German Chocolate Cake

When I was growing up, my mother always made a German Chocolate Cake for my father’s birthday, and later for all of our birthdays.  She has been using this cake recipe since the early 1970’s and it is delicious!  Last week was my birthday (I am officially in my mid-forties now) and I decided to make this cake.  I love that it is not too ‘chocolatey’ or too sweet.

German Chocolate Cake by The Sweet Spot Blog
Due to the age of this recipe, it includes Crisco and number of stirring strokes.  I kept the Crisco, but modified the recipe to allow for an electric mixer.

German Chocolate Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup Crisco
3 squares (3 oz) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/3 cup milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2, 8″ round cake pans.
– Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until combined.
– Add Crisco, melted chocolate, and 2/3 cup of the milk.  Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the rest of the milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl part way through.
– Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup evaporated milk
4 egg yolks, room temperature
2/3 cup Crisco
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/3 cup pecans, chopped

– In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar, milk, egg yolks, Crisco, and vanilla.  Cook and whisk over medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the coconut and pecans.  Wisk until thick and cooled (about 5 minutes).
– Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with icing.  Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the icing evenly on the top and sides of the cake.  Enjoy!


19 Responses to German Chocolate Cake

  1. Dru @ Teenage Cakeland March 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    This cake looks amazing!! I’ve been meaning to make a German Chocolate cake for a while now, possibly this week, possibly this recipe :)
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  2. Corinna March 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Come back and let us know how it turned out!

  3. anne dodd January 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    ok i’m in the uk, can you explain what crisco is ????

    • Corinna January 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Anne. Crisco is a vegetable shortening used in baking. Here is the link to the Crisco Shortening page. Let me know how this turns out!

    • Deborah Campbell November 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

      A solid vegetable shortening. Probably Trex is a good substitute.

  4. Allison February 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    My icing won’t stick to the sides of the cake? I waited about 4 hours before applying the icing to make sure the cake was well cooled :)

    • Corinna February 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      Oh no! I have never had that problem. It sounds like the icing was not cooked long enough to thicken. If this happens again you can also try to refrigerate the icing first to help it thicken.

    • Cathy Aldredge July 7, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      Buy a package of Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate, carefully open it and you’ll discover the best possible recipe for German Chocolate Cake printed inside the package. Note that you are to let the frosting boil very gently for about 12 minutes in order for it to reach the thickened consistency. I always have my layers completely cold and the finished frosting slightly warm when I put the cake together and frost it. I’ve probably made 100 of these cakes. Perfection every time!

  5. Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar April 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    I love a good German Chocolate Cake! Your one looks amazing! I love the topping. Wish I could have some.
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  6. Melissa Wee June 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Can I replace Crisco with butter ?

    • Corinna June 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      Hi Melissa, Unfortunately no. It changes the consistency. Sorry!

    • Cathy Aldredge July 7, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      My mother and I have used the German Chocolate Cake recipe printed on the inside of the Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate package for YEARS! It calls for butter! My mother was known for her fabulous cakes, and when she could no longer bake them as gifts, I inherited that honorable responsibility. Now, I’m known for my fabulous cakes . . . delicious and beautiful. I give my mother all the credit for that!

  7. Gail September 6, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    I frost the sides with chocolate buttercream and only the top with coconut nut frosting . Best of both worlds!

    • Corinna September 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm #


  8. Laurie December 8, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    THANK YOU for posting this recipe!! It ‘saved the day’!
    My friend had volunteered to make this for a very special 50th anniversary party, and her recipe was missing! When she mentioned the magic ingredient (Crisco), I looked it up, and Voila!! Thanks again!!

  9. Christina August 31, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    Could I replace to Crisco with coconut oil??

  10. Josh January 15, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    Crisco? really? c’mon, we’re in the 2010s…

  11. MaryLynne October 30, 2017 at 6:10 am #

    Butter has flavor that is added to the cake – Crisco has no flavor. I’d stick with the original recipe – my mom made it way, way back when I was probably pre-teen and after the first time it was usually the cake my sister and I chose for our birthday cakes. Absolutely delicious and my opinion is subbing Crisco for butter would be a bad idea. It would work, but it wouldn’t be as rich.

  12. MaryLynne October 30, 2017 at 6:16 am #

    Oops, just started reading the recipe and realized this is NOT the original recipe – when my mom was making it (mid-to late fifties), it made a three 9″ layer cake with the filling between each layer and, as stated before, did not use Crisco.

    Just a couple of months ago while searching for the original recipe, I came across a site where the woman had copied the recipe from an actual wrapper (it came wrapped in paper back then) and it WAS the original. :)

    I’m sure this recipe makes a good cake, but I’m going to contact Baker’s cause I want my Mama’s cake! :)
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