I began exploring the world of bundt cakes this year and was inspired to make a german chocolate pound cake.
While I’ve eaten lots of german chocolate cake in my life, I’d never actually made one before! With that in mind, I learned a lot while recipe testing this cake.
I experimented with cake flour and all-purpose, oil and butter, and buttermilk vs. sour cream. In the end, I feel like I finally got it right.
Ironically enough, the perfect balance was using a bit of sour cream AND buttermilk, and oil AND butter. Go figure 😛
Getting The Topping Just Right for This German Chocolate Pound Cake
While the chocolate cake base and glaze are all good and dandy, what really makes anything german chocolate is the iconic coconut pecan topping.
Some people even call it german chocolate frosting! I can’t really get behind that. In my mind, a caramelized coconut mixture just isn’t frosting!!
Regardless of what you call it, it’s the star of the show. It’s what gives this german chocolate pound cake all its pizazz!! After a few rounds of recipe testing, I found that I prefer equal portions of coconuts and chopped pecans.
If you really want to pack this filling with flavor, I recommend toasting your chopped pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5-7 minutes in a 350 F oven.
I shake the pan half-way through to help them brown evenly. It really takes the filling to the next level!
What Type of Bundt Pan Should I Use?
Picking the right pan for this recipe can make all the different in how this german chocolate bundt cake turns out. But that’s the fun of making a bundt cake, its shape is solely reliant on the pan it bakes in.
I think most people default to a tried and true bundt cake pan, which is the route I went with this cake. They’re the pans with the iconic curved sides, short grooves and fluted edges.
This recipe will work great in just about any bundt pan, as long as it has a capacity of at least 8 cups. Any large bundt pan should be able to hold this much batter.
I was tempted to use my Nordic Ware heritage bundt pan, which has deep, beautiful grooves but figured it would be a lot more challenging to top with the german chocolate cake “frosting.”
One word of advice, if you use a bundt pan with a fun design or deep grooves, be sure you do your best job greasing your pan before adding your batter.
How to Properly Grease Your Bundt Pan
We are not going to all this trouble to make a german chocolate bundt cake from scratch to have to it stick to the pan.
To save yourself a headache down the road, be sure to properly prepare your bundt pan! There are two ways to do this and I’ve found that both work.
Option #1: Butter and Flour
If you prefer using the butter / flour method, use pastry brush (or your fingers) to spread softened butter into every nook and cranny of your bundt pan.
Once it’s fully coated, add in a couple Tbsp of all purpose flour and shake the pan around to cover the butter with a thin layer of flour. Pour out any excess or leftover flour, and your pan is ready to go!
One extra step you can take to ensure the butter coating stays in place is to pop you prepared pan into the fridge while you make the batter! It sounds crazy but it helps the butter stay in place as the pan is filled, which ensures a clean release once the cake is baked.
Option #2: Spray with Non-Stick Baking Spray
The second option is to spray your pan thoroughly with a non-stick baking spray. You can also use non-stick cooking spray, but non-stick baking spray works best. It contains flour, which is why it has a whitish color when sprayed.
In my experience, baking spray works just as well as buttering and flouring the pan. I prefer spraying because it’s a bit quicker, but you can prepare your pan however you prefer.
Tips to Make The Best German Chocolate Pound Cake:
- Be sure to mix your cake batter just until the ingredients are incorporated. This will ensure your cake has a tender crumb.
- Bake time can vary a lot based on your bundt pan. Keep an eye on your cake and check in every 5 minutes once it’s been in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Be sure to butter and flour or heavily spray your bundt pan to help your cake pop out easily once it’s baked.
- Amp up the flavor of the coconut pecan topping by toasting your chopped pecans. Bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5-7 minutes in a 350 F oven.
- Constantly stir the coconut pecan topping as you make it!! Otherwise the egg yolks can scramble.
- Pour the filling through a strainer to catch any bits of cooked egg yolk if you see any big chunks once the filling is cooked.
- Use a large cookie scoop to easily add the coconut pecan topping to the top of this german chocolate pound cake.
- Use a serrated knife to level the bottom of your bundt cake once it’s fully cooled. This helps it sit flat on your cake stand or plate.
Using Different Types of Pans
I used this bundt pan to make this cake, which is about 10 inches across and has a capacity of 10 cups. Any bundt pan with 8 cups of capacity or more would work great with this recipe.
To make mini bundt cakes, fill each baking cavity 2/3 full and bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. The bake time can vary based on the size of cavity, so keep a close eye on them and test them with a toothpick when you think they’re done.
Bake time can also vary based on the size of your bundt pan. I recommend checking in on your cake every 5 minutes once it’s been in the oven for 45 minutes.
How To Store This German Chocolate Pound Cake:
Store any leftover cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you make this cake in advance, the same rules apply 🙂
The cake portion can also be frozen for up to 1 month if stored in an airtight container. I recommend waiting to add the topping until you thaw the cake and plan to eat it.
Let Me Know What You Think!
If you try this german chocolate pound cake recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it!
Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (260 grams)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- 3/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder (75 grams)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (9 grams)
- 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
- 1 cup very hot water (237 grams)
- 2 tsp. instant espresso of coffee (6 grams)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (120 grams)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (128 grams)
- 1 cup melted butter (226 grams)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (8 grams)
- 2 eggs, room temperature (112 grams)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips - optional (90 grams)
Caramel Coconut Topping
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk (125 grams)
- 2 large egg yolks (36 grams)
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark (133 grams)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (56 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 1 cup shredded coconut - I prefer the sweetened type (100 grams)
- 1 cup chopped pecans (110 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (88 grams)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe
- Begin by preheating oven to 350°F. Generously grease your pound cake pan / bundt cake pan with baking spray or butter and a dusting of flour.
- Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup baking cocoa, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Whisk together until combined, then set aside.
- In a separate large bowl add 2 tsp instant espresso or instant coffee into 1 cup of hot water, and stir until dissolved. You can also use 1 cup of strong brewed coffee in place of the hot water / instant coffee mixture.
- Add in 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup melted butter, and 2 tsp vanilla extract into the instant espresso mixture. Give the mixture a quick stir with a whisk to combine the ingredients.
- Stir in 2 large eggs.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix by hand until fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from oven, and let the cake sit in the pan for about 15 minutes. Carefully invert the pan onto a wire rack to remove the cake from the pan. Let the cake finish cooling there.
German Chocolate Cake (Caramel Pecan) Topping
- While the chocolate cake bakes and cools, make the german chocolate cake topping.
- In a large saucepan combine 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 2 egg yolks, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Cook the mixture over a medium heat, being sure to stir constantly until the mixture thickens and starts to boil. It's important to stir constantly or else the egg yolks will scramble! This usually takes about 7-10 minutes. Test the mixture by dragging a rubber spatula through the mixture and against bottom of the pan. If it's ready, you should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds before the filling covers it.
- Remove the filling from heat and pour into a large bowl.
- Fold in 1 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup chopped pecans, and 1 tsp vanilla extract with a rubber spatula.
- Mix until the coconut and pecans are fully coated in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let the filling cool to room temperature.
- Make the chocolate glaze once you've added the topping onto the bundt cake.
- Place 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1/3 cup heavy cream in a heat proof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until it's gently bubbling.
- If you don’t have a microwave or prefer to use the stove top, you can heat the cream over a medium heat in a pan until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat.
- Gently pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips, making sure they are covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir slowly until the cream and chocolate are fully combined, and ganache is silky smooth.
Decorating This German Chocolate Pound Cake
- To decorate this german chocolate pound cake, top the cake with the coconut pecan topping using a large spoon or cookie scoop.
- Spread out the topping with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon until the top of the cake is fully covered.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate glaze over the coconut topping, then garnish with a sprinkle of additional coconut and chopped pecans.
This german chocolate pound cake recipe feeds about 20 people.
Using Different Types of Pans
I used this bundt pan to make this cake, which is about 10 inches across and has a capacity of 10 cups.
To make mini bundt cakes, fill each baking cavity 2/3 full and bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. The bake time can vary based on the size of cavity, so keep a close eye on them.
Bake time can also vary based on the size of your bundt pan. I recommend checking in on your cake every 5 minutes once it's been in the oven for 45 minutes.
How To Store This German Chocolate Pound Cake:
Store any leftover cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
It can also be frozen (topped or untopped) for up to 1 month if stored in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving Calories 396Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 85mgSodium 394mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 2gSugar 32gProtein 5g