Old Fashioned German Chocolate Cake

Published Date: December 21, 2022

Old Fashioned German Chocolate Cake is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed by many for generations. This rich and decadent cake is made of moist, sweet chocolate cake and topped with a creamy coconut-pecan frosting.

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German Chocolate Cake Ingredients

For the German Chocolate Cake:

  • German Chocolate Cake Mix (I use Betty Crocker Super Moist)
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Sour Cream
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk

For the Frosting:

  • Evaporated Milk
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Sweetened Coconut Flakes
  • Chopped Pecans

*see recipe card for full amounts

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How to Make Old Fashioned German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: First make the cake by adding the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, water and sour cream to a large mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined. Make sure to scrape down the edges of the bowl so not to leave any pockets of dry cake mix un-incorporated.

Step 3: Pour the cake batter into a greased 9X13 pan and bake for 22-25 minutes or until cake is fully set. Make sure to check by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. Once the toothpick comes out clean and the cake is warm, poke holes in the cake using the end of a wooden spoon about 3/4ths of the way down to the base.

Step 4: Next pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake. Set this aside to allow the cake to soak in the condensed milk and begin working on the frosting. (Note: you don’t want to frost the cake while it’s hot so beginning the frosting at this point is a good time).

Step 5: Add the evaporated milk, butter, sugar and salt to a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Step 6: Once you reach a rapid boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the icing to simmer for 15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and stir every couple of minutes. The icing will begin to thicken and turn light golden in color.

Step 7: Remove the saucepan from the heat, then pour in vanilla, sweetened coconut flakes and chopped pecans and stir together.

Step 8: Let the frost rest for about 5 minutes then carefully pour and spread it evenly over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Storage and Reheating Notes

STORAGE: To store the cake, place it in a cake carrier or wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can store individual slices in an airtight container or resealable plastic bags. It’s mostly up to your preference but this cake can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: It is important to keep the cake covered or wrapped to protect it from drying out and to prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors from the refrigerator. If you are not planning on serving the cake within a few days, it is best to freeze it to extend its shelf life.

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Helpful Tips & Substitutions

What is the difference between devil food cake and German chocolate cake?

The main differences between Devil’s Food Cake and German Chocolate Cake is the type of chocolate that is used in the cake batter. Devil’s Food Cake is made with a type of dark, unsweetened chocolate called “baking chocolate,” which gives the cake its deep chocolate flavor. German Chocolate Cake, on the other hand, is made with sweet baking chocolate, which is a type of chocolate that is sweetened with sugar and has a milder chocolate flavor.

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Where did Old Fashioned German Chocolate Cake Originate From?

The origins of German Chocolate Cake can be traced back to 1852, when an American chocolate maker named Samuel German developed a type of sweet baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company. This chocolate, known as “German’s Sweet Chocolate,” was named in his honor and became a popular ingredient in cakes and other desserts.

Try Some of My Other Favorite Sheet Cake Recipes

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Old Fashioned German Chocolate Cake

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 630kcal

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 box Cake Mix German Chocolate, I use Betty Crocker
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 7 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk

Frosting:

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 14 ounces Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup Pecans chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • First make the cake by adding the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, water and sour cream to a large mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined. Make sure to scrape down the edges of the bowl so not to leave any pockets of dry cake mix un-incorporated.
  • Pour the cake batter into a greased 9X13 pan and bake for 22-25 minutes or until cake is fully set. Make sure to check by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. Once the toothpick comes out clean and the cake is warm, poke holes in the cake using the end of a wooden spoon about 3/4ths of the way down to the base.
  • Next pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake. Set this aside to allow the cake to soak in the condensed milk and begin working on the frosting. (Note: you don't want to frost the cake while it's hot so beginning the frosting at this point is a good time).
  • Add the evaporated milk, butter, sugar and salt to a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Once you reach a rapid boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the icing to simmer for 15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and stir every couple of minutes. The icing will begin to thicken and turn light golden in color.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, then pour in vanilla, sweetened coconut flakes and chopped pecans and stir together.
  • Let the frost rest for about 5 minutes then carefully pour and spread it evenly over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*NOTE ABOUT CAKE MIX:

I listed the cake ingredients based on Betty Crocker Super Moist German Chocolate Cake Mix. If you have a different kind of cake mix, just make as directed and add the sour cream and top with sweetened condensed milk.

Storage and Reheating Notes

STORAGE: To store the cake, place it in a cake carrier or wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can store individual slices in an airtight container or resealable plastic bags. It’s mostly up to your preference but this cake can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
IN THE FREEZER: It is important to keep the cake covered or wrapped to protect it from drying out and to prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors from the refrigerator. If you are not planning on serving the cake within a few days, it is best to freeze it to extend its shelf life.

Nutrition

Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 280mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @sweettea_and_sprinkles or tag #sweetteaandsprinkles
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