German Chocolate Cake Frosting

An Easy German Chocolate Cake Frosting Recipe

When it comes to the iconic German chocolate cake, the frosting is not just an addition; it is the heart and soul of this beloved dessert. German chocolate cake frosting is distinctive, with its rich, creamy texture and the delectable combination of coconut and pecans that sets it apart from all other cake toppings. In this blog, we dive deep into the type of frosting that crowns the German chocolate cake and provide a step-by-step guide on how to create this luscious topping at home.

german chocolate cake

What Kind of Frosting Goes on German Chocolate Cake?

German chocolate cake is traditionally adorned with a unique frosting that is more like a thick, sweetened filling. The frosting is a custard-like mixture made from evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk, combined with egg yolks, sugar, and butter, which are cooked together until thick and creamy.

Once the mixture is cooked, plenty of sweetened shredded coconut and chopped pecans are stirred in, adding a rich texture and nutty flavor that complements the chocolate layers of the cake perfectly.

This frosting differs significantly from other cake frostings; it is not a buttercream or a whipped cream frosting. Instead, it’s a gooey and delicious concoction that not only spreads on top of the cake but also seeps into the layers, adding moisture and flavor from the inside out. It’s a hallmark of this cake that it typically does not cover the sides—instead, it’s generously slathered between the cake layers and piled high on top.

How to Make German Chocolate Cake Frosting?


  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions For Making German Chocolate Cake Frosting

coconut pecan frosting making

1. Prepare the Mixture

In a large saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, and beaten egg yolks. Add the butter to the pan, and bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium heat. It’s crucial to stir constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling and to ensure that the mixture becomes smooth and thick.

2. Cook to Perfection

Continue to cook while stirring for about 12 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to a custard-like consistency. The color should turn a light golden, indicating it is well-cooked.

3. Add Flavor and Texture

Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut. Mix thoroughly to ensure the coconut and pecans are evenly distributed throughout the frosting.

4. Cool Before Using

Allow the frosting to cool for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the frosting cools, it will thicken further and become more spreadable.

5. Apply to the Cake

Once cooled, apply the frosting between the layers of your German chocolate cake and heap it on the top layer. Remember, this type of frosting is typically not used to cover the sides of the cake.


Mastering German Chocolate Cake Frosting is key to making an authentic and delicious German chocolate cake that stands out. This frosting not only enhances the visual appeal with its rich, chunky texture but also boosts the overall flavor profile of the cake, making every bite a delightful mix of chocolate, coconut, and pecans. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying your hand at this recipe for the first time, perfecting this frosting will elevate your cake to a celebratory masterpiece worthy of any occasion.

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