This is much easier than your old-fashioned scratch recipes and it tastes just as good.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
35 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
1 8-inch 3-layer cake
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans.

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  • Combine the cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, cocoa, buttermilk, vegetable oil and the 3 whole eggs. Mix until blended and pour the batter into the prepared pans.

  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cakes test done. Set cakes aside to cool.

  • In a medium sized sauce pan mix the evaporated milk, white sugar, 3 egg yolks and the butter. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and beat until partially cooled. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flaked coconut and the chopped pecans. Use to fill and frost cake.

Nutrition Facts

676 calories; protein 9.1g 18% DV; carbohydrates 82.9g 27% DV; fat 36.4g 56% DV; cholesterol 153.6mg 51% DV; sodium 638.4mg 26% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (100)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/14/2003
My version of this recipe was a hit! I used butter instead of oil in the cake and brown sugar instead of white sugar in the frosting. It definitely tasted homemade and everyone marveled at all the work I did to make it! ;) Read More
(61)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
08/13/2003
Our family being used to homemade cakes were a bit disappointed. It is a boxed cake after all:-( Not very moist not much taste. Quick'N'Easy if you are in a rush but if you have the time stick with the original recipe. Minus the box overall not bad but not for a food snob Read More
(31)
121 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 76
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
08/14/2003
My version of this recipe was a hit! I used butter instead of oil in the cake and brown sugar instead of white sugar in the frosting. It definitely tasted homemade and everyone marveled at all the work I did to make it! ;) Read More
(61)
Rating: 5 stars
08/14/2003
My husband requested a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday. I found this recipe and it was a hit! The frosting takes quite a while to thicken so be prepared to stand by the stove and stir for at least 25 minutes. Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2010
This is a FABULOUS 'cheater' recipe! I've made several homemade versions over the years (it's hubby's yearly birthday request), and this by far has gotten the best reviews. This last time around I made just a few changes, and it was incredibly moist and got huge raves: used the larger box of pudding, almost doubled the cocoa, subbed 1 1/2 cups of sour cream for the buttermilk and subbed melted butter for the oil. It made for a really thick batter, so just makes sure to spread the batter around the pans evenly (otherwise you'll end up with lopsided cakes!). Also a big fan of making this in a bundt pan and pouring the icing over top. Thanks for sharing, it's definitely a keeper for us! Read More
(35)
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Rating: 2 stars
08/13/2003
Our family being used to homemade cakes were a bit disappointed. It is a boxed cake after all:-( Not very moist not much taste. Quick'N'Easy if you are in a rush but if you have the time stick with the original recipe. Minus the box overall not bad but not for a food snob Read More
(31)
Rating: 5 stars
03/01/2012
I thought that this cake and the frosting were excellent. Working full time I'm not above taking an occassional shortcut like using a jazzed up box mix. After comparing recipes for the frosting I find that most are similar except that many only use 8 ounces of evaporated milk instead of the full can which is 12 ounces like this recipe calls for. I followed the recipe exactly until I got to the frosting. I then mixed only 8 ounces of evaporated milk in the pan with the other ingredients. With the rest of the evaporated milk I added a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch and then mixed it in the bubbling frosting insuring that it would be nice and thick. I then removed from heat added vanilla pecans and coconut. Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
06/05/2003
This was absolutely the best German Chocolate Cake we have ever had. My husband said it was better than his grandmother's and she was from Germany. I doubled the frosting. It's worth the time it took to make. Read More
(19)
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Rating: 4 stars
02/04/2006
This is a good recipe however Diane you should have noted that the batter is very thick. I thought I had missed something. Fortunately another reader noted it. I did make a few changes I used a german chocolate cake mix and I used chocolate pudding. I used another german chocolate frosting on this site and it was wonderful. Read More
(11)
Rating: 1 stars
10/03/2003
The cake part turned out fine but the frosting was a mess. I cooked it for at least 30 minutes and it would not thicken then i tried adding corn starch which didn't work either. I ended up going to the store and buying the frosting. Definately will not make this again!! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
09/29/2011
This cake is a little more time consuming to make but it has always turned out great for me. I like to use chocolate instant pudding instead of vanilla and I used 1/2 cup oil instead of 1/3 cup to make it a bit moister. The batter will turn out incredibly thick and compact. You'll have to spoon the batter into the cake pans instead of pouring. For the topping even though it seems to be runny while you are cooking it don't worry when it cools down and you add the nuts and coconut the topping will thicken up enough. Also after refrigerating the cake to make the topping set I like to cover the sides with chocolate frosting using the Creamy Chocolate Frosting recipe from this site. That covers the sides nicely and makes for a beautiful cake! Read More
(9)