German Chocolate Cake vs. Chocolate Cake: Differences & Which Is Better?

German Chocolate Cake Vs Chocolate Cake
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You have probably heard about the German chocolate cake, but you have no idea why this cake is so special, and in what ways it is different from regular chocolate cake. Well, these two types of cakes have many differences, and you might be surprised by their actual features and properties. So, what are the differences between German chocolate cake and ordinary chocolate cake?

Regular chocolate cake is characterized by layers of chocolate batter and chocolate cream. It is usually decorated with chocolate ganache. German chocolate cake is known for rich caramel-flavored layers between layers of chocolate batters. This cake is quite moist, and it always includes flaked coconut and pecans.

This article is focused on the similarities and differences between German chocolate cake and chocolate cake. Although these desserts might seem really similar, they have several different features that make them unique. Once you learn their properties, you will easily distinguish them.

What Is the Difference Between German Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Cake? 

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that German chocolate cake does not originate from Germany. The actual origin of the recipe is not known, but it is determined that it does not have any ties with Germany. 

Similarly, the origin of regular chocolate cake is also not stated. Still, it is a well-known fact that the Americans first introduced the addition of chocolate to the cake batter.

Since their origins are not clear and they have a lot of similar features, most people think that these cakes are the same. However, there are some significant differences, and once you acknowledge them, you will understand why they are two different types of cakes. 


The German chocolate cake and chocolate cake ingredients are quite different, although their flavors might taste similar. Namely, German chocolate cake is made of sweet chocolate, while regular chocolate cake contains unsweetened chocolate. In addition, German cake has layers of sugar frosting, which contributes to the sweetness.

The chocolate in both cakes is mixed with sugar. However, because German chocolate cake is made of sweet chocolate, this cake is sweeter than regular chocolate cake. 

Furthermore, both of the cakes include eggs in their content. However, the regular chocolate cake contains one or two fewer eggs than the German chocolate cake. That is why the latter’s texture is fluffier than the texture of the former. 

Three ingredients distinguish German chocolate cake from other chocolate cakes: sugar frosting, flaked coconut, and chopped pecans. If you don’t see these ingredients present, it is not the German chocolate cake you are looking at. Thanks to them, this cake is a little bit crunchy.

Lastly, flour is also an ingredient in which these two cakes differ. German chocolate cake is made of cake flour which contributes to the cake’s fluffiness. The regular cake uses all-purpose flour because that is how this cake becomes dense and moist. 


When you look at both German chocolate cake and chocolate cake, you might not be able to see any difference. However, their textures differ a lot, and although they cannot be seen with the naked eye, you will notice the change in your mouth once you take a bite. The texture of the German chocolate cake melts in your mouth, while the texture of the chocolate cake is chewier in a way. 

German chocolate cake is known to be fluffier and moister than regular chocolate cake. The ordinary chocolate cake is denser and drier than the German chocolate cake. Both cakes are characterized by smooth textures. However, they are differently tasted in the mouth. 


Frosting makes a significant difference since it can be visibly seen even without tasting the cake. Namely, the regular chocolate cake contains regular chocolate frosting, such as chocolate ganache. However, icing does not only refer to the thing that covers the cake. 

In fact, German chocolate cake is known for caramelized frosting that is found both on top and between the layers of the inner part of the cake. Usually, the frosting of German chocolate cake is accompanied by pecans and coconut, so this cake is usually more delicious than a regular chocolate cake. 

German Chocolate Cake Vs Chocolate Cake

Additional Ingredients 

When it comes to regular chocolate cake, adding some extra ingredients on top is not very usual. However, German chocolate cake allows additional ingredients, so you can often come across this cake with nuts, such as pecans. The nuts are a great addition to the cake since it balances the sweetness with a pinch of salt. 

Nonetheless, nuts are not the only option that can combine with the icing on German chocolate cake. You can also add some caramelized fruit like peaches or strawberries. These additions will contribute to the flavors of the cake, and give it some interesting taste. 

German Chocolate Cake vs. Chocolate Cake: Which Is Better? 

If you have read the comparison, you are probably aware that German chocolate cake seems way more attractive. Rich flavors and delicious texture characterize this cake, so it is obvious that it is probably the better choice. People who like fluffy cakes with caramelized flavors would definitely opt for this kind of cake. 

On the other hand, people who do not like sweet flavors would probably go for chocolate cake. Regular chocolate cake is not as sweet as German chocolate cake since it is made of bitter or semi-sweet chocolate. So, for those who want to make some balance in the sweetness, a regular chocolate cake is the ideal choice. 

What Does German Chocolate Cake Taste Like? 

German chocolate cake tastes semi-light in terms of chocolate, but it is quite rich in flavors. The flavors of this cake are mostly coconut and pecans. 

What Makes German Chocolate Cake Different From Other Cakes? 

Chopped pecans and flaked coconut distinguish German chocolate cake from other cakes. In addition, the layers covered in caramelized icing make this cake moist and rich in flavors. 

German Chocolate Cake Vs Chocolate Cake

German chocolate cake has quite special features, and it is a certainly different type from regular chocolate cake. No matter how similar they might seem, their differences can be clearly noticed if you pay a little bit closer attention.