German Chocolate Sheet Cake

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German Chocolate Sheet Cake is a rich and indulgent dessert that’s perfect for any special occasion. This cake features a moist and tender chocolate base topped with a luscious coconut-pecan frosting. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making a German Chocolate Sheet Cake, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes.


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 oz German baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Step 1: Prepare the Cake

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, white sugar, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. Melt Butter, Shortening, and Chocolate:
    • In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, shortening, and German baking chocolate. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Mix Wet Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  5. Combine Mixtures:
    • Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until smooth.
  6. Bake:
    • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan.

Step 2: Prepare the Frosting

  1. Cook Frosting Mixture:
    • In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, egg yolks, butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches a pudding-like consistency (about 10-12 minutes).
  2. Add Coconut and Pecans:
    • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  3. Cool Frosting:
    • Allow the frosting to cool slightly before spreading it over the cooled cake.

Step 3: Assemble the Cake

  1. Frost the Cake:
    • Once the cake has cooled completely, spread the coconut-pecan frosting evenly over the top of the cake.
  2. Serve:
    • Slice and serve the German Chocolate Sheet Cake. Enjoy this rich and decadent dessert with your family and friends.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Chocolate: German baking chocolate is key to achieving the classic flavor of this cake. If you can’t find it, you can substitute with semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Cooling: Ensure the cake is completely cooled before frosting to prevent the frosting from melting.


  • Nut-Free:
    • Omit the pecans in the frosting for a nut-free version of the cake.
  • Extra Chocolate:
    • Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the batter for an extra chocolatey cake.
  • Layer Cake:
    • Divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes for a layer cake version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the cake a day ahead. Store it covered at room temperature and frost it the day you plan to serve it.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

3. Can I freeze this cake?

Yes, you can freeze the cake. Wrap the unfrosted cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature and frost before serving.

4. What can I serve with German Chocolate Sheet Cake?

This cake pairs well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

5. Can I use a different type of chocolate?

While German baking chocolate is traditional, you can use semi-sweet or dark chocolate if preferred.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake is a classic and decadent dessert that’s perfect for any special occasion. With its rich chocolate cake base and luscious coconut-pecan frosting, this cake is sure to be a hit with everyone. Whether you’re making it for a birthday, holiday, or just because, this recipe is simple to follow and full of delicious flavors. Give this German Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe a try and enjoy a delightful treat. Happy baking!

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