German Chocolate Cake Frosting (Coconut Pecan Frosting) - CakeWhiz

German Chocolate Cake Frosting (Coconut Pecan Frosting)

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Quick and easy German chocolate cake frosting recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Also known as coconut pecan frosting. Rich, thick, creamy. Loaded with butter, brown sugar, toasted pecans and shredded coconut.

This is the best cake frosting you will ever taste. It is delicious anytime of year and for any type of celebration but I love making it during Fall and Thanksgiving. It will wow all of your guests with its rich and decadent flavor. Unlike typical icings which are very smooth, this one is chunky, thanks to the addition of lots of pecans and coconut. Make sure to add my Easy Maple Frosting (4 Ingredients) and Cinnamon Roll Icing (Without Cream Cheese) to your collection of delicious icings while you are at it.

Homemade Coconut Pecan Frosting in White Bowl

How To Make German Chocolate Cake Frosting (Coconut Pecan Frosting) From Scratch?

  1. Heat ingredients in saucepan until smooth- This includes butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk.
  2. Remove from heat- And pour whisked eggs while whisking vigorously.
  3. Heat again- Mix constantly until mixture thickens.
  4. Remove from heat– Mix in coconut and pecans.
  5. Let it cool completely– It will thicken a little more as it cools.

What Goes Well With Homemade German Chocolate Cake Icing?

The classic pairing is German chocolate cake, but it can also be used on other cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and bars. You can spread it with a spatula or use decorator tips for piping swirls and creating fancy cake decorations.

Since the icing is very sweet, it pairs best with desserts that are not too sweet. Anything semisweet or dark chocolate flavors compliments very well.


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Can you refrigerate coconut pecan frosting? Yes, it should be stored in a sealed container for 3-5 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

Can you freeze coconut pecan frosting? No, this is not recommended because it can separate while thawing.

How To Thicken Frosting?

The easiest way to do this is by cooking it longer until it’s reduced further. It will also thicken a little as it cools. So, keep that in mind when checking the consistency.

How To Make Frosting Thinner?

Simply add more milk! This frosting is thinner than a classic American buttercream and other classic frostings. Keep that in mind when you are making it.

Variations For German Chocolate Frosting/Icing

Use coconut sugar– You can use granulated sugar too. I like to use brown sugar because it tastes the best in my opinion but that does make the frosting darker.

Add extracts– Like vanilla or even maple or bourbon for a Fall twist on this icing.

Add unsweetened cocoa powder– Although it’t not a classic choice, it will add a lovely chocolate flavor that would balance the overwhelming sweetness very well.

Add mini chocolate chips- These can only be added, once the icing has cooled down completely or else they will melt.

Try other nuts- Pecans is the classic choice but you can use roughly chopped walnuts, almonds, pistachios.

Consider adding dried fruits- Such as roughly dried cranberries, dried apricots or even raisins.

Add spices- Such as cinnamon powder or pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice or ground nutmeg for a different flavor profile.

Spoonful of German Chocolate Cake Frosting- Closeup Shot

Tips And Techniques

MOST IMPORTANT TIP– Many recipes suggest adding eggs into the sugar mixture and then bring it to a boil. The biggest problem with that is the eggs can end up cooking and you will end up with bits of scrambled eggs in the frosting, which is awful. However, if you temper the whisked eggs withe hot sugar mixture away from direct heat, the eggs will not scramble. Do not omit this step!!

Evaporated milk vs. Condensed milk– You must use full fat evaporated milk because condensed milk has added sugars and that makes the frosting sickly sweet.

Pecans must be toasted– To provide an enhanced nutty flavor.

Cool completely before icing– This allows the icing to thicken further plus it prevents the cake from becoming a melted, sticky mess.

Use unsalted butter– Because it prevents the icing from becoming too salty.

Use sweetened shredded coconut– This enhances the flavor of the frosting and provides a greater sweetness.

Don’t replace butter with shortening – Because butter is richer and more flavorful than shortening and leads to a better overall taste.

Quantity– This recipe is enough to fill and frost an 8 inch round cake or 24 cupcakes. Recipe can easily be doubled by doubling the quantity of all the ingredients. Same steps will apply.

More Pecan Desserts

Coconut Pecan Frosting (German Chocolate Cake Frosting)

Quick and easy German chocolate cake frosting recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Also known as coconut pecan frosting. Rich, thick, creamy. Loaded with butter, brown sugar, toasted pecans and shredded coconut.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chill time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade coconut pecan frosting
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 976kcal
Author: Abeer Rizvi


  • 1/2 cup Butter Unsalted
  • 1 cup Brown sugar Or you can use 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup Evaporated milk
  • 3 Eggs Large, Whisked
  • 2 cups Shredded coconut Sweetened
  • 1 cup Pecans Chopped, Toasted
  • 2 German chocolate cake Round, Dimensions: 8×2


  • In a medium-size nonstick saucepan, add butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk. Mix and cook over medium heat until you have a smooth mixture.
  • Remove this mixture from heat when it's at a simmer and not vigorously boiling.
  • Gradually, pour whisked eggs while whisking vigorously until all the eggs have been incorporated.
  • Place the saucepan back on medium heat.
  • Continue cooking on medium heat, while mixing constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. 
  • Remove from heat and mix in coconut and pecans.
  • Let it cool completely as it will thicken slightly more as it cools. Then, enjoy it on a layered German chocolate cake.


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • This recipe is enough to fill and frost an 8 inch round cake.
  • If the frosting is too thin, you can cook it for longer until it’s reduced further. If it’s too thick, you can thin it out by mixing in some milk.  


Calories: 976kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 270mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 81g | Vitamin A: 1405IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 310mg | Iron: 2mg

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