German Chocolate Brownies

I found this recipe in a magazine that was doing a special on brownies which included a pull out pamphlet with 50 different brownie recipes in it. The first time that I made these German chocolate brownies was about three years ago when I was sending them as a part of a care package to someone who was living out of state that I was and am sweet on. What makes this recipe special is the cakiness of the brownie, the richness, and the variety of textures from the toasted coconut and pecans.  If you or someone you know is a chocoholic then this is your dream recipe. The guy I sent them to thoroughly enjoyed the brownie care package and has recently moved back home so in honor of this happy occasion I made the recipe again as a welcome home gift. While this recipe is good year round keep it in mind for the holidays as it ships very well as long as you wrap individual slices and/or the entire slab in plastic wrap and a storage bag. These also freeze well and will last 1 month. If you freeze them just allow them to come to room temperature before slicing and serving. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.


(Note: When I photographed this recipe I was making a double portion which is why the amounts of ingredients look so large)

Active time: 1 hour

Inactive time: 1 hour

Serving size: 12-15


1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour

3 T. cocoa powder

1 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

1 C. unsalted butter   IMG_4533

2 1/2 C. brown sugar

1 C. water

6 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

5 eggs

2 t. vanilla


1/4 C. granulated sugar

1 T. water

1 C. coconut milk

1 T.  light corn syrup

1/4 C. unsalted butter IMG_4531

1/2 t. vanilla

1/4 t. salt

1 C. chopped toasted pecans

1 C. shredded toasted coconut

1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie procedure:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and sit the bowl to the side.


3. In a pot bring 1 C. butter, brown sugar, and 1 C. water to a simmer in a pan.


4. Pool your eggs in a separate bowl.


5. When you mixture simmers, remove the pot from the heat, whisk in the 6 oz of chocolate chips, then allow the mixture to cool slightly.


6. When the mixture has cooled slightly add the eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition of eggs. The vanilla can then be added as well.


7. Whisk in the flour mixture in thirds mixing until combined between each addition of flour.

IMG_4545  IMG_4546

8. If you are going to place your brownies on a separate serving dish, line your baking dish with foil to make removal easier. If you are going to serve them in the baking pan just spray the baking dish with cooking spray.


9. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and use an off set spatula to level if necessary.


10. Place a silmat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Add the chopped pecan and shredded coconut to the pan so it can go into the oven to toast while the brownies are cooking.


11. Place the brownies into the center rack of the oven and the coconut/pecan tray can go on the top rack. The brownies will bake for 30-35 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center to make sure it’s done.


12. The coconut and pecans will need your attention. They will also toast for 30 minutes but you will need to watch them and stir the coconut every 5-10 minutes until the coconut turns a golden brown.

IMG_4549  IMG_4553

13. Allow the brownies, coconut, and pecans to cool completely before applying the topping.

German chocolate topping procedure:

1. Cook the 1/4 C. sugar and 1 T. water to an amber color on medium high heat. This will take approximately 5 minutes. Sugar continues to cook after removed from the heat so as soon as you see a spot of amber in the mixture remove it from the heat and swirl the pot. This will cause the rest of the sugar to turn amber as well. It is better to under cook this than to overcook it.

IMG_4555  IMG_4556

IMG_4557  IMG_4558

2. Add the corn syrup and whisk until combined then add the coconut milk. Adding the coconut milk will cause the sugar to recrystallize (it will look like a rock). You haven’t messed up. Return the pot to the stove on low heat and continue to whisk the sugar into the coconut milk. The sugar will melt down and reincorporate into the mixture. This will take approximately 5 minutes.

IMG_4559  IMG_4561

3. When the mixture is smooth again add the vanilla, salt, butter, and the chocolate chips while the pot remains on low heat.  When all of the ingredients are combined and smooth remove the pot from the heat.

IMG_4562  IMG_4563

4. Stir in half of the toasted coconut and pecans with a rubber spatula.


5. Pour the topping onto the brownies and use an off set spatula to spoon the topping evenly over the brownies.

IMG_4566  IMG_4567


6. When the topping is smooth sprinkle the remaining coconut and pecans on the brownies and allow to set up for 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

IMG_4569  IMG_4570


  • These brownies are sublime even without the topping so you can try them plain.
  • The pecans can be substituted or removed.
  • The brownie batter can be frozen in the pan and baked off within 1 month. Bring the batter back to room temperature before baking.
  • More or less coconut and pecans can be used.
  • Toasting the coconut and pecans helps release the flavor in addition to adding color contrast to the final product.
  • C=cups
  • T=tablespoons
  • t=teaspoons
  • oz=ounces

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