Easy German Chocolate Cake

Update: This has become one of my most Googled recipes, so I updated the post with a couple of mouth-watering pictures that do the cake justice. This is a simple, easy-to-make cake with spectacular results.

I asked my mother-in-law what kind of cake she would like me to bake her for her birthday. I wasn’t surprised by her answer. Of course, she wanted a German Chocolate Cake. It is the same cake my husband always wants for his birthday. The cake he grew up eating on special occasions. My mother-in-law gave me her recipe for Coconut-Almond Frosting for German Chocolate Cake when we were first married, and I’ve been making it ever since.

I’m not a huge fan of boxed cake mixes, I think they are too dry unless you doctor them up. But in Anne Byrn’s Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor, she has a recipe for German Chocolate Cake from a mix that is moist and delicious. When combined with the coconut-almond frosting it is almost irresistible. In fact, by the time I remembered I needed a picture so I could post this family favorite recipe on my blog, all that was left was this sad little corner piece. I’ll have to make it again soon and take an Oh Wow picture.


Family Recipes Logo

I am submitting this recipe to Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honey Bunch for the June Family Recipes Event.

Easy German Chocolate Cake


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut-Almond Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 (7 oz. package) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl on low speed for one minute until combined. Beat at medium speed for two minutes more. Pour into greased and floured 13 x 9 baking dish. Bake 38–42 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Can also be baked in two 9 inch round pans for 30 – 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from pans. I like to line my round cake pans with parchment paper before adding batter for easy removal from the pan

Coconut-Almond Frosting

Combined butter, sugar, evaporated milk and eggs* in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 12 minutes or until thickened. Add vanilla, coconut and almonds. Cool to room temperature before frosting cake.

*You can also warm up the butter, sugar and evaporated milk and temper the eggs before adding them to the saucepan.