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German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake

Need something different to take to the next pot luck or church social?

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake is a very quick and easy cake to make using a box of German Chocolate cake mix.

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake



I try a lot of German Chocolate recipes and find the combination of chocolate, pecans, and coconut to be irresistible.  This isn’t the prettiest cake, but when you take into account that it is totally fuss-free, I can overlook that fact.

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake



A mixture of butter, brown sugar, coconut, and pecans is spread on the bottom of a 9X13-inch pan.

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake


Next comes the cake batter which is a box of cake mix prepared just like the back of the box says to, with a little coconut added. I don’t think it’s possible for a German Chocolate Cake to have too much coconut.

Before the cake is placed in the oven to bake, dollops of cream cheese are dropped all over the top. As the cake bakes, the cream cheese sinks down into the cake, making it rich and gooey throughout.

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake


Just look at all that gooey cream cheese! Doesn’t it about make your eyes pop out of your head?

Get all the taste of a fancy German Chocolate Cake without all the fuss!

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake


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German Chocolate Upside Down Cake

German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake is a very quick and easy cake to make using a box of German Chocolate cake mix.  
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 50 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut, divided
  • 1 box German Chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients listed on box
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
  • whipped cream for serving, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the sides of a 9x13-inch pan.
  • Evenly pour melted butter into pan. Sprinkle brown sugar, pecans, and half of coconut on bottom of pan.
  • Make cake batter according to package directions, adding remaining coconut to batter.
  • Pour batter into pan.
  • Using electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and softened butter. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar.
  • Drop cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls onto top of batter.
  • Place in oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.


Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Great served with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Calories: 448kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: cake, easy recipe

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54 thoughts on “German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake”

  1. This cake is excellent. While my original recipe uses evaporated milk, both are fabulous. Please try it.

  2. Cake was ok. I didn’t get a cream cheese layer. It dissolved into the batter. My butter brown sugar mix over spilled from the cake onto the oven bottom making a big smokey mess. I used a glass pan.

    1. Sad husband

      Very disappointed, made it for my husband for his birthday. The cream cheese fell like craters in the cake, the brown sugar taste burnt and the cake is chewy!

  3. Cake is delicious, I did feel that there could have been just a little more direction with the cream cheese mixture addition. I definitely will tweak next time and put second coconut addition under the cream cheese mixture and understand teaspoonful all over the cake it will make covering with the other half of cake mix easier. Very moist delicious cake.

  4. This is my family’s absolute favorite cake! My church also tells me I can only bring THIS cake to pot lucks! If you like coconut & pecans, this cake is the one for you. It’s not too difficult and it will be a favorite of many (except the kids don’t like the nuts and coconut much in my family -more for me!).

  5. It was amazzzzing. Everyone loved this moist cake, perfect amount of coconut, nuts & sweetness ❤️

  6. Wanda Dufrain

    Was a big hit at Thanksgiving, and made it again for pot luck a garden club. Delicious, but does not come out of pan pretty.

  7. Margie Morgan

    This is one of my most favorite desserts! I usually bake it once a year for my Dad’s bday/Father’s day and everyone loves it. My Dad even hates coconut, but loves this dessert.

  8. I found that the sugar crystallized and the cake didn’t hold up well at all. The taste was good, just didn’t turn out nicely.


      💙🤗💙AWESOME💙LIKE YOU, there’s nothing wrong with a Lil extra Coconut 🥥💙Thanks for sharing 💙🤗💙.

  9. I was disappointed in this recipe. The brown sugar on the bottom of the pan ended up semi crystallized which gave it a grainy texture. And the cream cheese mixture was just a sugary goo. I’ve had a version of this cake that someone had made at a potluck that had a much better texture and taste.

      1. I made this to take to a fundraiser , so have’t tried it. It looks delicious but the cream cheese stayed on top and looks like meringue. Very pretty , hoping it takes great.

    1. I would hope this comment is just being a little funny. Otherwise… how incredibly rude. And also, God didn’t invent parchment paper ✌

  10. Oh my man! (My son says that, lol.) This cake looks amazing. Amazing in the tasty factor 🙂 If a cake is good enough, it doesn’t have to look pretty at all. Great recipe!

  11. We just received this cake from a friend after my dad’s passing and she brought it in the pan and then added a coconut pecan frosting. It was delicious and she did not have to worry about flipping it out of the pan!

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