German Chocolate Sheet Cake

by Alli

German Chocolate Sheet Cake is easy to make and oh, so delicious! If you love pecans as much as I do, check out all my Best Recipes Featuring Pecans.

I admit it. Sometimes I’m a lazy baker. There are moments when the thought of stacking cakes, layering them with frosting and stacking some more just doesn’t appeal to me. Sometimes, I like easy, especially when I don’t have much time. That’s when German Chocolate Sheet Cake comes into play.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

German Chocolate Sheet Cake happens to place in the top three when it comes to listing my favorite cakes. Red Velvet Cake and Caramel Cake also share in my top cakes. I think it’s the frosting that always wins me over.

German Chocolate Cake is a Favorite

When I was growing up, mama would make German Chocolate Cake on special occasions and the combination of pecans, coconut in the ooey-gooey topping would make my mouth sing! I have no idea where she found the recipe, but it’s a keeper.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

What makes this cake really special is the pecans I use. They come from my mom and dad’s pecan trees and I have to tell you, Georgia pecans are the best ever.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Helpful Hint: Before you start making the cake, toast the pecans in a 350º oven for 8-10 minutes. I always shake the pan halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool.

While the cake is baking, I make the frosting. Be sure and stir the entire time. Once it coats the back of a metal spoon, it’s thick enough.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Carolina Skillet Cake meets German Chocolate Sheet Cake

German Chocolate Sheet Cake is moist with a delicious topping!


  • 2 packages sweet German Chocolate baking bars (4 oz. each)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Pecan-Coconut Frosting

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1-1/3 cup sweetened, flaked coconut


  1. Grease a 13x9 pan and set aside.
  2. In the microwave, melt chocolate and water for 1 - 1-1/2 minutes, or until melted and smooth. (Stir halfway through)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold slowly into batter.
  6. Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely on wire rack.

Pecan-Coconut Frosting

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick, about 7-9 minutes OR until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in pecans and coconut.
  3. Frost cooled cake. Cut into squares to serve.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 468Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 117mgSodium 323mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 40gProtein 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Special Note: When I use a 13×9 baking pan, this sheet cake takes about 45 minutes to cook in my oven. I always start checking around 40 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, the cake is done. (It may take up to 55 minutes.) Overlook the toothpick holes. I got carried away.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Helpful Hint: I usually serve this cake in the pan and cut it into squares. If you want to frost the sides, be sure and grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper before adding the batter.

Once you let it cool for 15 minutes on a rack, remove the cake and let cool completely on the rack. Also, you’ll want to double the pecan-coconut frosting if frosting the sides.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Optional Layer Cake: Of course, you can make this German Chocolate Sheet Cake as a traditional 3-layer cake. Be sure and grease the pans, line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and grease that too. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.


You May Also Like:

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Candy Canes

Homemade Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Candy Cane Forest

Cranberry Apple Coffee Cake (another huge favorite at my house)

Cranberry Apple Coffee Cake

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Pretty Pintastic Party 169 - Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Best Frosting - Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting



candy October 27, 2017 - 7:38 am

German Chocolate is one of our favorites cakes to make and enjoy. The frosting really put it over the top delicious. Doesn’t last long around our home.

Rosemary Palmer October 27, 2017 - 8:02 am

German Chocolate is one of my favorites too. I’m working on an updated recipe myself. This was always made for Thanksgiving as it was my Dad’s favorite and his birthday was always around TG.

Amber Myers October 27, 2017 - 8:20 am

Ooo yes, it’s been ages since I’ve had German Chocolate Cake. I’ll have to make this for dessert!

Marysa October 27, 2017 - 8:25 am

I can’t remember the last time we made German Chocolate cake. Sounds like a great recipe, it would be fun to make this with the kids. The weather is getting cooler here and it is nice to bake together when it is cold outside.

Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh October 27, 2017 - 10:05 am

I love German Chocolate Cake, and I haven’t had a slice in years. I love this easy version, rather than layering it. What a great holiday cake!

Kimberly C. October 27, 2017 - 10:39 am

This kind of cake is my husbands favorite and honestly he doesn’t get it as often as he deserves to. He is amazing. I should try making things one! Thanks!

Christina October 27, 2017 - 11:51 am

OMG, I haven’t had German chocolate cake in years. YEAR? Can you believe that nonsense? Now I’m craving GCC like a fiend. Your cake looks and sounds so freaking delicious.

1stopmom October 27, 2017 - 1:13 pm

My husband loves German Chocolate cake but I have never made it from scratch. This would be a real treat for him and I am sure he would love it.

Tomi C October 27, 2017 - 1:27 pm

I have baked a German chocolate cake in ages. The kids aren’t fans but German Chocolate cakes are one of my and hubby’s favorites, oh and my mother in law loves it too. I may just have to bake us one during the holidays. Bookmarking this recipe. Thanks Alli.

Liz Mays October 27, 2017 - 8:12 pm

This is such a good dessert idea! German chocolate cake was always a really comforting treat my mom used to make.

Pam October 27, 2017 - 10:40 pm

German chocolate is one of my favorite types of cakes. This looks so tasty, yum!

Tim B October 28, 2017 - 6:37 am

Oh! I love German Chocolate Cake! Your pictures are making me hungry! Need to bake up some for myself now with this recipe.

Nikki October 28, 2017 - 8:25 am

That sounds easy and looks so delicious! I’m all about the sheet cake. Not as complicated to frost as, say, a round cake. 🙂 I can bake so-so, but my attempts at fancy cakes are always a bit lopsided, lol.

Sarah Bailey October 28, 2017 - 12:30 pm

Oh now this sounds delicious, what a unique way to make a cake, I have to admit I’ve not tried too many German recipes I need to change that!

Kita Bryant October 28, 2017 - 1:59 pm

I always ask for a German chocolate cake for my birthday. It’s my absolute favorite. This looks so good!

Claudia Krusch October 28, 2017 - 2:44 pm

German Chocolate Sheet Cake looks so delicious and easy to make. |I am always looking for new recipes to try. I am sure this will be a big hit in my house this weekend.

Dogvills October 28, 2017 - 5:59 pm

Whoa! I love this recipe! German chocolate Sheet cake is a total favorite. I am keeping your recipe and use it to make a cake for my mom’s birthday.

Paula A Bendfeldt Diaz October 30, 2017 - 7:22 am

This German chocolate sheet cake not only looks delicious and moist but the recipe sounds relly easy. I would love to make this at home.

Brett Martin October 30, 2017 - 9:38 am

Sheet cakes are great for potlucks and we have one this saturday at church! I haven’t done a German Chocolate one yet but you make it look super easy… I think I may try your recipe.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe