German Chocolate Upside Down Cake

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake - delicious and way easier than making a three layer cake!
Have you ever wanted something super amazing but didn’t feel like putting the effort in? Like, you want to eat fancy steakhouse food but you really only feel like ordering a pizza?
Yeah, happens to me all the dang time. As soon as I decide to make a recipe that is complicated and time cosuming, life magically fills up with 18 billion other things.
easy upside down cake with a gooey coconut and pecan topping
There is this quote I just love for situations like this. Did you ever watch the show Deadwood? Its an old HBO Series set in the 1870’s in Deadwood, South Dakota. There is this character, Al Swearengen (who was a real person, by the way). In one episode he says “Announcing your plans is the best way to hear God laugh.” Isn’t that just the best? I feel like it pretty much sums up… life!
German Chocolate Upside Down Cake - Amazing chocolate cake with a gooey topping
I have been planning on making a german chocolate cake for a few weeks now, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Sure, I suppose I could have woken up early one morning and baked a cake – but who wants to do that when your children already wake up at 6am sharp? Instead I decided to create a cheater cake – all the best parts of a german chocolate cake, but with half the work. And without resorting to a box of cake mix. YES! Now we are talking!
German Chocolate Upside Down Cake - The Gingered Whisk

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake 

The end result is a gorgeous upside down cake with amazing flavor and texture, topped with a fantastic gooey pecan and coconut layer. Add a dollop of lightly sweetened whip cream and you’ve got one heck of a dessert. It’s perfect for potlucks and parties, and you can make it in a fraction of the time!
German Chocolate Upside Down Cake

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake

Yield: 16 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This German Chocolate Upside Down Cake has amazing flavor and texture, topped with a fantastic gooey pecan and coconut layer. Add a dollop of lightly sweetened whip cream and you’ve got one heck of a dessert.



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease 9x13 cake pan, and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper that perfectly fits the bottom.
  3. Pour the melted butter into the pan and spread over the bottom.
  4. Sprinkle on the brown sugar, pecans and coconut.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  8. Mix in the boiling water.
  9. Pour the cake batter over the brown sugar/pecan mixture.
  10. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and cream.y
  11. Slowly add the powdered sugar in and continue mixing until smooth.
  12. Dollop the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate batter.
  13. Place the 9x13 cake pan on top of a rimmed baking sheet (sometimes the cream cheese mixture boils out!) and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  14. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then invert onto a serving tray or baking sheet
  15. Allow to cool completely and then slice into pieces.
  16. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 598 Total Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 445mg Carbohydrates: 76g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 60g Protein: 6g



Looking for other easy yet epic desserts? Try these!

Pumpkin Maple Gingerbread Cake with Whipped Earl Grey Frosting

Pumpkin Snack Cake

Easy Apple Roses






  • Reply
    Caroline @ Pinch Me, I'm Eating!
    February 20, 2016 at 4:18 AM

    This looks delicious! Isn't it great when you can throw something together in just a few minutes? I have a banana nut chocolate chip bread recipe like that that only uses one bowl. I was so tired last night but I'd been putting off making the bread for days and my bananas were about to go bad. When I actually decided to make it, it was in the oven in the amount of time my husband took a shower – not too bad!

    Also, did you notice we have the same font in our logos? Small world!

  • Reply
    Ahu @ Ahueats
    February 26, 2016 at 2:33 AM

    I'm the same way as well! Some days I'm a tasmanian devil of energies but some days I just want to order in. This cake looks DELICIOUS and I think it's begging for a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  • Reply
    Dan George
    August 11, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    This is a recipe for me, not a baker but I love cakes from scratch!

  • Reply
    Megan @ MegUnprocessed
    August 12, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Gorgeous presentation!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Thanks for this incredible cake recipe. I only used 4 ounces of powdered sugar but that means we can eat bigger slices, right?

    • Reply
      June 3, 2017 at 3:23 AM

      haha oh, definitely! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lynn Davis
    June 16, 2019 at 11:50 PM

    I just made this cake today 6-16-19. THIS IS THE BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER EATEN!!! thank you so much for this recipe! I will keep it in my “keeper’ stack….wow, just wow!!

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