German Chocolate Brownies

German Chocolate Brownies | #recipe #FathersDay

A few years ago, I made an absolutely epic German Chocolate Cake. Truly epic. I had eaten German chocolate cake a few times prior, but never was it even remotely close to as good as that three-layer, ganache-covered masterpiece. I love the combination of chocolate with the caramelized custard, coconut and pecans. I decided that I needed a way to enjoy everything about a German chocolate cake without actually making a German chocolate cake. Yes, it’s totally worth it for special occasions, but sometimes you just need a shortcut.

These brownies are my shortcut.

German Chocolate Brownies | #recipe #FathersDay

I merged my favorite basic, box-mix-replica brownies with the topping from that epic cake. It’s ridiculously easy and can be thrown together in less than 2 hours. The brownie recipe requires just one bowl, and the topping requires just one saucepan and one bowl. Simple, low-maintenance, and an absolutely stellar dessert.

German Chocolate Brownies | #recipe #FathersDay

Even though these are brownies, I would definitely go the plate and fork route. It’s less messy and it feels fancier. Win-win. Go ahead and top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too. A scoop of ice cream never hurts, right?

German Chocolate Brownies | #recipe #FathersDay

If you have a dad or a brother or a husband or a son or anyone celebrating Father’s Day this coming weekend that likes German chocolate cake, these brownies will totally knock their socks off.

German Chocolate Brownies | #recipe #FathersDay

One year ago: Triple Chocolate Scones
Two years ago: Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
Three years ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars
Four years ago: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Five years ago: Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
Six years ago: Fresh Strawberry Tart

German Chocolate Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

My favorite chewy chocolate brownies topped with a fabulous German chocolate cake filling.


For the Brownies:
⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
½ cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (17½ ounces) sugar
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt

For the German Chocolate Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1⅓ cups unsweetened coconut, toasted


1. Make the Brownies: 1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

4. Meanwhile, Make the German Chocolate Topping: Stir together the heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the butter, salt, pecans and coconut in a large bowl and set aside. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170 degrees F). Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. Once cooled to room temperature, refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Spread the chilled German chocolate topping over the top of the brownies and refrigerate for an additional 1 hour.

6. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

(Recipe adapted from Chewy Brownies and German Chocolate Cake)


25 Responses to “German Chocolate Brownies”

  1. Ala on June 10, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Oh, that topping makes me feel almost ashamed that I’ve never tried German Chocolate Cake before this. Well, I know what I’ll be doing this weekend–thanks, Michelle!


  2. Becky @ lovetobeinthekitchen on June 10, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Oh my gosh! These look amazing! I wish I had one right now. Thanks for sharing!


  3. SimoCuriosa on June 10, 2014 at 5:13 am

    mm I didn’t know german Brownies, toppings like veryyyy goooooddddd
    See you soon


  4. Johlene on June 10, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I love german cake and converting it into brownies is a super idea!


  5. Sally on June 10, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Much to my surprise, most desserts, especially chocolate desserts, don’t call my name. German chocolate anything is an exception. I’ll make this over the weekend.


  6. Marie @ Little Kitchie on June 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

    These look incredible!!!


  7. How to Philosophize with Cake on June 10, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Woah now that is some brownie! So much coconut and fudginess and oh my 🙂


  8. marcie on June 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    German chocolate is my birthday cake of choice every year — but there’s a bakery nearby that makes the best German chocolate brownies that I’ll happily sub out for cake any day. These look so fudgy and gooey — just perfect!


  9. Averie @ Averie Cooks on June 10, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I want to scarf down a few of these instantly! That drippy topping is where it’s at! pinned


  10. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on June 10, 2014 at 11:34 am

    These brownies look so rich and fudgy! And that topping?! Yum!!


  11. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on June 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Awesome looking brownies! I actually prefer German chocolate brownies over the cake. But tomorrow is National German chocolate cake day!


  12. Norma on June 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    My family loves German chocolate cake, so these are a must to try! I’m also going to try your version of the German chocolate cake, too. I’ve always used the recipe from the back of the wrapper of a block of German chocolate. It’s a good one and is successful as far as I’m concerned, but would love to try your version, too. Thanks for sharing!


  13. Ami@NaiveCookCooks on June 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Never heard of German chocolate brownies before but boy, these do look yummy!


  14. Barb on June 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    The topping you use is similar to one I put on an oatmeal cake I make. Mine is poured on the cake warm and put under the broiler until golden and toasty. I would probably do the same with the brownies. Love your site


  15. Mary Frances on June 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    These look so gooey and rich! Great job!


  16. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on June 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    a scoop of ice cream definitely never hurts!! these look delicious!


  17. Tracy | Pale Yellow on June 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Sometimes cakes are too much work, especially when you can get all the wonderful flavors in a brownie!


  18. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup on June 11, 2014 at 1:05 am

    My husband and I had German Chocolate Cake at our wedding, but now I’m allergic to pecans so I can’t eat the real version anymore. I use almonds, as I can eat those. I’ve never tried it on a brownie before, but this looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


  19. Samina | The Cupcake Confession on June 12, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Yes, I agree! A scoop {or maybe 2 scoops} of vanilla ice cream with this DEEEEE-LICIOUS brownies will certainly not hurt! I’m lovvvvvving how these look! Pureeee bliss, let me tell you! <3


  20. Laura Dembowski on June 12, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Great idea! That topping looks so perfectly gooey!


  21. Holly G on June 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I had planned on making my dad a german chocolate cake for father’s day until I got an email from my sister-in-law telling me to look at the recipe you just posted. I had previously made these brownies as well as your german chocolate cake recipe but had never thought of combining them together! It worked out great for father’s day as brownies are a lot easier to travel with than a cake, and my dad loved them!!! These were simple to make and absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making these many times in the future!


  22. Lynn on June 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Oh wow… I think I might be using your icing for my pineapple sheet cake I’ve been wanting to make but wasn’t sure what to put on top. This all looks so yummy!


  23. RaeAnna on November 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    A lot of your recipes have become my go to recipes. They all turn out and work so wonderfully for me. With that in mind, I’m wondering if I could use this topping as a cupcake topping? Obviously you couldn’t pipe it the way you normally would but would it be thick enough to pile on top of a cupcake? (By the way, it would go on top of your best chocolate cupcake so basically will be a German chocolate cupcake. It is my go to chocolate cupcake recipe for everything.)


    • Michelle on November 4th, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Hi RaeAnna, You could put this on a cupcake, just know that it won’t sit up nice and pretty, and you’ll probably need to eat them with a fork 🙂


  24. Kerry on February 8, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Just made these for my husband’s birthday and they were amazing and a huge hit with the guests. They are rich, decadent , and perfect for a cozy winter treat.


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