German Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Did you know that German Chocolate Cake is not German in origin? The title "German Chocolate Cake" has nothing to do with this recipe's national origin, and everything to do with its' ingredients.  The original recipe uses German's Sweet Chocolate, a dark baking chocolate created by the Walter Baker & Co. employee, Samuel German, from whom the chocolate got its name (you can read more about this here and here).  I always find the stories behind these now familiar recipes very interesting, like the story of how the Chocolate Chip cookie may or may not have been invented by accident. 

Anyway, dessert story-telling time over. Though I had never made a German Chocolate Cake before, I found myself craving one recently. This recipe did not disappoint. The cake was moist and fudgy, and not overly intense in chocolate flavor.  The creamy, caramelly coconut-pecan frosting was the perfect topping to finish it all off. I made this in a bundt cake pan, but I imagine the pan can easily be swapped out for whatever baking dish you happen to have on hand. 

German Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting, adapted from Little B Cooks


For the cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz package of Baker's German Sweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separate (yolks and white used separately)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 14-oz can evaporated milk
  • 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 7 oz package of shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions for the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350┬░F.  Butter and flour your bundt cake pan very well, and set aside.

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat. Add water and stir until combined and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with a electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until combined and smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 - 50 minutes*, or until a cake tester comes out clean. After about 5 - 10 minutes, run a spatula between the cake and the sides of the pan to loosen. Allow to cool for at least a half hour before removing the cake from the pan. While the cake is cooling, prepare the Coconut-Pecan Frosting.

Directions for the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add all remaining ingredients except coconut and pecans. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature before using.