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Granny's German chocolate cake recipe

Granny's German chocolate cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Chocolate cake

A sweet and delicious layer cake, which is perfect for birthdays. Chocolate sponge cakes are filled and topped with a pecan and coconut icing.

16 people made this

IngredientsServes: 1 3 layer 20cm cake

  • 115g dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 150g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 325g sifted plain flour
  • 35g cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 250ml evaporated milk
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 115g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 110g chopped pecans

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr ›Extra time:3hr cooling › Ready in:4hr30min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour three 20cm round tins. Sieve together the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside. In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 300g sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in melted chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared tins.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile make the icing. In a large saucepan, combine evaporated milk, 200g sugar, egg yolks, 115g butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cook and stir on medium heat for about 12 minutes or until thick and golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature and spreading consistency. Use to fill and top the cake.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(16)

Reviews in English (15)

by BabaEva

OK. Divine is the one word I can come up for this wonderful recipe.My 14 year old son wanted a ver special birthday cake and this is the one we picked out. It was wonderful and my family went crazy for it.This is the real deal if you love german chocolate cake.The recipe is written perfectly and I love the fact it is someone Grandma's recipe too!Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful delight!! :o)-05 Sep 2003


This is my very first german chocolate cake. I made it for my boyfriend's birthday. The cake was very flavorful, I think the evaporated milk lend it a rich milk flavor. It was on the dry side for a cake. But since I never had a german chocolate cake before, I wasn't sure if that's just the way they are. My boyfriend (his mom makes him a german chocolate cake every year) said it was almost as good as his mom's. But he did agree that it was a little dry.The icing was delicious. I would definitely make it again.-21 Dec 2003


This cake has a wonderful flavor, but I found it to be much drier than the standard recipe that I've been using for nearly 30 years now. This might be due to the fact that I baked the cake in a 9-x-13 pan. The flavor is very good, but I think that I'll stick with my recipe because it produces a cake that isn't as dry. Thank you for sharing this recipe.-23 Nov 2006

She's just a girl who creates.

German Chocolate Cake w/frosting Recipe
Frosting Recipe:
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
3 beaten egg yolks (beat by hand before you add to other ingredients)
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
1 cup chopped pecans (roasted)

Step one:
Roast Pecans:
The easiest way to roast pecans is to place them on a plate and microwave them for 1 minute, then take them out of microwave and toss to turn and put back into the microwave for another minute. If they are still not roasted enough put them back in for about 10 seconds and check again, repeat till roasted. Now chop them into small pieces (about 4 pieces per pecan half)

Step 2:
Mix the following ingredients on a stove set on medium heat for 12 minutes:
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Step 3:
Once you are done stirring in the above ingredients and have cooked the mixture for the 12 minutes add the coconut and roasted pecans and cook another 5 minutes. Cool the frosting until it is firm and easy to spread.

Now for the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup espresso coffee or very strong coffee (hot)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (do not substitute for a low cal oil)
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3- 9 inch round cake pans.

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well. Add milk, Oil, and eggs. Beat at med speed till mixed well. Add hot coffee and starting on low beat till mixed in and then turn back to medium and mix till smooth.

Pour mixture evenly into prepared pans and bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely on wire racks.

To frost the cake divide the frosting into three separate, but equal parts. If you made a double batch make sure you divide your frosting in half before doing this. Then pour one of the thirds onto the first layer, or as much as needed to frost the top so that the top is completely covered.
To add other layers carefully slide them onto the last frosted one. Once all the layers are built then frost the top of the last layer and then place one glob at a time on the edge of the cake and work it down to the side covering one area at a time as you turn the cake and add globs to the top edge. The frosting is rather chunky so be patient. I frosted the cakes above so I know you can too :) .

Recipe Summary

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Mix the eggs, undrained crushed pineapple, flour, 1 cup of the white sugar, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla together and stir until just combined. Pour batter into one ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan.

Combine the light brown sugar and the chopped nuts. Sprinkle over the top of the cake batter. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove cake from oven and pour topping over hot cake.

To Make Topping: In a small saucepan combine the butter or margarine, the evaporated milk, the remaining 1/2 cup of the white sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Mixture will be thin. Pour over hot cake.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10x15-inch cake pan.

Combine butter, water, and cocoa powder for cake in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter has melted and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Beat buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl.

Add melted butter mixture to the flour mixture, then add buttermilk-egg mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine butter, milk, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract for the frosting in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter melts, then stir in powdered sugar. Spread frosting over the warm cake.

Donald Link's Granny's German Chocolate Cake

Combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk and egg yolks for the filling in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened, 10 – 15 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes, then fold in the coconut, pecans and vanilla. Reserve. (Note, the filling will thicken as it stands, so don’t be tempted to add more coconut.)

1-½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1-tablespoon baking powder

1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 10-inch round cake pans. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt baking soda, baking powder and sugar for the cake into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and coffee. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and gently tap the pans on the counter to pop any air bubbles. Bake until springy and firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly dry, about 25-30 minutes (for even baking, rotate the pans after 20 minutes.)

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then run a paring knife around the rim of the pans, invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Level the cake tops with a long slicing or serrated knife, slicing off the rounded portions on top (discard or eat as a snack). Using a plastic spatula, spread the coconut mixture on the bottom cake, then place the second cake layer on top. Frost the top of the second layer, then place the third layer on top of it, then cover the top and sides with the coconut filling.

To serve, cut the cake with a long slicer knife, wiping it off with a warm, we towel in between slices.

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When the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents gathered, our tables were filled with delicious meats, vegetables, salads, breads and desserts. The food satisfied our bodies, the family nourished our souls and left us with warm memories-rekindled by the sight of a laden table.

Many times, we have wanted to capture the recipes and ideas which have made our family gatherings special. In Granny's Drawers, we have collected more than 350 of our family's best loved recipes from four generations of Southern cooks. It contains time-honored recipes for classic southern dishes along with updated recipes for cooking in the 1990's. Granny's Drawers will be your guide for daily cooking, weekend entertaining and holiday feasts.

Granny's Drawers is more than just a guide to preparing great meals. It is also a reflection of Granny's life, as mother of five and grandmother of ten, and her love for cooking. Old family photos dating back to the 1930's reflect the joy of family life with Granny.

The author is Karen Harris, a devoted granddaughter, who cherishes her years with granny.

German Chocolate Pound Cake

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 bar German chocolate, melted
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup nuts, optional
  • 1 stick soft margarine
  • 2 squares bitter chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 box powdered sugar, sifted
  • Milk

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the sugar, margarine and shortening. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. Add the German chocolate. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the flour to the margarine mixture, alternately with the milk. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the nuts. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.

Combine the soft margarine, bitter chocolate, lemon juice, and sugar. Add enough milk to adjust spreading consistency for icing. Ice the top and sides of the pound cake.

Introduction and Recipe from:
Granny's Drawers
By Karen Harris
Carolina Publishing
ISBN 1-886690-00-6
Reprinted with permission

Granny's Drawers may be purchased from local bookstores and selected gift stores. Or, you may order Granny's Drawers directly from:

Carolina Publishing
P. O. Box. 2505
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Granny's German chocolate cake recipe - Recipes

But back to the cake. I can't even say enough good things about it. I actually lightly based the recipe for the cake on this fabulous recipe on Crumbs and Cookies (seriously, go check it out). Whenever I take it out of the oven, my brother Tay always says, "I can just smell the texture." What does that even mean??

The milk chocolate frosting is a perfect compliment to the rich, dark cake. When my the afore mentioned Tay took a spoon out of the bowl, he just started strutting around the kitchen like he had just singlehandedly saved a busload of children from crashing into a pit of vipers and I was like, "Um, what are you doing?" and he just said, "I like what I'm eating!"

And of course, the German chocolate frosting is awesome as usual. I based this one on the frosting for my German Chocolate Brownies, which I (very patriotically) made for the Fourth of July. But as we all know, (or as you would know if you read the brownie post), German chocolate cake is actually not German at all. It's just made with "German chocolate" which is named after an American dude who's name was German.

And this cake isn't even made with German chocolate, so I'm not really sure what it is. Whatever it is, it's delicious. Good day.


1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces sweet cooking German chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 cup sugar ( 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup butter ( 3/4 cups)
1 cup evaporated milk ( 12 oz. can)
1 teaspoon vanilla ( 1 1/2 tsp)
3 egg yolks ( 4 egg yolks)
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut ( 2 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans ( 1 1/2 cups)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9-inch square pans or 3 8-inch round pans.

Pour boiling water on chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted cool. Mix sugar and butter in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs yolk, one at a time. Beat in chocolate and vanilla on low speed.
Mix in flour, baking soda and salt alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Fold in egg whites.

Divide batter among pans. Bake square pans 40-45 minutes or round pans 35-40 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick in center. Cool and top with Coconut-Pecan Frosting.

Coconut Pecan Frosting: Mix sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and egg yolks in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 12 minutes. Take off heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Beat until spreading consistency. Allow to cool & thicken before icing cake.

How to make the best Raffaello Cake:

The Boozy Raffaello Cake filling is made without gelatine – the best thing about this Raffaello cake recipe if you ask me.

To make sure that the coconut white chocolate cream is firm enough, we add lots of unsweetened coconut and fresh cake crumbs to the white chocolate cream.

Yes, cake crumbs! This might sound unusual but trust me, this is how granny made it, and granny knows best.

You basically cut the sponge in three even layers and crumble one of the layers into the filling. Obviously, the ugliest one, which is often the middle or the top layer!

This Raffaello Cake is a rustic granny – bake after all. But don’t worry, the filling will not look lumpy and the mouth-feel will be smooth.

The sponge layers of Granny’s Boozy Raffaello Cake need to be soaked properly so don’t skimp on the soaking liquid. I like to mix some orange juice with rum or amaretto … and sometimes even a splash of advocaat!

I really hope you give my Granny’s Best Raffaello Cake recipe a shot! I am sure you are gonna love every bite of it!

I like to bake this cake around Christmas as is has this winter-wonderland look to it! The comforting vanilla and coconut flavours are just what I crave when it is cold outside! Paired with a nice cup of coffee or my new favourite – maple cappuccino – sheer bliss!

Did you make and love this Raffaello Cake recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!


  1. Malarisar

    I join. So happens. Let's discuss this question. Here or in PM.

  2. Skelly

    Bravo, as a sentence ... another idea

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