German Chocolate Brownies

If you love German chocolate cake, then you are going to love these German Chocolate Brownies. This decadent dessert recipe is easy to follow and results in brownies that are rich, chocolatey, and full of flavor. It’s like having cake in brownie form!

a stack of three german chocolate brownies

German chocolate cake is a type of chocolate cake that features a rich, chocolatey flavor and a tender crumb. Chocolate cake is layered with a homemade coconut pecan frosting. Instead of baking a cake, make these German chocolate brownies any time in less than 40 minutes.

You can enjoy the flavor of German chocolate cake in brownie form with this easy recipe! You’ll simply whip up a batch of chocolate brownies using real chocolate, then top them with a homemade coconut pecan topping.

These rich chocolate brownies are a delicious dessert that is perfect for any occasion including birthdays, holidays, or when you just want a rich chocolatey dessert.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You get the flavor of German chocolate cake in individual dessert sizes.
  • This german chocolate brownie recipe is made with real chocolate which makes them rich, chocolatey, and full of flavor.
  • The coconut pecan topping is a delicious addition to the brownies adding a sweet and nutty twist to the brownie.
  • They can be served as a rich dessert for dinner parties, game day and more.
all of the ingredients for brownies on a white countertop

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cake Flour – Cake flour is a type of flour that is specifically made for cakes. It has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which means that it will result in a cake with a finer crumb. You can substitute with all purpose flour, but the brownies may be more dense.
  • Baking Powder – Helps baked goods rise keeping these brownies dense but light at the same time.
  • Salt – Salt is important in baked goods as it enhances the flavors of other ingredients.
  • Unsalted Butter – Butter is used in this recipe to add richness and tenderness to the brownies. You can substitute with salted butter in a pinch.
  • Granulated Sugar – Sugar adds sweetness to the brownies.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate – Bittersweet chocolate is a type of chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa butter than milk or semisweet chocolate. This results in a richer, darker chocolate flavor.
  • Eggs – Eggs add richness, structure, and moisture to the brownies.
  • Vanilla Extract – Infuses the brownies with a light vanilla flavor.

For the coconut-pecan topping:

  • Pecans – Pecans are a type of nut that is used in this recipe. They have a rich caramel-like flavor and a firm texture.
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut – Coconut is used in the topping for its sweet and tropical flavor. You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut.
  • Egg Yolks – Helps add a dense texture to the topping making it thick.
  • Sugar – Gives the topping its classic sweet flavor.
  • Salt – Helps balance out the sweetness of the sugar and enhances the other flavors in the topping.
  • Unsalted Butter – Adds richness and a smooth texture to the topping.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds a light vanilla flavor.
  • Heavy Cream – Adds richness and a smooth texture while keeping it rich and creamy.
mixing together all of the ingredients for the batter in a bowl

How to Make German Chocolate Brownies

  1. Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk well to combine.
  3. Melt the chocolate: Add the chocolate and butter to a heat-safe bowl and place it in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir the chocolate and butter mixture with a rubber spatula until it is fully melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Assemble the brownie batter: Whisk in the sugar, then add the eggs one at a time and whisk until it’s fully combined. Add vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients: To the wet chocolate mixture, fold in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula in three batches until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  6. Bake the brownies: Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack completely.
  7. Make the coconut pecan topping: While the brownies are cooling, toast the pecans in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until they become fragrant. Let them cool then add butter, egg yolks, sugar, and salt into a saucepan and whisk to combine. Slowly mix in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Turn the heat to low and stir until the mixture becomes fluffy and is 180F. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in the coconut and toasted pecans.
  8. Assemble the german chocolate brownies: Once the brownies are fully cooled, frost the tops with the coconut pecan topping. Let them chill and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares and serving.

It is important to heat the topping over LOW heat and continue to stir. This will allow the topping to cook evenly and will prevent the eggs from cooking too quickly. Nobody wants yellow pieces of cooked eggs in their topping, so be sure to stir slowly over low heat.

cooking ingredients for the filling in a saucepan

Expert Tips

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave. If you don’t have a double boiler you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted.
  2. You can also use an electric mixer to mix the brownie batter. Start on low speed then increase to medium-high once all of the ingredients are combined.
  3. Do not overmix the batter. Stir just until incorporated. Overmixing can result in tough and dry german chocolate brownies.
  4. Prep the frosting in advance. If you want to make the topping ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. Let it come to room temperature before spreading on top of the brownies.
  5. Let the brownies cool completely before frosting with the topping. If you try to frost them while they are still warm, the topping will melt.

Variations

  • Change up the nuts by using chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans.
  • Add chocolate chips. You can add a cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the brownie batter for extra chocolatey goodness.
  • Serve with a scoop of ice cream or drizzle them with a homemade caramel sauce.
a stack of german chocolate brownies on a plate

Everyone that loves German chocolate cake will absolutely love these brownies. Two sweet layers of flavor combine to create the prefect dessert. Try them on a special occasion or anytime you want a sweet treat.

Did you try these German Chocolate Brownies? Leave a recipe rating and review below.

a stack of three german chocolate brownies

German Chocolate Brownies

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Cooling Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 40 mins
German chocolate brownies are made with a layer of brownie topped with coconut pecan topping.
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

For the brownies:

  • 1 ¼ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the coconut-pecan topping:

  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

To make the brownies:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; whisk to combine and set aside.
  • Place the chocolate and the butter in the bowl of a double boiler set over medium heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with a rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and thoroughly combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish, smooth the top, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of brownies comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

To make the coconut-pecan topping

  • Spread pecans evenly on rimmed cookie sheet. Toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • After pecans have finished cooling, whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until combined. Whisk in butter, then gradually whisk in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fluffy, begins to thicken, and registers about 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the pecans and sweetened coconut.
  • Spread the topping evenly onto the cooled brownies, cover with foil and refrigerated until set, about 2 hours.
  • Cut into squares and serve.

Notes

Storing: Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Freezing: Freeze brownies in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or bag and store them for up to two months. Let the brownies come to room temperature before serving.
Source: barely adapted from Cooks Illustrated, March/April 2004

Nutrition

Serving: 0g, Calories: 441kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 128mg, Potassium: 152mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 555IU, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1.3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

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2 comments on “German Chocolate Brownies”

  1. I like these even better than the cake. The topping is SO good I could it that alone!

  2. So delicious! Even better than German chocolate cake. Thanks for sharing!

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