German Chocolate Brownies

4.34 from 3 votes

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My classic go-to scratch brownie base gets topped with an ultra creamy coconut pecan frosting to turn them into indulgent German chocolate brownies.

german chocolate brownies

It’s hard to believe that there’s just one more brownie recipe left in our 2020 lineup after this one, but I have to say… We (my house, our friends, our neighbors, and ALL OF YOU!) have been loving taking regular brownies and turning them into something fantastic.

There are many of you I know of who have made all 10 brownies in the monthly collection so far, and I’d love to learn of more of you who have done the same!

Which one has been your favorite so far?

aerial photo of german chocolate brownies cut into 16 bars and scattered around with pecans and shredded coconut

Today’s German chocolate brownies are quite simple, and if you’re familiar with my go-to homemade fudgy brownie base, you’re halfway to my German chocolate brownies.

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german chocolate brownie sitting on a plate with a fork full of a bite of the brownie

While classically, German chocolate baked goods (like cake) are made with actual German chocolate, a type of chocolate that is typically a little sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate, we’re sticking with simple semi-sweet chocolate as usual.

stack of german chocolate brownies with pecans and coconut scattered around

The whats and whys of how I got to my brownie base are in that post, if you’re interested in knowing all of that.

Otherwise, the real bread and butter of these German chocolate brownies is in the coconut pecan frosting that tops the brownies.

As classic German chocolate cake goes, it’s made of layers of chocolate sponge cake with a coconut pecan filling between the layers and on top of the whole thing. There is ordinarily no traditional frosting involved.

aerial photo of german chocolate brownie sitting on a plate with a fork full of a bite of the brownie

That setup bodes well for German chocolate brownies, as in we can just top our classic brownies with coconut pecan filling to act as a frosting.

And let me tell you about this coconut pecan frosting– it is ultra creamy, full of texture, and the perfect complement to the rich, dense brownies underneath.

bowl of german chocolate frosting with pecans scattered around bowl

The coconut pecan frosting is very simple. The base is made by heating butter, brown sugar, and evaporated milk until it thickens. This creates a smooth base, ready to take on bits of sweetened shredded coconut and crunchy bits of pecans.

Once cool, this coconut pecan filling turns into a spreadable concoction we treat like a frosting, and it adds a whole new level of delicious to my already delectable fudgy brownies.

german chocolate brownies with pecans and coconut scattered around

The only tough part about these German chocolate brownies is waiting for the brownies to cool, and also waiting for the filling to cool before putting it all together.

But I promise, they’re totally worth the wait!

german chocolate brownie sitting on a plate with a fork full of a bite of the brownie

Dense and fudgy brownies topped with a nutty and coconutty texture lover’s dream are the perfect chilly weather brownie, and the perfect way to kick off the end of our year-long brownie celebration.

stack of german chocolate brownies with pecans and coconut scattered around
4.34 from 3 votes
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German Chocolate Brownies

My classic go-to scratch brownie base gets topped with an ultra creamy coconut pecan frosting to turn them into indulgent German chocolate brownies.
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 16 brownies



  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
  • 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature preferred1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • ½ cup (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 small (5oz) can (150mL) evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (93g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (63g) chopped pecans



  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. As brownies cool, prepare the frosting, and allow brownies to cool completely before spreading with frosting.


  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, egg yolk, and evaporated milk. Whisk occasionally and bring to a low boil.
  • Once the mixture is boiling, whisk constantly until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans and mix until completely combined. Frosting will thicken as it cools.
  • When you are ready to frost the brownies, remove the brownies by lifting the foil overhang straight up. Peel back remaining foil and place brownie block onto a large cutting board.
  • Spread the frosting evenly over the brownies, then cut into squares. Store leftover brownies at room temperature up to 1 week. Unfrosted brownies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, then frost.


  1. Room temperature eggs: these incorporate into batter much more easily than cold eggs, although this is not absolutely necessary.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 336IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
4.34 from 3 votes

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  1. In the brownies, is it safe to assume dark brown sugar since you indicated light for the frosting? I usually use light unless it says dark.

  2. 4 stars
    The brownie…is the star of the show for me! I gave it four stars for the brownie alone. The fudgey moistness, omgeee – delicious. I thought I knew what fudgey was, but this is the definition right here!! The frosting didnt give me German chocolate vibes. I’m not sure if it was my brand of coconut but the actual frosting had a faint taste to it. Maybe I can try it with dark brown sugar next time to get more of an intense flavor. It’s hard to find Bakers coconut where I live. The other brands have awful texture, too chewy/hard. Thanks for sharing. I bet the oreo ones are the

  3. 4 stars
    Found this recipe and since German Chocolate is one of my favorite cakes…thought I would give it a try….it was interesting….loved it…will absolutely be making it again…but my frosting did not turn out as thick as I would have liked…still yummy though. 😊