German Chocolate Cake

By Astrid Popovici

If you’re ready to take your quarantine baking beyond cookies and banana bread, a cake is the perfect intermediate project.   This recipe combines a fluffy chocolate cake with rich coconut-pecan frosting, making for a delicious treat.


For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coffee

For the coconut-pecan frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
  • optional other toppings: whole pecans, fresh or maraschino cherries, flaked coconut, chocolate flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. You’ll be making the cake first.  Combine the dry ingredients for the cake in a small bowl, and the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.  
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in thirds, mixing with a hand mixer or by hand until combined.
  4. Grease and flour a baking dish of your choice—a cake pan with removable sides is ideal, but any metal or glass baking dish will work.
  5. Bake for ~30 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, combine all the ingredients for the frosting except the coconut and pecan in a large saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick.  Take off the heat and stir in the chopped pecan and coconut.  
  7. Once the cake and frosting have cooled, spread the frosting on the cake and add toppings.