German Chocolate Sheet Cake

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This recipe is for a classic German Chocolate Cake, a beloved dessert known for its rich, moist layers of chocolate cake and a distinctive coconut-pecan topping. The cake itself is made with German sweet chocolate, which gives it a unique and indulgent flavor, while the buttermilk and cocoa powder add depth and richness. The topping, a luscious mixture of egg yolks, evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, sweetened shredded coconut, and chopped pecans, provides a delightful contrast in texture and taste. Perfect for special occasions or a treat-yourself moment, this German Chocolate Cake is sure to impress and satisfy any sweet tooth.



  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans


  1. Prepare the Cake
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch metal baking pan and set it aside.
    • In a large heat-proof bowl, place the chopped chocolate. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir until the chocolate has melted and is combined with the water.
    • Add the oil, buttermilk, and granulated sugar to the chocolate mixture, whisking until well combined.
    • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
    • Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare the Topping
    • In a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, evaporated milk, and brown sugar until well combined.
    • Add the butter to the saucepan.
    • Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, whisking regularly, until the mixture has thickened.
    • Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
    • Stir in the sweetened shredded coconut and chopped pecans.
    • Let the topping cool for 15 minutes before spreading it over the cooled cake.
  3. Serve
    • Allow the cake with the topping to cool to room temperature before serving.


  • German chocolate: I prefer using Baker’s German sweet chocolate.
  • Oil: Both vegetable oil and melted coconut oil work well. If using melted coconut oil, ensure the buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature to prevent the oil from solidifying.
  • Buttermilk: Regular or low-fat buttermilk can be used. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by mixing 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Evaporated milk: Either regular or fat-free evaporated milk can be used.
  • Nutrition: Nutritional values are estimates.

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