This is the best coconut pecan frosting recipe! This German Chocolate cake frosting is made with sugar, cream, and egg yolks to create a creamy, gooey base, and don’t forget the butter (makes it so yummy), toasted pecans and toasted coconut.

Voila! You get the iconic frosting flavor we all love!

A saucepan with fresh made German Chocolate Cake Frosting in it.

German Chocolate Cake Frosting

If you’re making anything chocolate, then you’ll want to include this homemade coconut pecan frosting! 

Here’s a secret: I make German chocolate cake for my birthday cake every year — and it’s mostly because eating this coconut pecan frosting by the spoonfuls looks a little weird. 😂

But not to worry, you don’t need to make a cake just to enjoy this frosting. You can eat this frosting sandwiched between two double chocolate chip cookies or over vanilla ice cream. Get creative with it!

Overhead photo of German Chocolate Cake Frosting in a glass cup with toasted coconut and pecans around the perimeter of the cup.

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make coconut pecan frosting, on a white textured background.
  • Heavy cream — This gives us a creamy base to the frosting.
  • Granulated sugar — The provided sweetener, which when melted with the cream, butter and yolks will give a thick consistency, too.
  • Yolks — These will be cooked, so don’t worry!
  • Unsalted butter, cubed — I love the buttery flavor of this frosting!
  • Salt — If using salted butter, be sure to cut back on the amount of salt added here (about half).
  • Vanilla extract — Cream, butter, sugar + vanilla: We’re essentially creating a caramel-like frosting. Yum!
  • Pecans, toasted and finely chopped — I recommend toasting the pecans a bit in a saute pan or on a sheet pan in the oven, just to bring out a bit of their flavor.
  • Sweetened shredded coconut, toasted — Yes, you definitely must toast the coconut. Follow my easy instructions on how to toast coconut
A close up photo of finely chopped brown pecans.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the cream, sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally.  
  1. Bring to a low simmer and cook until thickened.
A saucepan with yellow thickened mixture in it, against a white background.
  1. Remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, toasted coconut and pecans. Mix to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
A saucepan with cubed butter, toasted coconut, and chopped pecans in it.
A saucepan with brown and tan colored coconut pecan frosting for a German Chocolate Cake.

Recipe Tips

This coconut pecan frosting recipe makes enough frosting to frost in between each layer of a three layer 8-inch cake. It doesn’t have enough to put on the outside of the cake, but traditionally, German Chocolate cakes don’t have the coconut pecan frosting on the outside. However, I like to add a chocolate buttercream frosting to the outside of my cakes every so often.

This recipe makes enough to frost 28 German chocolate cupcakes.

Toast the coconut!! If you don’t, the frosting’s texture and consistency will not be the same. The toasted pecans aren’t as important, but definitely helps with the flavor. 

Store: in an airtight container for 1 week. Before using the frosting, remove from the fridge an hour prior to frosting your baked goods to allow it to come to room temperature and be more spreadable. 

If you’re making this frosting for a German chocolate cake — in 3 layers — here’s how I’d assemble the cake: Cake, coconut pecan frosting, cake, coconut pecan frosting, cake, coconut pecan frosting. If you’re using a chocolate buttercream frosting, you can frost around the sides of the cake and then use a piping bag to pipe around the edges of the top layer. You can also do a naked cake with just the German chocolate cake frosting without the chocolate buttercream — honestly, it’s that good! 

A small glass jar full of German Chocolate Cake frosting with a spoon sticking in the jar too.

Use coconut pecan frosting on:

If you make this recipe and love it, I would be so grateful if you come back to leave a 5-star rating and review — this helps others find this recipe easier. Thank you! ❤️

A wooden spoon full of coconut pecan frosting with the saucepan of the remaining frosting in the background.
A saucepan with fresh made German Chocolate Cake Frosting in it.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Coconut Pecan Frosting

It's easy to make coconut pecan frosting from scratch. And let me just tell you, this is THE BEST homemade German chocolate cake frosting ever! We use sugar, cream, and egg yolks to create the creamy base then add butter (makes it so yummy), toasted pecans and toasted coconut to get the iconic frosting flavor we all love!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter - cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans - toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut - toasted

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan whisk the cream, sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally. 
  • Bring to a low simmer and cook until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, toasted coconut and pecans. Mix to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Notes

If you make this recipe and love it, I would be so grateful if you leave a rating and review on saltandbaker.com. Thank you!
Coconut: Toast the coconut! If you don’t, the frosting’s texture and consistency will not be the same.
Pecans: The toasted pecans aren’t as important, but definitely helps with the flavor.
Store: This frosting can store in an airtight container for 1 week. Before using the frosting remove from the fridge an hour prior to frosting your baked goods to allow it to come to room temperature and be more spreadable.
This recipe will frost 24 German Chocolate cupcakes.
Half this recipe to frost these German Chocolate brownies
Will frost a 3 tiered 8 inch German Chocolate Cake. (Will only frost in between layers, can keep the sides bare like in this Traditional German Chocolate Cake, or you have the option to use a chocolate buttercream to frost the outside edges of the cake). 

Nutrition

Calories: 4180kcal (209%)Carbohydrates: 309g (103%)Protein: 29g (58%)Fat: 330g (508%)Saturated Fat: 181g (905%)Trans Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1156mg (385%)Sodium: 1766mg (74%)Potassium: 1287mg (37%)Fiber: 18g (72%)Sugar: 282g (313%)Vitamin A: 7169IU (143%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 351mg (35%)Iron: 8mg (44%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
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