German Chocolate Sheet Cake

German Chocolate Sheet Cake is easy to make and oh, so delicious! 

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

German Chocolate Sheet Cake


  • 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.
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 waxed 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 wax 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


About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Kimberly C. says

    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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

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

  16. Claudia Krusch says

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Brett Martin says

    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.

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