German Chocolate Cake

Mini German Chocolate Cakes ~ Like Levis to jeans, German Chocolate Cake is an American classic when it comes to cakes.

German Chocolate Cake

Mini German Chocolate Cake

Small in size, large in flavor and forever popular in my house, I decided to flip the standard  German Chocolate Cake into minis.

Yes, I know I’m a mini fanatic. Although a little more work than making one cake or cupcakes, I much prefer mini cakes for their curb appeal. Aside from that, I like the even bite of filling and frosting rather than the gob of sugar sweetness on the top of a cupcake. I also prefer serving a fully decorated mini cake rather than a slice. Call me a nutcase, I call it packaging. I’m a sucker for well designed packaging and that includes cakes.

A few notes:

  • I adapted David Lebovitz’s recipe and changed the filling recipe to include cream of coconut for flavor and added more pecans and coconut to balance out the texture.
  • I left the sides bare for a more deconstructed look.  With that, I changed the original chocolate frosting to an easy three ingredient version. This pared down chocolate frosting is perfect for a simple top layer pour.
  • Unfilled mini cakes can be made two days in advance and kept on the counter in an airtight container.
  • If you decide not to make mini’s, use a 9 inch cake pan.

Mini German Chocolate Cakes

Yields 24 2×2 Mini cakes

Chocolate Cake

*Preparation:  Butter each cake ring and place on parchment lined cookie sheet or butter one 9 inch cake pan and line with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350°.



  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 11/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of cream of coconut
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum

Chocolate Sauce:

  • 4 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup



  1. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  5. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.
  6. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.
  7. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool cake layers completely.

While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.


  1. Add the cream, cream of coconut, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly making sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)
  4. Pour the hot mixture immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture bowl and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. Filling will thicken will upon standing.


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat, let cool for 3 minutes and stir in the dark rum.

Chocolate Sauce:

1. Add chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and place over water (not on water) and stir occasionally. Remove from heat when chocolate  and butter is melted and combined. Allow to cool until chocolate is cool when a dab is placed on your lip, about 5-8 minutes. Add corn syrup and stir.


  1. Cut mini cakes into 4 layers with each being an 1/8 inch thick. Brush each layer with syrup.
  2. Spead one teaspoon of filling on the top of bottom layer, place another layer and repeat filling layer until each layer is filled except the top.
  3. Pour chocolate on top and place a few chopped pecan pieces to finish.

Adapted from David Lebovitz

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  1. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMichelle Torres says

    Oh My Goodness!!!! These are so stinking adorable, and further more, they look like they would taste so delish!!!!! Oh I must give this recipe a try!!! Thanks for so much inspiration!!!!

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Nothing wrong with mini at all! Was initially trying to figure out what the filling was, strangely enough I thought it was onions! 😛 Huge sigh of relief when I saw it was actually coconut, heh.

  3. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

    I totally have to agree with you about the appeal of minis over cupcakes. The frosting/filling ration to cake is so important and cupcakes always leave a little disappointed.

  4. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I totally agree Naomi! Mini anything are better to eat and they are pretty (= Portable and delicious. Some even say its great for portion control, I say HA whatever, i’ll end up eating them all hehe

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Oo, I love anything mini. And the boy loves German Chocolate cake. And so, I think I’ll have to make these.
    Also, gorgeous presentation…I love how the chocolate sauce is just slightly dripping down the side. Great shots.

  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLynne @ CookandBeMerry says

    I love mini deserts, too. Little cute things that are just a couple of bites. Your photos are mouthwatering and inspirational. Thanks for this yummy recipe.

  7. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Wow, I would love to eat one of those. I think the cake looks much more impressive in mini size like this. Plus, there is just nothing better than having your own little cake on your plate. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  8. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMary says

    These look delicious! I am loving all your mini cakes. Where did you get a mini cake pan? Thanks.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — October 19th, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

      Hi Mary,

      I used cake rings on this, but you can also use Chicago’s Metallic Mini Cheesecake pan if you have one. If you don’t have one you can find one at Sur La Table, William Sonoma or Amazon.


  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Miniature always makes food 10 x better, fun, yummy…and gives me the ability to eat way more than I should. :) I love these! They are beautiful and look mouth-watering-ly delicious.

  10. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Hey :-)
    Remember your Pumpkin Brownie Bites and that I said, I would try to bake them?
    Well, I did it (ok, I made normal Brownie Bars) and it was gorgeus! They were so delicious that I ate a whole bunch of it all by myself.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe :-)
    And these mini cakes look great, too. You really have a knack in creating miniature baking wonders.
    So, gotte leave now, best wishes from Germany /wave

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — October 21st, 2010 @ 5:24 am

      Hi Roguegirl,

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for coming back to let me know.


  11. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonashley says

    where did you get your mini cake pan from?? what does it look like?! these are so adorable! and my love loves german chocolate cake

  12. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonKaren says

    Hello! Made these today, they came out great! Not too sweet and I love it when the mini cake soaks syrup… I used dark and unsweetened chocolate for the cake and added 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder. My mini cakes came out soft and crumbly but the syrup made everything moist and a bit compact and easy to cut in the middle. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  13. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonCindyB says

    Couldn’t you just bake the cake in washed and dried and “pammed” cans? My Mom used to bake apple bread in soup cans and it came out perfectly and you could slice it.

    Just wondering if that would work….

  14. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonNicole says

    What size of cake rings do you use and how long do you bake for when you make minis?

  15. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBenita says

    I have the same question as the last person…What size of cake rings and how long do you bake them for when you make minis? Where do you get cake rings?