German Chocolate Cake

Average Rating 5 from 9 ratings

A favorite from childhood, this gluten-free version will transport you back! This cake makes a huge impression! Made with Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend.

German Chocolate Cake

Yield: one 3-layer cake, 12 servings

German Chocolate Cake


  • 4 ounces sweet baking chocolate
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups (280 g) Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites, large
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) evaporated milk or cream
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks, large
  • ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups chopped pecans
  • 7 ounces (approx. 2½ cups) sweetened flaked coconut


TO MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans by lining bottoms with parchment paper, then spraying pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Stir chocolate and ½ cup of water together until melted in the top of a double boiler (or in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water); remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In bowl of electric stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each. Add melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beating after each addition until smooth.

Whip egg whites in separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter until combined. Divide batter evenly between cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back with a gentle touch in center. Cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto racks. Cool completely before frosting.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING: In a medium pan, whisk evaporated milk with vanilla and egg yolks until well blended. Add butter and sugar and cook on medium heat until thick and golden brown, stirring constantly, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the nuts and coconut. Cool completely before frosting cakes.

Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.

NOTE: Keep leftover cake, covered, in refrigerator.

© Pamela's Products, Inc.

37 Reviews or Comments for German Chocolate Cake

  1. Deanna October 30, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    I loved this recipe! My mixer broke and so I had to mix everything by hand, which made it only slightly more dense, but it was still very moist and very delicious. It was well received by those at our dinner party last night who don’t have to eat gluten free. My husband said it was the best German chocolate cake he had ever had! After I print this out it will become one of those familiar recipe cards that yellow with age and have all of those spotty food stains from years of use! Tried and true!

    Recipe Rating: 5
  2. Sky March 7, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    MAY DAY, MAY DAY !!! For this recipe, German Chocolate Cake, I need clarification about the number of egg yolks in the cake AND the number in the frosting. Read your recipe and you will see that it lists 4 eggs and instructs to use yolks in both the cake AND frosting, BUT instructions do not say how many eggs for the cake and how many for the frosting??? ALSO…please clarify how many whites to use in the cake. PLEASE RUSH YOUR RESPONSE because I want to make this for my niece’s upcoming birthday.
    Thank You, Sky

    • Pamelas Customer Service March 9, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Sky –
      Sorry for any confusion. You will use 4 complete eggs in the cake batter. And you will use 4 egg yolks in the frosting. The recipes states:

      4 large eggs, separated
      Add yolks, one at a time, beating after each. Add chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beating after each addition until smooth.
      Whip egg whites in separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter until combined. Divide evenly between pans.

      4 egg yolks
      In a medium pan whisk cream or milk with vanilla and egg yolks until well blended.

      I hope this is helpful.
      Denise, Customer Service

  3. brindi April 28, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    help! Is the 1/2 cup of water just for the melting of the chocolate? if not when do you mix??

    • Pamelas Customer Service May 7, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      HI Brindi –
      I apologize this reply took so long, we were checking in to it…we have modified the recipe above to reflect:
      Melt chocolate with the ½ cup of water in double boiler (or bowl set over water in a pan), set aside.

      I hope this helps!
      Denise, Customer Service

  4. cindyb May 4, 2015 at 6:29 am #

    Can the baking and pancake mix be substituted for the artisan blend flour? I already have the baking mix….Thanks!

    • Pamelas Customer Service May 4, 2015 at 9:18 am #

      Hi Cindy-
      This recipe is specific for the Artisan blend. We do have cake recipes using the Baking & Pancake mix and you may want to peruse them to see if one works for you.
      I hope this helps!
      Denise, Customer Service

      • RayR May 26, 2015 at 8:52 pm #


        The recipe specifically calls for Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend — not Baking & Pancake Mix. Should it be the latter instead?

        • Pamelas Customer Service May 28, 2015 at 10:17 am #

          Sorry, Ray, my error, this recipe is for the Artisan blend.
          Denise, Customer Service

  5. Diana V June 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday last year and it was the most exquisite German Chocolate Cake I’ve ever had! I’m definitely making it for him again this year. Thank you for the wonderful gluten-free flours and mixes as well as this recipe! I came back here tonight so I can share it with a friend.

    Recipe Rating: 5
  6. Sarah July 16, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    German Chocolate Cake – QUESTIONS

    I like to make vegan desserts, or at least greatly reduce the total animal proteins, fats and cholesterol, while still keeping things flavorful and rich.

    I already got (from Whole Foods) the Ener-G Egg Replacer and Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks (pink label, so yummy, totally unlike the original yellow label).

    For the evaporated milk or cream in the frosting, I will either buy organic evaporated milk I found (at Whole Foods for $3.99) or try Almond Milk (it’s thick) or Almond Milk Creamer like someone once suggested (never tried it). Don’t matter, all good ingredients. I just love experimenting in the kitchen.

    Instead of the 1 cup buttermilk:

    Can I use 3/4 cup carbonated water, like how it says on the back of your Spice Cake Mix and on some other cake recipe (can’t remember which)? I know water is far less creamy than buttermilk, but could it work? Good to know for vegans, dieters, and those whose husbands drank all the buttermilk or forgot to pick it up altogether 🙂

    How about 1 cup nondairy milk with 1 tsp vinegar? Or was it 3/4 cup nondairy milk with 1 tsp vinegar? I’ve seen this substitution suggestion on a few recipes at this site. Could this work here in this recipe?

    How about 3/4 cup plain vegan yogurt or sour cream mixed with a little water? They contain the same tangy little buttermilky cultures, and they do work in chocolate cake, which this essentially is.

    Whatever you think or know would work, please let us all know. I was never much into baking, until this website came along 🙂

    I’d like to make this for my fiancé’s birthday in a month, as he hasn’t had this cake since he was 8 yrs old. That was 43 years ago, when his grandma made it for his birthday. It was his last birthday to get celebrated. He’s very excited!

    • Concepcion Lopez-Cherry January 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

      Just wondered if Sarah (back in 2015) ever got a response for a vegan German Chocolate cake? Wondered if Almond Milk Creamer works for the milk/cream asked for in the recipe, and if the vegan yogurt or sour cream works for the buttermilk asked for in the recipe? Hope to hear from someone, as I ‘d like to make this cake in a couple of weeks for someone that can’t do dairy OR wheat.

      Thank you,

  7. amanda minnegan July 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Love this first time making it u can also melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1min & 30sec

  8. Laura October 21, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    This cake turned out AMAZING! I cheated and used store bought icing, but the cake was delicious – would never have known it was g-free!

    Recipe Rating: 5
  9. Paula December 15, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    My son surprised me with this cake for my birthday a couple of years ago. I told him I would expect one every year on my birthday. He said then it won’t be special anymore. I assured him that it would so special to receive a birthday cake once a year. The same cake that my mother made for me for my birthday for 30 some years before I had to go gluten free. I have since made it for friends, etc. and everyone has loved it even when not gluten free. AMAZING!

    Recipe Rating: 5
  10. Jean January 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    This looks amazing.

    Can I make it in a 9 x 13 pan?


  11. Catherine Kniazewycz March 28, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    I have to eat totally gluten-free now, but I love to bake for family and friends–so they only get gluten-free. I made this for my dad’s 88th birthday and the whole family raved about it. My 32-year-old son said (with only a slight touch of resentment!) that the icing was soooo much better than the canned stuff I used to resort to when I was a working mom of three and baked him German Chocolate cake for his birthday.

    Recipe Rating: 5
  12. Ginger August 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Best gluten free cake recipe I’ve ever had. It’s not a difficult cake, but there are lots of steps involved. The result was well worth it. The cake was fluffy and the frosting was delicious! I actually used organic unsweetened coconut flakes in the frosting and I didn’t feel like it took away from the sweetness of the cake.

  13. Geri Juen December 13, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    Can I use regular GF flour?

    • Pamelas Customer Service December 14, 2017 at 9:35 am #

      By “regular GF flour” do you mean the Baking & Pancake Mix? This recipe uses our All-Purpose Flour and the recipe was created for that flour blend.

  14. Veronica Agle May 1, 2018 at 6:24 am #

    Can I use a 13 x 9 pan for this recipe?

  15. Chad June 4, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

    I am wondering about changes (I assume baking time) for cupcakes?

    • Pamelas Customer Service June 5, 2018 at 10:54 am #

      Hi Chad,
      Here’s a general rule to convert a cake recipe into cupcakes:
      Bake the cupcakes at the same temperature called for in the cake recipe, but reduce the baking time by one-third to one-half (cupcakes usually bake for 15-20 minutes). Check doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.

  16. Chad June 17, 2018 at 5:20 am #

    Can’t be happier! Made a batch of cupcakes (you were right, takes ~20 min but check with a toothpick, ended up yielding 26 for me) for work; the group has 3 people gluten sensitive so decided to just make the whole batch gluten-free! People raved about them! Gluten-free people were in heaven begging for the recipe and taking multiple, others were surprised it was gluten-free and loved them. Thank you for the nice product and the great recipe.

    Recipe Rating: 5
  17. Becky Baker July 31, 2018 at 9:21 pm #

    Amazing recipe. Best German Chocolate cake I’ve ever made. My husband is so happy to be able to have German Chocolate cake again.

    Recipe Rating: 5
  18. Gabby August 6, 2018 at 10:49 pm #

    This cake was the best cake I’ve ever made! A huge hit for my fiancees birthday. Super easy instructions to follow and couldn’t believe how moist and didn’t feel like other gluten free foods. Not gritty. If you over bake the cake, make thinner layers. The frosting will definitely compensate for it.

  19. Loretta Eckenrode August 21, 2018 at 11:09 pm #

    Amazing recipe. The cake was delicious, light, moist, and wonderful. The frosting was so yummy…had some left over and my grown children thought it was amazing all on its own. Thanks for the great recipe. I forgot to add the 5 stars on my comment!

  20. Scott September 30, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

    Tried this recipe today. Pretty darn good! I’m saving this one.

  21. kathryn klein January 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    How well does this cake hold up over-night?

    • Pamelas Customer Service January 29, 2019 at 8:19 am #

      It should hold up well! You could always cover it in a cake dish or plastic wrap to keep from drying out.

  22. Diana V January 9, 2019 at 10:00 am #


  23. Loretta January 9, 2019 at 10:14 am #

    It is just as good the next day, IF there was any leftover!

  24. Marsha Popp February 15, 2019 at 6:04 am #

    I got a lot of good comments about the German Chocolate Cake, and I even had to adapt it for lactose intolerance. My boyfriend and 4 out of 4 work buddies all pretty picky people thought the cake was exceptionally good.I used a can of evaporated coconut milk for the 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk for the icing and used quinoa milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to substitute for the 1 cup of buttermilk.

    Recipe Rating: 5
  25. Brenda February 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm #

    I made this for a birthday party for a friend and it turned out delicious. No one could tell it was gluten-free because it was so yummy.

    Recipe Rating: 5
  26. Rita Kemmerer February 27, 2019 at 7:37 am #

    Thank you for this great gluten free recipe!!! Can`t wait to try it for our German food party. It is great to read the positive replies. I am amazed how many want to change the ingredients knowing that your kitchen has perfected it before you shared it with all of us who wants great taste without the gluten. I give you my feedback from myself as well as my friends whom don’t go gluten free!!! I will give my 5 stars after I make and bake!

  27. Rita Kemmerer March 6, 2019 at 7:55 am #

    Best German Chocolate cake I have ever tasted! Everyone raved about it. Thank you for sharing your recipes! It is so great to get to eat cake again! Your recipe is very easy to follow.

  28. Sphynxgirl March 21, 2019 at 8:43 pm #

    This recipe is actually identical to the Baker’s German’s sweet chocolate baking bar recipe except the original recipe calls for AP (regular wheat) flour. I used my own GF flour blend and whey from my homemade lactose free yogurt in place of the buttermilk and it turned out incredible. I almost forgot, I also added 1T. of cocoa to my flour mixture for just a touch more chocolate. I do a lot of GF baking and this was one of the best cakes I’ve made in the last couple months. My husband, who is not GF, also really liked this cake.

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