Classic German Chocolate Cake is fantastic. It’s an all-time favorite and traditional dessert. The chocolaty goodness coming from German’s Sweet Chocolate is rich and delicious, and this recipe turns out great every time.
In keeping with the classic theme, compliment the cake with Homemade Coconut Pecan Frosting. Scrumptious!
In short, this traditional cake is what special occasions are all about.
But, don’t limit yourself to only special occasions.
This Classic German Chocolate Cake will satisfy all your dessert cravings.
Making Classic German Chocolate Cake
Place a rack in the center of your oven.
Next, grease either 3 – 8″ pans, 3 – 9″ pans, a 13 x 9″ baking dish, or line 2 muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.
When using round cake pans, I find that by placing a coffee filter at the bottom works really well in getting the cake to release after baking.
More specifically, spray non-stick spray on the bottom, place a coffee filter on the bottom, and spray again.
Or, grease bottom and sides with shortening, or non-stick spray.
Lastly, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Melt the Chocolate
Start with melting the chocolate. Today I used Baker’s Premium Baking Bar, German’s Sweet Chocolate.
Roughly chop the German Chocolate into small chunks, then pour boiling water over the top.
Instead of boiling water, you can also use boiling brewed coffee.
Stir the chocolate as it melts and combines with the water, then stir in the vanilla.
Set this aside for now.
Make the cake batter
Sift together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, and salt.
NOTE: you can use either cake flour or all-purpose flour. See recipe for specific amounts.
Next, separate the 4 egg yolks from the whites. Set the whites aside for now.
In your large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
An alternative to the 2 cups of granulated sugar is to use 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 cup brown sugar.
Next, add in the egg yolks one at a time.
As always, scrape the sides as your go, then stir in the chocolate.
The next step is to alternately add the buttermilk with the flour mixture.
Basically, it’s about 4 parts flour to 3 parts buttermilk. Start and end with the flour mixture, and yes, this batter gets thick.
Now we work on those egg whites.
Using a clean bowl and clean beaters, beat the whites on low for about a minutes as they get foamy and start to turn white.
Then, increase the speed to about medium for about 5 – 10 minutes. The whites begin to stiffen up as seen in the picture above.
Fold the whites into the cake batter in 2 batches, and watch as the batter becomes light and airy.
Time to bake.
Divide the batter evenly between your prepared pans (or baking dish) and bake as follows:
45 – 50 minutes for 2 – 8″ squares or rounds
30 – 35 minutes for 3 – 9″ rounds
35 – 40 minutes for 3 – 8″ rounds
45 – 50 minutes for a 13 x 9″ backing dish
25 – 30 minutes for 24 cupcakes
Rule of thumb is to bake until cake springs back when lightly touched or by using the toothpick method.
Insert a toothpick at the thickest part of the cake. The toothpick should come out clean when done.
Let the cake cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans to a wire rack.
This recipe makes a lot of batter. You can make a 13 x 9″ cake, cupcakes, a 2-layer, or 3-layer cake.
I accidentally used 2 – 8″ rounds, which resulted in it slightly overflowing. I love experiments. LOL
So, for an 8″ cake, it’s better to use 3 pans (or 2 pans and maybe 4 cupcakes). Even with 2 – 9″ pans, the layers will be thick, although that might be what you’re after.
While the cake is baking, make your Homemade Coconut Pecan Frosting. This way the cake and frosting can cool at the same time.
If you make a 3-layer cake, you’ll want to make 1.5 times the coconut pecan frosting recipe.
An alternative would be to make the coconut pecan frosting (as-is) and adding Chocolate Butter Frosting as the middle layer, and maybe the sides.
You could also decorate around the bottom and/or top with the Chocolate Butter Frosting if you have a piping tip and bag.
I kept my pictures simple for the recipe, but I love me some chocolate frosting.
Classic German Chocolate Cake
- 4 oz. German's Sweet Chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup boiling water, (or brewed coffee)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, (or 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup buttermilk, (or sour milk - see Notes below)
- 4 large egg whites
- In small bowl, pour boiling water over chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted. Stir in vanilla and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in center of oven.
- Spray non-stick spray in baking pans or dish. Batter makes enough for either 3 - 8" rounds, 3 - 9" rounds, a 13 x 9" baking dish, 24 cupcakes, or 2 - 8" squares.
- In medium bowl, blend flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 1 egg yolk at a time. Stir in chocolate.
- Starting with flour mixture, alternate flour and buttermilk in batches. (Four parts flour mixture to 3 parts buttermilk.) Batter will be thick.
- In separate clean bowl, beat egg whites with clean beaters on low for about a minute. Increase speed to medium for about 5 - 10 minutes as whites begin to stiffen up.
- Fold egg whites into cake batter in 2 batches. Divide evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 - 35 min. for 9" rounds, 35 - 40 min. for 8" rounds, 45 - 50 min. for 13 x 9" dish, 25 - 30 min. for cupcakes, and 45 - 50 min. for 8" squares.
- Allow cake to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- Typically served with coconut pecan frosting. For 3-layered cake, you may need extra frosting. Enjoy!
Classic German Chocolate Cake
Follow me on Pinterest and sign up for emails to receive the latest recipe leaving my kitchen.
Also, leave a comment below and rate the recipe. Tell us how your cake turned out.
Last, but not least, happy baking and have a blessed day.
Copyright © Sweet Ordeal. All content and images are copyright protected. Do not use any images without prior permission. If, however, you want to republish this recipe, make sure to re-write the recipe in your own words, then link back to this post for the original recipe and directions.