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close up of a piece of german chocolate sheet cake on a white plate
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5 from 1 vote

German Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

This German Chocolate Sheet Cake is a thin, fudgy, ultra-moist slice of decadent heaven topped with the buttery, nutty, toasty crunch of pecans and coconut in a crazy-easy, crackly warm glaze.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: German Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe
Servings: 24
Calories: 304kcal



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut Pecan Glaze

  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread the pecans and sweetened coconut out on a 18" x 13" baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and golden.


  • Combine the butter, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan on a medium heat until until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  • Stir the hot butter and cocoa mixture into to the dry ingredients.
  • Add the lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and stir until combined.  
  • Butter the 18" x 13" sheet pan and pour in the batter, spreading to the edges for a consistent thickness.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


  • While the cake is baking, bring to a boil the butter, cocoa, and buttermilk for the glaze in the saucepan used earlier on a medium heat. Remove from heat after it reaches a boil.
  • Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Stir the toasted pecans and coconut into the glaze, EXCLUDING 1/4 cup of each to be sprinkled on top.
  • When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and pour the hot glaze onto the hot cake, using the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread to the edges of the cake.
  • Sprinkle the reserved pecans and coconut on top of the glazed cake.


  1. A slightly smaller cookie sheet may be used, but the bake time may be a few minutes longer, as the cake will be thicker.
  2. Standard, unsweetened baking cocoa may be substituted, but use 1 teaspoon of baking soda in place of the baking powder.


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg