German Chocolate Velvet Cake for a Celebration

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This is the cake you have been dreaming about. It has the velvet texture of Red Velvet cake and deep chocolate flavor with a mocha frosting topped with toasted pecans and coconut.
German Chocolate Velvet Cake

German Chocolate Velvet Cake
This German Chocolate Velvet Cake really is the ultimate chocolate cake. It has the velvety texture of Red Velvet cake, deep dark chocolate flavor, mocha frosting, and coconut-pecan filling and topping. Even people who don’t like chocolate cake, or who don’t like coconut love this cake.

I made this cake for Thanksgiving because my son’s father’s birthday is the 27th of November and his favorite cake is German Chocolate.  The one I made last year was from Joy of Baking’s Stephanie Jaworski. Her coconut-pecan topping can’t be beaten. But, I like to use the chocolate cake in my Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting because of its very dense chocolate flavor.  When I was making this, I happened to have a carton of buttermilk that I wanted to use up, so I thought why not velvetize the cake. Since it was velvetized, I couldn’t think of any better frosting than cream cheese with mocha flavoring.  The combination is mind-blowingly good. Really. This cake is VERY rich, so it should really only be for special occasions.  This is not an everyday cake – use my Chocolate Yogurt Bundt cake for an “everyday” cake.

Notes about Making German Chocolate Velvet Cake

Yes, the ingredients do call for one and a half egg yolks. You are thinking, how in the heck do I do that? Use your hands.  Really, we have the best egg separator in the world, our hands. Make sure your hands are extra clean and dry, especially if you are going to be making a meringue. Now, open one hand over two small bowls. Crack the egg open and drop the white and yolk into the one hand over one of the bowls. Let the white drip between your fingers and then put the remaining yolk in the bowl.  To make the half egg yolk, use your finger to gently split the yolk in your hand, putting one half in the bowl with the other yolk, and the other in your dog’s bowl with the two whites (you could cook them if you are afraid of e-Coli and salmonella).

Oscar ready to go for a walk anticipating his egg treat.

During the holidays, I try to get a picture of one of our pets. This time, it’s Oscar. He is a 6-year-old rescue that had been badly abused. Thankfully, through lots of love, he feels confident, is obedient and very loving. He hates going out in the rain and cold, so we bought him some booties and a sweater.

German Chocolate Velvet Cake

This is the cake you have been dreaming about. It has the velvet texture of Red Velvet cake and deep chocolate flavor with a mocha frosting topped with toasted pecans and coconut.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings (slide to adjust): 16
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American South
Difficulty: Moderate
Newsletter: 2022-02-28
Calories per serving: 541kcal


~~ For the Cake ~~

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ flour, all-purpose
  • ¾ cup cocoa, Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened,
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup water, boiling

~~ For the Mocha Frosting ~~

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 3 ½ cups powered sugar, 1 box, 16 ounces
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa, Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened,

~~ For the Coconut-Pecan Frosting ~~

  • ½ cup pecans, whole, not chopped
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ large egg yolks, beaten
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¾ coconut, sweetened or unsweetened shredded or flak
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic.


For the Cake

  • Heat oven to 350F/176C. Grease two 9 inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour that as well. In a pinch, you can use wax paper. Moistened cake strips around the pan are recommended.
  • 2 cups sugar, 1 3/4 flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt
    Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • 2 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
  • 1 cup water
    Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

To Make the Mocha Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 package cream cheese
    Put the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them together until they are soft and fluffy.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cocoa, 1 teaspoon instant espresso
    Add the vanilla, cocoa, and coffee and continue to beat.
  • 3 1/2 cups powered sugar
    Slowly start adding the powdered sugar a little at a time.
  • 1/4 cup cream
    When you notice that the frosting has begun to ball up like a dough, it is time to add the cream. Do not add it all at once, just a little at a time until you have the right consistency.

To Make the Coconut-Pecan Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup pecans
    Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 176 C. Reserve 8 of the pecans. Place the remaining pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven, cool, and then chop fairly fine. Use the food processor to do this.
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 1/2 large egg yolks, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 3/4 coconut, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, and when the mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from heat (about 5 minutes). Stir in the chopped pecans, coconut, and vanilla extract. Let cool until spreadable (about 30-60 minutes).


  • Put about half of the coconut pecan frosting on the first layer of cake.
  • Top with the second layer.
  • Put the mocha frosting all around the sides of the cake and a thinner layer on top, but don't use it all up.
  • Put the rest of the coconut pecan on the top of the cake about seven inches in circumference, leaving a 2-inch border of the mocha frosting.
  • Put more of the mocha frosting on that border so the two are relatively the same height. You could pipe this on to make it even more special.
  • Finally, arrange the reserved pecans on the top of the cake on top of the coconut pecan frosting.


For the cake:
You will not be able to taste the coffee. It just makes the chocolate more chocolate tasting. Don't use brewed coffee.
For the coconut-pecan frosting:
For the 1 1/2 egg yolk, give the other half of the egg to the dog. Seriously, there are chemical reactions going on here, so adding more yolk than necessary can easily make this fail.


Calories: 541kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 6gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 400mgPotassium: 180mgFiber: 2gSugar: 59g
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!

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