my baking time was so short the first time is solved!

  • Estela Padilla

    Made this cake a couple of weeks ago and I am planning to make it again! it is the best german chocolate cake I ever had!!! I follow the instructructions and it turned out perfect! I only made a couple of modifications… I did not have dark rum so subtituted with coconut rum… Delicous! And the the iceing… I made with 1/2 bittersweet and 1/2 semisweet. I believe it was much better than doing all bittersweet or all semisweet! :-)

  • Sarah Bulmer

    Sheesh! Here’s another cake recipe that’s even more souped up than mine. LOVE the rum soaking syrup! Now I’ve got another cake I have to try. :)

  • Melli

    Hi Annie! I’m worried that once I’ve chilled the ganach and piped it that it won’t keep it’s shape… I will be keeping my cake in the fridge overnight. Also it sounds like this ganach recipe has been a little tricky for some. Do you think it is very different to a standard ganach or would a normal ganach work just as well?

  • annieseats

    This will keep its shape just fine, as you can see in the photos here. It is really not that different than any other ganache, you just need to make sure it is at the correct consistencies for the glazing and piping steps. Enjoy!

  • Casey

    Is there anything else you could use instead of the dark rum?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • Nancy in NJ

    Yowza! I made this yesterday for a friend’s surprise birthday party and it was a huge hit. I almost felt bad because it took some of the attention off of her! There were tons of compliments and memories along the lines of “my grandmother used to make this” etc.

    My experience with the recipe was like others. The cake layers were done at 30 minutes. The oven thermometer in my oven read 350F. Definitely check your layers at 25-30 minutes. It took 30-45 minutes in the fridge for the ganache to come to the right consistency. I poured it into a metal pie pan so that there would be more surface exposed and stirred it every 15 minutes or so. After I spread it onto the sides of the cake it had become a bit more solid but once I placed it into the decorating bag and worked it with my hands until it was the correct consistency to pipe. The filling was a bit thin even after cooling so I added more coconut and pecans. I think I added enough so that one recipe of filling was plenty. And lastly, I only used half of the rum syrup so next time I’ll make a half recipe. I agree that while you can’t taste the rum, it’s a nice complement to the chocolate and makes for tender, moist cake layers.

    Thanks for making my reputation!

  • Hi Annie, I was wondering, how many people would you say this served? I’ve been asked to make a birthday cake to feed 10-20 people, would I need to increase to recipe?

  • annieseats

    10-20 is a wide range. Up to about 16, I’m sure you’d be okay with thin slices. Above 16, I’m less certain. Maybe you could make some extra cupcakes just in case. Enjoy!

  • Biddy

    Annie! Thank you thank you thank you for this recipe! Both my mom and dad love German Chocolate Cake-a few years ago I went on a baking frenzy and came across your blog. I have made this cake for countless birthdays and occasions! Every time people tell me it is the best German Chocolate Cake they have ever had. Thank you for sharing! Actually, my mom’s birthday is next Saturday and she requested I make her this cake!
    Thanks again!

  • Helena

    I made this for my birthday last year and am making it again for a family celebration next week. Can’t wait!

  • Dawn White

    I made this two weeks ago for my husband’s birthday. He loved it and my son did even more. Their only request was to put more of the coconut-pecan filling all over the cake…More of any of it is a plus! Thanks for a great recipe! And a great link to even more yummy opportunities!

  • Janet Toews Cowan

    My husband’s birthday is next week, and he asked for German chocolate cake so I think I want to try this recipe. Could I halve it and make cupcakes, do you think?

  • annieseats

    Yes, this works well as cupcakes. I make it that way often!

  • Shwetha

    Hi Annie,
    I made this for my husband’s b’day yesterday. I must say, being an indian ,I am not too much into baking (I have done only a simple banana walnut cake so far). For a first-timer like me, your recipes are very detailed and to perfection. This one came out really good with icing, filling, all exorbitant stuff for me.
    I want to thank you immensely as your website made this possible for most of us who are new to baking.
    I couldn’t use rum as I am bf my 5month old, so I used molasses and the cake was yummy! Again, all credits to you and your wonderful website. I can’t wait to try the other cake recipes here.

  • Melissa

    Hi Annie,
    I wanted to make this recipe this weekend and I want to make it as cupcakes. Any idea how many cupcakes this would yield?
    Thank you!

  • annieseats

    I have done that frequently but can’t remember exactly. Should be at least 2 dozen but probably more. There is some info on the FAQ page as well. Enjoy!

  • Kona

    I just made this cake this morning. My store manager is leaving and since I bake I asked him what he would like me to bring, and German Chocolate Cake was his request. I personally don’t like coconut, so I’ve never been a big fan, but while I was baking and cut the top of the layers to make them even, I got to try a bite of the actual cake, and mmmmm it’s so good. I can see myself using that recipe as a chocolate cake base. The layers did sort of fall apart as I tried to move them, but i just smushed the cracks together to hold. =) The ganache turned out really great as well. After putting the pans in the oven, I just skipped straight ahead to the ganache since I read in the comments that it took a bit long to settle. Worked out good for me.The only thing I would have fixed was i should have cut the edges a little bit because they kind of shifted when i put it together and now leans a little more to one side. Other than that the cake looks great, and I really hope my ex-manager will enjoy it. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • MooBear

    Do you have high altitude adjustments for this cake?? thx

  • annieseats

    No, unfortunately I have no experience with high altitude baking. You should probably look up some references on the topic. Good luck!

  • Alyssa Pasek

    I have made this cake twice now since finding this recipe on Pinterest in mid September and it is a crowd pleaser, to say the least. Thanks for sharing this recipe and for making the process much easier with detailed instructions. It’s SO good… I have friends asking when I’ll be making it again.
    Also, I have to agree. The rum syrup portion is very large, and like you, I also believe I soaked my cake quite a bit with it!

  • Lexie

    Looks wonderful! If I used 8 inch pans, should I bake a few minutes longer?

  • annieseats

    Typically the amount of batter for a double layer 9-inch cake would be divided into three 8-inch pans. If you plan to fit it into two, yes, you will definitely need to bake longer but the consistency may be compromised because I think the baking pans would be overly full.

  • Lexie

    Thanks!!! I actually ended up making the Tuxedo Cake from Rebecca Rather and used 3 8 inch pans and it turned out perfect!! :)

  • Josette

    Just made this cake, seems to be a keeper! We will be trying it tomorrow when my in-laws get into town. Next time i’m going to make only half of the rum syrup and definitely double the amount of filling! Maybe there wasn’t enough because i kept taste testing it to make sure it had cooled down enough ;) Can’t wait to dig in tomorrow, thanks for a great recipe!

  • Dorothy Brick Verry

    I’m making this cake for a dinner/auction. Will the chocolate hold up outside the fridge for ~ 1-3 hours? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Yes, it should be fine. Enjoy!

  • Katie Sechrist

    I go to your website any time I need a cake. I made this cake for the first time about 3 years ago for a co-worker whose favorite cake is German Chocolate. I’ve made it once or twice since then, and now I’m making it again for my dad’s birthday tomorrow. I follow the recipe exactly as written and it’s never let me down. Thanks so much!

  • Annie

    I love to hear that! :)

  • JuliaZ

    High Altitude Adjustments: I was looking for a better recipe for German chocolate cake, my husband’s favorite birthday cake, and I’m so glad I stumbled on this one. The cake came out great and my hubby couldn’t stop raving about how I took it to another level. I live at mile high in Denver, and cake baking is always a bit treacherous here–my previous attempts have been too dry, or risen loftily only to fall before baking through. I was determined to make this recipe work, so here are my high altitude adjustments: I decreased the sugar in the cake by 1/4 cup, and decreased both the baking powder and baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon each. I also beat the egg whites to soft peaks, not stiff as the recipe calls for, and got the cakes in the oven quickly after mixing. I baked the cakes with the rack in the lower part of the oven, and they took about 5 minutes longer (50 minutes). The cakes rose, but not too much, and didn’t fall! The cake also turned out very moist. My layers did start to fall apart just a bit when I cut them (nothing the filling and ganache can’t fix), so I think next time I make this cake, I will add an extra egg and a couple tablespoons of flour to strengthen the batter. I made no adjustments to the filling or ganache. The simple syrup helps with keeping the cake moist, too. All the adjustments I made or plan to make are based on high altitude baking tips I have gleaned from the Internet or specialty cookbooks–Pie in the Sky by Susan Purdy, and this article:

  • Kaitlyn Pearce

    Thank you so much for sharing that! I recently moved to Salida from the Springs and have been having a heck of a time with baking cakes. Being that I was raised on the East Coast in NC, I have never had to worry about higher altitude “road bumps” this will be super helpful!