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Craving a rich, decadent dessert that’s perfectly portioned? Try this Mini German Chocolate Cake recipe. Baked in a 5×7 inch dish, this smaller version of the classic treat features a moist dark chocolate cake and a unique coconut-pecan frosting. Whether for a special celebration or just a treat for yourself, this mini cake is sure to impress with its delicious flavors and irresistible topping.

Looking for more delightful mini cake recipes? Explore our rich Devil’s Food Cake, unique Hummingbird Cake, indulgent Texas Sheet Cake, timeless Pound Cake, and vibrant Red Velvet Cake.

Why You’ll Love This Small German Chocolate Cake Recipe

  1. Perfect Size: Ideal for small gatherings or a personal treat.
  2. Rich Flavor: Deep chocolate combined with a sweet and nutty frosting.
  3. Simple Ingredients: Made with common pantry items.
  4. Easy to Make: Clear, straightforward steps for any level of baker.
a single slice of German Chocolate Cake on a white plate next to the rest of the cake in a blue baking dish.

What Is German Chocolate Cake?

This Mini German Chocolate Cake is a single-layer delight baked in a small dish, different from the traditional layered version. It features a rich chocolate base topped with coconut-pecan frosting. Despite the name, this cake isn’t from Germany; it’s named after Samuel German, the American baker who created the dark baking chocolate used in it. Our version simplifies the classic into an easy, yet equally delicious, single-layer cake.

Ingredients

German Chocolate Cake ingredients on a kitchen counter.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this mini German chocolate cake recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

For the Cake

  • Flour: The foundation of the cake, providing structure and a soft texture. All-purpose flour works best for its balance of protein content, ensuring the cake is neither too dense nor too fluffy. For a gluten-free German Chocolate Cake, use a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend.
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder: These are leavening agents that help the cake rise. Baking soda reacts with acidic ingredients (like sour cream) for lift, while baking powder adds volume.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt is crucial to balance the sweetness and bring out the chocolate flavor.
  • Butter: Adds richness and moisture to the cake. Butter’s creaminess contributes to the soft crumb of the cake. Use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Sugar & Brown Sugar: Sugar sweetens the cake, while brown sugar adds a hint of molasses flavor and extra moisture, contributing to a tender crumb. If you don’t have any brown sugar, consider making a small batch of brown sugar with just molasses and granulated sugar.
  • Egg: An egg binds the ingredients together and contributes to the cake’s structure and stability.
  • Vegetable, Canola, or Avocado Oil: Oil keeps the cake moist. They’re neutral in flavor, ensuring the chocolate and coconut flavors shine. Use either type of oil.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the overall flavor of the cake, adding a subtle depth to the chocolate.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Provides the rich chocolate flavor essential to German Chocolate Cake. Unsweetened cocoa powder ensures the chocolate flavor is prominent without adding extra sugar. Extra cocoa powder can be used in a small batch of Chocolate Scones and Brownies.
  • Hot Coffee: The heat from the coffee helps to bloom the cocoa powder, intensifying the chocolate flavor. Coffee also adds depth and complexity to the cake’s taste profile.
  • Sour Cream: Adds moisture and a slight tanginess, balancing the sweetness. It also interacts with baking soda for a tender texture. If you have leftover sour cream, consider using it in a Chicken and Rice Casserole, a small batch of Corn Muffins, and in a creamy Hot Spinach Dip.

For the German Chocolate Cake Frosting

  • Butter: Creates a smooth, rich base for the frosting.
  • Brown Sugar: Gives the frosting a deep, caramel-like sweetness.
  • Egg Yolk: Thickens the frosting and adds richness. Save the egg white to use in any of our egg white recipes like Coconut Macaroons and a mini Texas Sheet Cake.
  • Heavy Cream: Provides creaminess and a smooth consistency to the frosting. Use any extra heavy cream in a Mini French Silk Pie, Tiramisu, or even Fettuccine Alfredo!
  • Vanilla: Complements the sweet, nutty flavors of the frosting.
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut & Chopped Pecans: These are signature to German Chocolate Cake frosting, adding texture, nuttiness, and a sweet, tropical flavor. Coconut and pecans can also be found in our Ambrosia, Butter Pecan Granola, and Cowboy Cookies recipes.

Recipe Variations

Explore these creative twists to personalize your German chocolate cake, making it even more delightful for any occasion.

  • Rich Chocolate Frosting: Swap out the traditional German chocolate cake frosting for a chocolate version that can be found in our mini Devil’s Food Cake recipe.
  • Add Espresso: Enhance the chocolate flavor with a shot of espresso instead of coffee.
  • Nut-Free German Chocolate Cake: Skip the pecans in the frosting for a nut-free chocolate cake.
  • Mini Layered Cakes: Use two 10-ounce ramekins for baking and create a layered effect by adding a layer of frosting between the two cakes once baked.
  • Spiced German Chocolate Cake: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the batter for a spicy twist.
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How To Make A German Chocolate Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make this small German chocolate cake recipe. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preparing the Cake: Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Lightly grease a 5×7-inch baking dish and put it aside.
flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  1. Mixing Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Keep this mixture aside for later use.
butter and sugar creamed together in a mixing bowl.
  1. Creaming Butter and Sugars: In a medium-sized bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  1. Adding Egg, Oil, and Vanilla: Switch the mixer to low speed and first add the egg, followed by the oil and vanilla, beating them until they are well incorporated.
  2. Combining Cocoa and Coffee: In another small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with hot coffee until you get a smooth mixture.
german chocolate cake batter and coffee whisked together in a small mixing bowl.
  1. Mixing in Chocolate: On low speed, gradually mix the chocolate-coffee mixture into the batter.
incorporating flour and sour cream into the german chocolate cake batter.
  1. Incorporating Flour and Sour Cream: Continue with the mixer on low, slowly add half of the flour mixture, then blend in the sour cream. Follow this by adding the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
German chocolate cake batter in a small rectangular baking dish.
  1. Baking the Cake: Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.
a small baked and unfrosted German Chocolate Cake cooling on a kitchen counter.
  1. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick or a sharp knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
German chocolate cake frosting simmering in a pot on the stove.
  1. Making the Frosting: While the cake cools, start preparing the frosting. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves. Add the egg yolk and cream, constantly stirring until the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Pro Tip: If you see egg pieces in the frosting, stir vigorously until they dissolve.

homemade german chocolate cake frosting cooling in a small saucepan.
  1. Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla, toasted pecans, and coconut. Allow the frosting to cool completely; it will thicken further as it cools.
  1. Frosting the Cake: Once the cake and frosting have cooled, evenly spread the coconut pecan filling over the top of the cake. You can garnish with extra toasted pecans and coconut if you like.
a mini German Chocolate Cake on a silver tray surrounded by pecans.

Serving Size and Portion Control: This mini cake is ideal for 4-6 servings, depending on portion size. If serving as part of a larger dessert spread, consider slicing smaller portions.

Expert Tips

  • Read through the entire recipe and the Ingredient Notes section of the post and gather your ingredients. We provide a lot of information within the body of this recipe post to ensure that your German Chocolate Cake comes out perfectly every time. This cake comes together quickly so it’s a good idea to fully understand the recipe and have everything ready before beginning.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure ingredients like eggs and butter are at room temperature for better mixing.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the batter just until ingredients are combined to keep the cake tender.
  • Properly Measure Flour: Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level off with a knife for accuracy.
  • Frosting Consistency: Cook the frosting until it thickens to ensure it spreads well and sets on the cake.

Serving Suggestions

  • Vanilla Ice Cream: For a creamy contrast.
  • Fresh Berries: Adds a fresh, tangy flavor.
  • Whipped Cream: Lightens each bite.
  • Hot Coffee or Tea: Complements the rich chocolate.
  • Dusting of Cocoa Powder: For an elegant finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size baking dish should I use?

For best results, it’s recommended to use a 5×7 inch baking dish.

How do I store leftover German chocolate cake?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze German chocolate cake?

Yes, freeze without frosting for up to 3 months.

What should I do if my German chocolate cake frosting is too thin?

Ensure you’ve cooked the frosting long enough to evaporate excess liquid and achieve the desired thickness. If it’s still too thin, chilling the frosting in the fridge might help it set. Conversely, if your frosting is overly thick, you can thin it by adding a small amount of cream or milk.

Can I make German chocolate cake in advance?

You can bake the cake a day in advance. Once cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Make the frosting on the day of serving for the best texture and flavor.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve made this mini German chocolate cake recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Please rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snapped a photo? Tag us on Instagram; we’d be thrilled to see your creation!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Mini German Chocolate Cake

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Bake an easy Mini German Chocolate Cake with rich flavor and moist texture. Perfect for small occasions or a personal treat, ready to impress anyone!

Ingredients 
 

For the cake

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter -softened (room temperature)
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar -packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tablespoon avocado oil or use vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot coffee
  • ¼ cup sour cream

For the frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar -packed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
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Instructions 

Make the cake

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
    Lightly grease a 5×7-inch baking dish and put it aside.
  • In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Keep this mixture aside for later use.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  • Switch the mixer to low speed and first add the egg, followed by the oil and vanilla, beating them until they are well incorporated.
  • In another small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with hot coffee until you get a smooth mixture.
  • On low speed, gradually mix the chocolate-coffee mixture into the batter.
  • Continue with the mixer on low, slowly add half of the flour mixture, then blend in the sour cream. Follow this by adding the remaining flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish.
    Pro Tip: Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick or a sharp knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Make the frosting

  • While the cake cools, start preparing the frosting. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves. 
  • Add the egg yolk and cream, constantly stirring until the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
    Pro Tip: If you see egg pieces in the frosting, stir vigorously until they dissolve.
  • Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla, toasted pecans, and coconut. Allow the frosting to cool completely; it will thicken further as it cools.
  • Once the cake and frosting have cooled, evenly spread the coconut pecan filling over the top of the cake. You can garnish with extra toasted pecans and coconut if you like.

Notes

  • Read through the entire recipe and the Ingredient Notes section of the post and gather your ingredients. We provide a lot of information within the body of this recipe post to ensure that your German Chocolate Cake comes out perfectly every time. This cake comes together quickly so it’s a good idea to fully understand the recipe and have everything ready before beginning.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure ingredients like eggs and butter are at room temperature for better mixing.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the batter just until ingredients are combined to keep the cake tender.
  • Properly Measure Flour: Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level off with a knife for accuracy.
  • Frosting Consistency: Cook the frosting until it thickens to ensure it spreads well and sets on the cake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 607kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 168mg, Sodium: 413mg, Potassium: 259mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 1038IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. Linda Fielder says:

    This was delicious. I used a loaf pan. Will make again.

  2. Gloria Perez says:

    Delicious thank you

  3. Kathy N says:

    I made this yesterday to share with my elderly mom and I am struggling not to eat the entire thing myself! I love the dark, rich cake and the frosting is delicious. German Chocolate has always been one of my faves!

    You’ve done it once again, Joanie! I am a devout ODK fan.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you so much!

  4. LC says:

    Hi. I feel I need to add to my previous rating to say that the chocolate cake portion of the recipe is one of the best I’ve ever made – super chocolatey! I baked for about 33 to 34 minutes.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake.

  5. LC says:

    Very good recipe. After icing I put cake under broiler to broil icing.

  6. Dorothy says:

    I am eager to try this recipe. It’s just hubby and myself at home now so I don’t need to cook great quantities. He loves German Chocolate Cake, so this will be his birthday gift.
    On the printed instructions, (I still print recipes) for the frosting, the steps for stiring in the vanilla, pecans and coconut were left off. Just thought you should know. 😀

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you. We added that information to the recipe card.

  7. Pam says:

    Thank you so much!

  8. Brenda says:

    The one serving German Chocolate Cake turned out perfect however the cake was more like devils food and not German chocolate. Any suggestions how to make it less devils food?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m happy to hear your cake was a success! The super moist dark chocolate base is our unique twist for added richness. It does differ from the classic German Chocolate Cake, giving it that devil’s food-like depth. Thanks for trying our recipe!

  9. Susan Mann says:

    Love the recipes reduced for baking for one, because there are many single widowed seniors & unattached young people who would love to cook more, but they waste what food they don’t readily eat within a few days

  10. J. Hegyi says:

    Terrific recipe.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you!