Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

If you like chocolate and coconut and caramel…read on.

This Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake is much more than what the title let’s on. I used to enjoy the occasional traditional German Chocolate cake, until I tried this wonderfully twisted version! It is topped with a lovely ganache, which is not found anywhere in the traditional cake. I found the recipe on Epicurious, and as usual, made a few changes; nothing drastic, but I did take out the (completely uneccessary) corn syrup in the ganache topping, and used cream instead of 10 oz of butter (that’s a lot of butter)!

If you think you can’t bake, this is a cake to try, as the chocolate batter is very easy to mix together, and there’s no need to slice off the top of the cake to make it level. And if you can open a can and chop nuts, you’ve got the filling down, and the ganache is simply a matter of mixing chocolate and cream together, waiting until it’s the right consistency and pouring it over the top of the assembled cake. No spreading any icing, or cake decorating experience necessary! It has lots of steps and takes time, but it is not difficult!

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

adapted from an Epicurious recipe



  • 1 1/2 cups (11 oz) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (1 3/4 oz) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (use a good quality cocoa!)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) buttermilk
  • 6 tbsp (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) boiling-hot water


  • 3 cups (7 oz) unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 cup (4 oz) finely chopped nuts (I used almonds due to an nut allergy, but would recommend using pecans as in the original recipe)
  • 14 oz sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Ganache Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cup (10 oz) heavy cream
  • 10 oz good quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, chunks or pieces

Preheat oven to 350º F (175º C)

Prepare 3 9″ round cake pans (if you only have two, you will have to bake 2 layers first, then wash one pan and bake the third) by buttering them, then cutting a piece of wax or parchment paper the size of the bottom, and placing it inside. Trace the pan on top of the paper, then cut a little on the inside of the marking. Very simple.


Sift together the first 6 (dry) ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.

In a measuring jug, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and place in mixing bowl (I use a Kitchenaid mixer).

Pour into the sifted dry ingredients onto the liquid in the bowl.

Beat at a low speed on mixer; scrape down the sides with a spatula, then mix at high speed for one minute. Return the speed to low, and pour in boiling-hot water and mix well, using spatula to scrape the sides so the thin batter is evenly mixed.

Divide the mixture evenly into the 3 prepared pans.

Bake 2 pans in the upper third of the oven, and one in the lower third.

After about 13 minutes, reverse the trays, and turn them 180 degrees so they bake evenly.

Continue to bake for another 7 to 12 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans about 15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edges and remove from the pans. Peel off the paper and allow to cool completely on a metal rack.


Reduce the oven temperature to 325º F (160º C).

Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet and the chopped nuts on another.

Place the coconut in the lower third of the oven and the nuts in the upper.

Bake for about 8 minutes, then stir both and check for browning.

Remove if slightly toasted, if not continue for another few minutes, then remove from oven.

Increase oven temperature to 425º F (220º C).

(while the milk is baking, make the ganache-see below)

 Pour the condensed milk into a pie dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Place the dish in a deep pan and carefully fill with water until it comes halfway up the dish.

Bake for 45 minutes, then refill the water and bake for another 45 minutes, or until the milk is thick and darker. Remove from water bath.

Stir the toasted coconut and nuts into the thickened condensed milk and mix well.

Keep warm until ready to fill cake.


Place the heavy cream and chocolate in a pot over low heat and stir until evenly combined and smooth.

Remove from heat immediately, and allow to cool slightly, stirring from time to time.


Spread half of the coconut filling on top of one layer of cake while still on the cooling rack.

Using a wet spatula helps the filling not to stick.

Top with another cake layer and repeat with the remaining coconut filling, and top with the last layer of cake.

Place the cooling rack with the cake on top, over a tray to catch the dripping ganache.

Make sure the ganache is not too warm, or all of it will run off the cake, but not too cool, or none of it will spread.

You can check by pouring it onto the back of a spoon to see how it runs off.

Slowly pour the ganache onto the center of the cake, allowing it to run off the ides.

You may need to tip the tray a little to “help” the ganache run off all the edges evenly.

 After all the ganache is poured, place the cake and tray in the fridge for at least an hour.

can you taste this yet?

Once the chocolate ganache has set, place the cake on a serving plate.

I have a Wilton cake lifter (like a big scraper) which works extremely well to move cakes.

Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving.


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12 Responses

  1. wrote on

    Chris this cake looks sensational and I bet it tasted even better! Can I have a piece now with my coffee please? :-)

    • wrote on

      Oh, it’s already all gone! Wish I could pass you things to try through the computer screen! Wouldn’t that be lovely!!? Thanks, Rachel! CC

  2. wrote on

    Stunningly beautiful! My birthday is coming up in a few weeks … I think I’ll make this one for myself as a special treat!

    • wrote on

      Why not? Happy early birthday, Susan!! ;)

  3. wrote on

    I am over the moon that i found your blog! It is truly wonderful!!! I am a self taught cook and love cooking for my family(who love to eat) but am always looking for ways to learn more and greatly improve. Love everything here and all your tips.
    Thank you!
    Pamela :)

    • wrote on

      You made my day, Pamela! Thank you for your lovely comments! I am so happy you are enjoying what you see and hope you will visit often! Please let me know if you have any questions on my recipes as I’d be happy to help if I can! Have a great day! CC

  4. wrote on

    Put chocolate, coconut and caramel together and I’m there. This looks heavenly.

  5. wrote on

    […] recipes you may enjoy~ Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake Summer Berry Meringue Roulade Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting LA Living… […]

  6. wrote on

    […] if you have more insight on this in the comments below. Ta! Other gorgeous cakes you can make~ Inside Out German Chocolate Cake Way Better Than Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf Banana Nutella Swirl Bundt Cake with Coffee Icing […]


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