Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

german chocolate upside-down cake

(3 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Tam D
The Dalles, OR

Oh, this is an ooey-gooey delight, with a rich, chocolate POW! And it's ridiculously easy to make. I make my cake from scratch, 'cause that's how I roll, but I've given the directions for a cake mix. Either way, this is a fabulous no-fail dessert.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

German chocolate cake is a chocolate cake with a gooey coconut pecan frosting and filling. This recipe has all the flavors of a German Chocolate Cake, just baked in a 9x13 dish. On top, coconut and pecans form a crust. The cake part is filled with typical German chocolate flavor. Swirled through the batter, is a cream cheese mixture that creates ribbons in the cake. One baked, these have the texture of cookie bars or brownies. They're ooey and gooey, yet crunchy and airy.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(3 ratings)
yield 18 -24
prep time 15 Min
cook time 50 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For german chocolate upside-down cake

  • 1 c
    chopped pecans
  • 1 c
  • 1 pkg
    German chocolate cake mix*
  • 3 lg
  • 1/3 c
    vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c
    butter, room temp
  • 2 pkg
    cream cheese, room temp (8 oz each)
  • 3 1/2 c
    confectioners' sugar

How To Make german chocolate upside-down cake

  • Chopped pecans and coconut in a baking dish.
    Line a 13x9" baking pan with parchment paper that has been cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Spread the chopped pecans over the bottom of the pan. Then layer the coconut over the pecans.
  • Toasting the nuts and coconut in the oven.
    Toast the pecans and coconut in the oven briefly while it's preheating.
  • Cooling toasted coconut and nuts.
    Then remove the pan and let it cool.
  • Chocolate cake mix, vegetable oil, and eggs in a bowl.
    In a medium mixing bowl, combine and mix the chocolate cake mix, vegetable oil, and 3 eggs. Set aside.
  • Warming butter and cream cheese in the microwave.
    In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, heat the butter and cream cheese until they're warmed and soft.
  • Confectioners' sugar mixed into butter and cream cheese.
    Stir the confectioners' sugar into the cream cheese mixture, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  • Cake batter poured over coconut and nuts.
    Pour the cake mix batter evenly over the top of the pecans and coconut.
  • Creating ribbons in batter with cream cheese mixture.
    Spoon the cream cheese mixture in large ribbons down the length of the pan, over the top of the cake batter. Using a knife, gently swirl the mixture into the batter, being careful not to over-mix, or disturb the pecan and coconut layer.
  • German chocolate cake baking in the oven.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cake will be sticky when it's done.
  • Cake cooling.
    Let the cake rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Then turn it out onto a baking sheet, platter, or covered board.
  • Removing the parchment paper.
    When the cake has cooled, carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  • German chocolate cake ready to serve.
    Serve when completely cool.
  • Moist German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake.
    NOTES: For added nutrition and fiber, substitute coconut oil for some or all of the vegetable oil. You could also use a large springform pan, lined with parchment paper. I still have my old Tupperware rectangular cake taker, so I turn the cake out onto that -- works perfectly! *This recipe is easily made gluten-free by using a gluten-free chocolate cake mix.