German Chocolate Sheet Cake


You guys, I have to tell you about this German Chocolate Sheet Cake because it’s legitimately one of the most decadent, crave-worthy desserts I’ve ever had the pleasure of shoveling into my mouth. And that’s saying something, because I’m somewhat of a sweets connoisseur if you know what I mean!

This rich, gooey, chocolate-coconut-pecan dream has been in my family for as long as I can remember. I have such fond memories of my grandma whipping up her famous layered version for every special occasion. The whole house would be filled with the intoxicating aroma of melting chocolate and toasted nuts. Us kids would be glued to the kitchen, eagerly awaiting the moment she’d let us lick the bowls and beaters clean. Those were the days!

Of course, we always just assumed this cake was an authentic German delicacy handed down through the generations, since my dad’s side did emigrate from there. Imagine my surprise years later when I learned the truth – that German Chocolate Cake actually originated in the U.S.! It was invented by some guy named Samuel German who worked for a chocolate company back in the 1850s.

While that little factoid may have burst my nostalgic bubble, it definitely did not change my undying love for this treat. Because whether it’s from Deutschland or Dallas, one bite of this luscious cake will have you going gaga.

Why You Need This Sheet Cake

Now, my grandma’s classic layered rendition will always hold a special place in my heart and belly. There’s just something so impressive about cutting into those thick layers of chocolate cake drenched in coconut-pecan frosting, you know?

But let me tell you, this sheet cake twist has some serious advantages that might just put it over the top:

  • It’s a million times easier to make than dealing with fussy cake layers, but still delivers all that incredible flavor.
  • By baking it in a sheet pan, you get way more of that insanely good coconut-pecan frosting in every single bite.
  • Sheet cakes are perfect for serving a crowd at potlucks, parties, holiday gatherings – just slice yourself a nice big piece!
  • The buttermilk in the batter and evaporated milk in the frosting make it extra moist and decadent.
  • One cake can easily feed 16 people…but let’s be real, folks will definitely be going back for seconds and thirds!

Pro Tips for German Chocolate Perfection

Okay, so now that you’re officially convinced you need this cake in your life ASAP, here are some insider tips to ensure it turns out absolutely flawless:

  • Use quality German baking chocolate, not regular cocoa powder. It makes a huge difference in both flavor and texture.
  • Don’t you dare frost that baby until it’s completely cooled, or the frosting will just slide right off.
  • For an ultra-thick, gooey, spoonable frosting, let it simmer for a few extra minutes until it’s nice and luscious.
  • Chopping the pecans into smaller pieces helps them distribute more evenly in that glorious frosting.
  • Once frosted, pop the cake in the fridge for 1-2 hours so everything can set up perfectly before slicing.

Dig Into This Chocolatey, Nutty Bliss!

Are you drooling yet? Because I definitely am just thinking about digging into a big ole slice of this German Chocolate Sheet Cake. It’s sweet, it’s indulgent, it’s nutty, it’s chocolatey – it’s basically everything you could ever want in a decadent dessert.

I can’t wait for you to experience this magic for yourself! Just be prepared for it to become an instant family tradition, because I guarantee you’ll have people requesting it for every birthday, holiday, and special occasion from here on out. It’s that insanely addictive!

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

This German Chocolate Sheet Cake. It's one of those desserts that has been passed down through the generations in my family, and for good reason!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, German
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16





  • Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 13×18 inch sheet pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder.
  • In a saucepan, combine the water, butter, shortening, and chopped chocolate. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, eggs, and vanilla until you have a smooth batter.
  • Pour batter into the prepared sheet pan and spread it out evenly.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  • For the frosting: In a saucepan, whisk together the evaporated milk, egg yolks, butter, and both sugars. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • Once simmering, continue cooking for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened to a spoonable consistency.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla.
  • Let frosting cool slightly for 5-10 minutes until no longer piping hot.
  • Pour frosting over the cooled cake and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Refrigerate the frosted cake for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.

Serving Suggestions

  • This makes one big 13×18 inch sheet cake that’s perfect for feeding a crowd, but you can halve the recipe for a smaller 8×8 inch pan.
  • For an extra luscious treat, serve it up with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Leftovers will keep for up to 5 days covered in the fridge…if they even last that long!

Well, there you have it folks – a German Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe that will rock your world! Let me know if you bake this up and what you think. I can’t wait to hear if you love it as much as I do. Prepare for a serious sugar coma…but trust me, it’s worth every sweet, sweet bite!



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