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German Chocolate Bars from Scratch (original recipe)

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you love German Chocolate cake but want the ease of a tender, flaky cookie bar, this is the recipe for you! The cookie crust has a light chocolate flavor and the rich gooey filling is loaded with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

Are German Chocolate Bars Made from Cake?

Some bars are, but this is an original “from scratch” recipe. I combined two different cookie bar recipes, my Pecan Pie bars and my Lemon Bars, and came up with a plan to make these bars.

I should start with a disclaimer that this recipe doesn’t actually contain any actual “German” chocolate. The crust has a couple tablespoons cocoa powder and the filling has chocolate chips. It’s topped with all of the things you’re accustomed to finding in German chocolate cake, like toasted coconut and chopped pecans.

Are you hungry yet? I sure am!

Ingredients for German Chocolate Bars

This recipe has some simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. You might have to pick up a couple of things from the store before you begin but they’re easy to find. You’ll find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’re going to need.

FOR THE CRUST:

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • all purpose flour
  • powdered (or granulated) sugar
  • salt
  • cold butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • unsweetened cocoa powder

FOR THE FILLING

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • packed brown sugar
  • white corn syrup
  • cold butter
  • vanilla extract
  • whole eggs
  • chopped pecans
  • flaked coconut

FOR THE TOPPING

  • toasted coconut
  • toasted pecans
  • chocolate chips

Note: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips but you might prefer milk chocolate so that you end up with a flavor profile more like German Chocolate.

How to Make these Luscious Gooey German Chocolate Cookie Bars

These delicious treats are relatively easy, but they do take a bit of time, so plan for about an hour of prep and baking time.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before you begin.

Make the Crust

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Chop or grate the cold butter and work it in using a pastry blender or mixer with whisk attachment. You could pulse in a food processor if you prefer or make this in the bowl of a stand mixer.

You’ll end up with a loose crumb.

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Prepare a 9 x 13 (or 8 x 12-inch) baking dish. Coat with non-stick spray and place parchment paper on top. (See photo.)

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Press the chocolate cookie mixture into the bottom of the baking pan. It will start to come together as you press it down.

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in preheated 350 degree oven and set your timer for 20 minutes.

Make the filling.

Put the butter in a medium saucepan and melt it over low to medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a low boil and stir until fully incorporated.

Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Place in the refrigerator to cool down. It will thicken as it cools but you can stir it when it comes out of the fridge.

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Once it cools you can add the vanilla and the whole eggs. (It’s important that it’s fully cooled so the eggs don’t scramble.) Mix well.

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add chopped pecans and coconut and stir well.

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Pour over hot half-baked crust and place back in the oven for 30 minutes.

As soon as the bars have baked for 30 minutes add the shredded coconut and finely chopped pecans. Place the chocolate chips on top.

Put the dish back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes until done.

Remove and place on wire rack to cool.

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

Once cooled, cut into squares and serve. The parchment paper will make the bars easy to lift from the pan.

To store these bars cover with plastic wrap and keep in a cool place. Do not refrigerate. I don’t recommend freezing these but if you feel so inclined, place in an airtight container (like a Ziplock freezer bag) and store in freezer up to two months. Thaw naturally and eat at room temperature.

What to Expect from these German Chocolate Bars

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch from Out of the Box Baking.com

I happen to be a German Chocolate Cake fanatic so I was very much looking forward to tasting this great recipe. It did not disappoint!

I made these bars for some friends and I wanted to put a smile on their faces. I’m pretty sure this will do the trick.

That light chocolate crust is tender and flaky, just like a thick chocolate pie crust should be. But that gooey, luscious center? Oh, my! The egg yolks cause it to thicken into a luscious center.

It’s rich with flavor, loaded with the crunch of the coconut and pecans and the creamy goodness of chocolate chips.

In many ways, these remind me of my pecan pie blondies. Different flavor profile, but similar texture. Luscious! You could almost get away with calling these German Chocolate Brownies. They would make a great treat at a high tea or bridal shower, but they’re also perfect for a weeknight dessert.

I hardly have words. . .and that rarely happens.

Good thing I’m giving this one away, folks. The temptation would be overwhelming!

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Variations on this Recipe

These were delicious bars but I’m already thinking of ways to change up this yummy recipe! Here are some thoughts:

  • German Chocolate Cake Mix: Use a cake mix for the base of this cake, adding a stick of butter (grated) then pressing into the pan.
  • Melt chocolate chips into the filling and add even more chocolate chips on top.
  • Walnut Bars: Skip the coconut and pecans and make luscious walnut bars.
  • What about sliced almonds? I think the flavor of coconut and almonds might be nice. You could even use almond flour for the crust, if you like.

Other Chocolate Favorites from Out of the Box Baking

If you’re crazy about chocolate, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my most popular chocolate recipes:

That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoy this rich, decadent German Chocolate Bars recipe. I think it will make you swoon!

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch

Yield: 20

If you love German Chocolate cake but want the ease of a tender, flaky cookie bar, this is the recipe for you! The cookie crust has a light chocolate flavor and the rich gooey filling is loaded with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • * 1 cup all purpose flour
  • * 1/2 cup powdered (or granulated) sugar
  • * pinch salt
  • * 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • * 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • * 1 cup brown sugar
  • * 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • * 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
  • * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • * 3 whole eggs
  • * 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • * 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • FOR THE TOPPING
  • * 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • * 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • * 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

    Make the Crust
    Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Chop or grate the cold butter and work it in using a pastry cutter or mixer. You'll end up with a loose crumb.
    Prepare a 9 x 13 (or 8 x 12-inch) baking dish. Coat with non-stick spray and place parchment paper on top. (See photo.)
    Press the chocolate cookie mixture into the bottom of the dish. It will start to come together as you press it down.
    Place in preheated 350 degree oven and set your timer for 20 minutes.
    Make the filling.
    Put the butter in a saucepan and melt it over low heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a low boil and stir until fully incorporated.
    Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Place in the refrigerator to cool down. It will thicken as it cools but you can stir it when it comes out of the fridge.
    Once it cools you can add the vanilla and the whole eggs. (It's important that it's fully cooled so the eggs don't scramble.) Mix well.
    Add chopped pecans and coconut and stir well.
    Pour over hot half-baked crust and place back in the oven for 30 minutes.
    While bars are cooking, toast coconut and nuts. Place them in a skilled and set over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until both began to reach that toasty stage (where the coloring and scent will deepen). Remove from heat and set aside.
    As soon as the bars have baked for 30 minutes add the chocolate chips, toasted coconut and toasted pecans and put the back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes until done.
    Remove and place on wire rack to cool.
    Once cooled, cut into squares and serve. The parchment paper will make the bars easy to lift from the pan.
    To store these bars cover with plastic wrap and keep in a cool place. Do not refrigerate. I don't recommend freezing these but if you feel so inclined, place in an airtight container (like a Ziplock freezer bag) and store in freezer up to two months. Thaw naturally and eat at room temperature.

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RaDonna

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

I was lucky to get to sample these yummy bars. Trust me, you’ll be glad to make them!

booksbyjanice

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

Thank you so much!

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