This uncommonly moist and indulgent traditional German Chocolate Cake recipe uses my mamaw’s old fashioned, homemade frosting to create hands down, THE BEST German Chocolate Cake ever!  Absolutely loaded with coconut and pecans, this classic cake is the perfect special occasion dessert and the star of every holiday!


German Chocolate Cake with a slice removed.

German Chocolate Cake Scripture Exodus 14:14



What You Need To Make Mamaw’s German Chocolate Cake

  • German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • instant chocolate pudding mix
  • sour cream
  • canola oil
  • eggs 
  • sugar
  • butter
  • evaporated milk
  • shredded or flake sweet coconut 
  • chopped pecans
  • vanilla

German Chocolate Cake Ingredients


Growing up, German Chocolate Cake was always my mamaw’s favorite.  It was the perfect marriage of everybody’s favorites- chocolate, coconut and lots of pecans.  Since she loved it so, she made it her business to sniff out and perfect the very best version to call her own.  She was serious about being unrivaled in the kitchen.  And like all her recipes, this confectioner’s dream does not disappoint.



German Chocolate Cake Whole


She could bake up a cake and have that thing frosted with deft precision in no time flat.  She always liked extra coconut and as many nuts as she could pack into any recipe.  “There’s no such thing as too many nuts,” she would say any time she threw in an extra half cup in the mixer or relished a forkful of her own creation.  And that might very well be the secret to her German Chocolate success- her frosting is more filling than frosting.  It is heavy with perfected goodness.


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A slice of German Chocolate Cake

You’re going to love making her easy-to-follow German Chocolate Cake recipe.  She takes all the guess work out of her famous frosting and makes it a snap to put together.  With a semi-homemade box cake, this is a no-fail dessert that your family and friends will ask for again and again!



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Mamaw's German Chocolate Cake

This deliciously moist, traditional semi-homemade cake uses my Mamaw's old fashioned frosting recipe to create the best German Chocolate frosting/filling loaded with coconut and pecans.
4.6 from 15 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 3- 9 inch round cake pans



  • 2 boxes German Chocolate Cake mix
  • 2 3.4 oz boxes instant chocolate pudding
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 2/3 C canola oil


  • 2 C evaporated milk
  • 2 C sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 C butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 C shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
  • 3 1/2 C chopped pecans



  • Preheat oven to temperature specified on cake mix. Generously grease cake pans.
  • Add all ingredients for cake in a large mixing bowl and mix on low with stand or hand mixer just until blended, then on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Pour batter equally into the three cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then, turn cakes out on cooling rack to cool completely.


  • Combine first 4 ingredients in large saucepan. Place on stovetop on low heat. Stirring constantly, melt butter and bring to a low boil. Cook while stirring for 12 minutes.
  • Remove from burner and add vanilla, 1/2 of coconut and 1/2 of pecans. Stir while cooling and frosting becomes thicker. Add rest of coconut and pecans. Mix well.


  • Place first round cake on cake stand or turntable. Generously spoon out 1/3 of the frosting on to the cake. Carefully spread to the edges. Repeat with the rest of the cakes. Use a spatula to smooth the sides of the frosting between the layers. Fill any gaps between the layers with any extra frosting. Left over frosting can be added to the top.
  • Cover and store any leftover cake at room temperature for 1 day or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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This deliciously moist, traditional cake uses my Mamaw's old fashioned frosting recipe to create the best frosting loaded with coconut and pecans. #southerndiscourse #germanchocolate #holidaydesserts #classiccake