Disney’s German Chocolate Cake

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
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Disney’s German Chocolate Cake was served at Disney World in the 1970’s. It’s a soft and moist chocolate cake layered with a dreamy coconut pecan frosting!

Disney’s German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Calling all my German Chocolate Cake fans, this throwback recipe is for you!

I have really been digging these throwback Disney recipes from the 1970’s Dixie Crystals cookbook that I recently stumbled upon.

First I made that amazing classic recipe for Disney’s Blueberry Muffins and now I couldn’t wait to try this cake.

A Piece of Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting on a Dessert Plate Next to a Fork

I made a classic rookie mistake and didn’t totally read through the recipe before making it the first time I tried this recipe.

I hadn’t realized it had a few more steps than I had counted on. Not that it was hard, but I wasn’t prepared!

I had to quickly find another bowl to whip up my egg whites in and also melt my chocolate mixture in.

A German Chocolate Layer Cake on Top of a Light Brown Cake Stand

So for fair warning, make sure and pre-read the recipe before you start because there are a couple of surprise steps!

I was surprised that you added four egg yolks to the batter and then whipped the egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them in at the end.

While that is an usual step, it did make one heck of a light and fluffy cake!

I really loved the texture of this chocolate cake, it reminded both moist and light at the same time.

It was very different from the usual dream cakes I make, which are a heavier denser cake, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much we all enjoyed it.

A Piece of Chocolate Cake with Pecan Coconut Frosting on a White Plate

The coconut pecan frosting on top is a typical frosting for a German Chocolate Cake and it was delicious.

I could just eat that as a dip — seriously. I love coconut everything!

But when it was combined, it was the perfect amount of frosting to cake.

If you would like your frosting to cover the entire cake (sides and all), I recommend doubling the frosting recipe.

Two Plates Holding Slices of Chocolate Layer Cake Next to the Rest of the Cake on a Stand

Recipe Notes

I kept the recipe as true to the original as I could. However I did make two changes I want to note.

First, Disney’s original recipe called for shortening in the cake instead of butter.

Second, it called for margarine to be used in the frosting and again, I opted to use butter.

If you are looking to keep to the original recipe 1000%, you can easily make those two changes back!


Head on over to Dixie Crystals for the full recipe!

RECIPE: Disney’s German Chocolate Cake 

Disney's German Chocolate Cake on a Cake Stand Beside A Dessert Spatula
4.6 from 24 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 12 servings

Disney’s German Chocolate Cake

Disney's German Chocolate Cake was served at Disney World in the 1970’s. It's a soft and moist chocolate cake layered with a dreamy coconut pecan frosting!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes


For the German Chocolate Cake

  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, pour boiling water over chocolate chips and stir until all chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each yolk is added. Add vanilla and melted chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten eggs whites.
  • Divide batter into cake pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Coconut Pecan Frosting: Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter in a sauce pan.
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, add vanilla. Add shredded coconut and chopped pecans. Beat until cool and the mixture reaches spreading consistency. (Frosting makes enough to cover tops of three 8-inch layers. Double recipe to cover entire cake.)
  • Frost cake as desired with Coconut Pecan Frosting. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.


Makes 10-12 slices


Serving: 1 slice, Calories: 791kcal, Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 185mg, Sodium: 296mg, Potassium: 318mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 62g, Vitamin A: 983IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 150mg, Iron: 1mg



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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.