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German Chocolate Cake Brownies combine a rich, dark chocolate brownie with a sweet and thick coconut pecan frosting. Named after the classic layer cake, these frosted brownies are easier to make and taste just as delicious!

An overhead shot of a batch of brownies with german chocolate cake frosting, surrounded bu pecans and coconut

The Best German Chocolate Cake Brownies

I have a confession. I am a brownie snob. It has to be just the right texture, just the right chewiness, just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness. Unless of course those brownies are frosted. Then the frosting becomes the star and that is where we’re at with these German Chocolate Cake Brownies.

I love a good layer cake, like my Fresh Strawberry CakeVanilla Peach Layer Cake and my favorite Layered Citrus Cake. But the thing about cakes it they take time. Time to bake, time to cool, and time to frost. You have to be very delicate with the layer so they don’t break and leave you with a crumbly mess. Brownie bars to the rescue!

I’m a big fan of brownies too. Cream Cheese BrowniesPeppermint Patty BrowniesNutella Brownies all have their charms, but these German Chocolate Cake Brownies have earned a nostalgic place in my heart and in my recipe box.

What is German Chocolate Cake?

German Chocolate Cake is a layered chocolate cake with a sweet coconut pecan frosting. While it may sound as though it has international roots, it was actually created by an American baker, Samuel German, who develop the dark baking chocolate that is traditionally used as it’s base. The cake was named after him. German Chocolate Cake has a dark, rich flavor, and is less sweet than traditional chocolate cakes. The bitter-sweet cake is the perfect contrast for the super sweet coconut frosting.

A stack of German chocolate cake brownies

How to Make German Chocolate Cake Brownies

Brownie are one of the easiest desserts to make, and we are going to dress them up to make them even more special.

  1. Bake your brownies. Use your favorite from scratch mix or a Dark Chocoalte boxed mix, just make sure that it’s not super sweet. Set them aside to cool completely.
  2. While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. Combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in egg yolks and bring that mixture to a boil, stirring it constantly as it thickens.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. Once the brownies and frosting are both cooled down, frost away! Refrigerate until ready to cut and serve.

A close up of German chocolate cake

Brownie Making Tips

  • Use a good quality brand brownie mix – I don’t have any problem using a boxed mix when it comes to brownies. I usually promote making things from scratch, especially baked good. You want to make. You can certainly make the brownies from scratch if you want. German Chocolate Cake is known for being not too sweet, so if you’re using a from scratch recipe make sure it uses cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips so you have better control over the sugar.
  • Always line the pan with parchment paper – This is a big one! When you line the pan with parchment paper you create “handles” to help you remove the brownies from the pan. This helps to prevent cracks or breaking of your beautiful brownies. To cut to size, take the pan you plan to bake your bars in and lay it on top of a sheet of parchment paper. You want the paper to lay flat in the bottom so you’ll have smooth sides. Mark two opposite sides and make the other two side long enough that they can drape over.
  • Use a shark knife for cutting. Don’t use a serrated knife as it will tend to tear the brownies.
  • Refrigerate German Chocolate Cake Brownies for at least an hour before cutting. This with solidify the frosting and prevent a sloppy mess.

Serving Suggestions

When you have brownies, you’ve got to have milk! Pour some milk in bottles of even stemless wine glasses to make everyone feel fancy while they eat these super fancy German Chocolate Cake Brownies! I added some whole pecans to the top of each square to make them a little extra.

What to do with leftovers?

Store leftover German Chocolate Cake Brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 6 months.

A close up image of a few brownies with coconut pecan frosting

Need more chocolate? These should help:

Social media image of German chocolate cake

German Chocolate Cake Brownies

4.75 from 8 votes
German Chocolate Cake Brownies combine rich, dark chocolate brownies with a sweet and thick coconut pecan frosting for a nostalgic dessert with a twist.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 brownies



  • 1 box semi-sweet or dark chocolate brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cups shredded sweetened coconut
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  • Mix brownie ingredients together with an electric mixer. Bake brownies in an 8x8-inch pan. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In a medium saucepan stir together brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Whisk in egg yolks.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken; 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Stir in the vanilla, pecans and shredded coconut. Allow the mixture to cool completely before layering it on the brownies. Garnish with pecans if desired.
Keyword German chocolate cake


Calories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 57mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 190IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of "Yellow Bliss Road" is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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4.75 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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  1. Valerie says:

    Is there something besides evaporated milk you can use?

  2. Kay S. says:

    Do you really use two Tablespoons of vanilla?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      No, that should be 2 teaspoons.

  3. Cassie says:

    These German chocolate brownies were phenomenal! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe, I will be making these again in the very near future. My guests couldn’t believe how good they were!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Cassie! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Natalie says:

    YUM! These chocolate cake brownies look so delicious and decadent! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Natalie!