Skip to Content

Great Grandma’s German Chocolate Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

Thanks for sharing!

My great grandma topped her german chocolate cake with a coconut frosting, but it’s different than what you may be thinking.  It’s a broiled coconut frosting! You just have to try this!

German chocolate cake on glass plate topped with broiled coconut frosting.

       I never had the pleasure of knowing my Great-Grandma Peggy.  But all of the stories I have heard about her make her seem like a spunky yet classy lady.  I know my Great-Grandpa Buchsbaum was head over heals for her and it seems like they had quite the life together.  

My Maw-Maw, her daughter and my maternal grandmother, recently sent a few more family recipes for me to try.  Of course I couldn’t wait to give this cake a go!

Slice of three layer cake with light chocolate layers and broiled coconut topping between them.

     The cake itself comes together pretty easily.  Just a few simple ingredients and a big old bowl and you are ready to rock.

 It makes 3 nice sized 9 inch round cakes.  Then you pile them up with a coconut frosting and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes to toast up the top of the coconut and make the frosting extra luscious.  

Maw-Maw seems to remember them serving this as individual one layer cakes.  That would probably be the practical thing to do.  

I was not feeling all that practical and stacked them up!  It was a lot more fun to present that way, but it realistically would have been a lot easier to cut and serve in single layers.

Two slices of German chocolate cake with broiled coconut frosting on glass plates ready to eat.

     Either way you decide to serve it, you should definitely give it a go.  The cake was nice and moist with a great crumb and the broiled frosting made it stand out from the standard German chocolate cakes.  

This is the first time I can remember broiling a frosting and it was kind of fun! Have you ever made a broiled frosting before?

My great-grandma was also known for her french butter cake with fudge frosting.  It was my mom’s birthday request every year.  You should check out that recipe as well!

If you are looking for the more known German chocolate cake with gooey coconut frosting, I have a recipe for that too!

Yield: 16 Servings (3 9-inch cakes)

Great Grandma's German Chocolate Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

German chocolate cake on glass plate topped with broiled coconut frosting.

My great grandma topped her German chocolate cake with a coconut frosting, but it’s different than what you may be thinking.  It’s a broiled coconut frosting! You just have to try this!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 4 oz. German’s Sweet Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup bag shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or additional coconut)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare 3 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Melt chocolate in boiling water.  
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg yolks and beat until well mixed.  Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. 
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined.  Stir in the butter milk and then the remaining flour mixture, beating until smooth.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff.  Fold about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  6. Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until they test done.  
  7. Cool for about 10 minutes and then turn onto wire racks to finish cooling.
  8. To make the frosting, blend the ingredients together. Spread over the tops of the cakes and broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please view my disclosure page for more information.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

My great grandma topped her German chocolate cake with a coconut frosting, but it’s different than what you may be thinking.  It’s a broiled coconut frosting! You just have to try this!

Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Jarrell

Friday 28th of October 2016

Oh yum! I've been thinking about chocolate cake a lot lately which tells me it's time to make some 😀 I'm intrigued by the broiled frosting, I've never heard of that technique. I can't wait to try!


Saturday 29th of October 2016

You definitely need to make some!! This was my first time making a broiled frosting too and it was so much fun!It was a perfect way to toast some of the coconut, caramelize some sugar and allow some butter to melt into the cake, mmmmmmm!


Wednesday 26th of October 2016

Oh my gosh, this sounds divine!! My grandmother made a Lazy Daisy cake with a broiled frosting, but I never seem to think to make it!



Wednesday 26th of October 2016

Do you have it on your blog? I'd love to see it!!! Thank you!


Tuesday 25th of October 2016

Oh wow...does this ever sound delicious! :)

I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!


Wednesday 26th of October 2016

Thank you!


Sunday 23rd of October 2016

My sweet tooth is now screaming for attention! Loudly! LOL I love German Chocolate Cake and this one is begging to get made. I love hearing about your family history, you come from a long line of inventive cooks and bakers, so cool to have recipes that you have received from family. I cannot imagine how good the icing is with a bit of broil and a little caramelization. OMG!!!


Tuesday 25th of October 2016

Ha! My sweet tooth is a loud mouth (and it likes company!) I am lucky to have so many fun family recipes to make, that is for sure!

The Better Baker

Friday 21st of October 2016

Looks fabulous! And you know if it's worthy of being passed down for generations, it's gotta be good. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck.


Saturday 22nd of October 2016

Thanks, Marsha! It is really good and so much fun to bake some of the same recipes that so many generations of my family have enjoyed!

Skip to Recipe