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Simple German Chocolate Bars (Doctored Cake Mix)

If you love a delicious German chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting, have I got a treat for you! These bars come together quickly, taste amazing, and best of all. . .they start with a box of cake mix! 

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

Can I use a Cake Mix to Make Bars?

I asked myself that question last night after stumbling across a great recipe on my friend’s Southern Home Express blog. 

I whipped up some tasty combinations right away and they all turned out great!

Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about a box of German Chocolate cake mix in my cupboard. I needed to use it. But, what would I put on top? 

Baking with Canned Coconut Pecan Frosting

That’s when I remembered a recipe I stumbled across some time ago, one that called for canned cake frosting as a baked topping. 

I had no idea if it would work, mind you, but I made a quick run to Walmart to pick up two canisters of the tasty stuff. 

(Side note: How did I manage to spend $47 at WalMart? I only ran in for two cans of frosting!) 

Back to my Story

I decided to make these bars in the simplest possible way. I’ll tell you more about my process in a bit, but let’s start by talking about the ingredients. There aren’t many, so the list isn’t long. 

German Chocolate Bar Ingredients

Simple German Chocolate Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • German Chocolate Cake mix
  • softened butter
  • room temperature egg
  • coconut pecan frosting
  • chopped pecans (optional)
  • shredded sweetened coconut (optional) 

That’s it! Just a few ingredients. 

How to Make German Chocolate Bars using a cake mix. 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray, then placing a piece of parchment paper on top of it, as shown in the photo below. (This is for easy lifting after the bars have set.) Add a light spray of Baker’s Joy (or other spray) on top of the parchment paper. 

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

Melt your butter and set it aside. 

Place the dry cake mix into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add the egg and butter. 

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

You will end up with a dough that looks a bit look cookie dough, only slightly thicker. 

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

Plop it into the prepared pan and press down with your hands as best you can. 

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

Place in preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. 

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

Remove from the oven and add both canisters of coconut pecan frosting. 

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

You’ll notice that it begins to melt quickly against the hot dough. Don’t worry about that. Use the warmth to help you spread out the frosting.

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

Pop the dish back into the oven and bake for twenty minutes.

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

Remove and sprinkle the top with some chopped pecans. 

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

I also added a bit of sweetened coconut to mine. 

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

Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until the coconut has started to look toasty. 

Remove baking pan from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. When you first see it you might think, “This is too bubbly and wet! It will never work out.” 

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

Just wait! It will, if you give it time. 

After an hour or so you’ll notice that the top layer of the bars is just right. Place the dish in the refrigerator for an hour or two. 

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

Once they’re fully chilled, it’s time to cut them into bars. 

I used a bench scraper to loosen the sticky edges from the pan. Then I lifted the whole thing out, using the parchment paper. 

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

Pull paper away from the edges and use a sharp knife or other cutter to cut these into squares. (I have an amazing cutter that I bought on Amazon.) 

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

Once they’re in bars, you can serve and enjoy! 

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

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap. 

They will stay good in the fridge for 4 – 5 days. You can freeze these bars up to two months if you like. Allow them to thaw naturally. 

What to Expect from These German Chocolate Cookie Bars

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

First of all, can I just say how mesmerized I was with the notion that I could bake cake frosting? I wasn’t so sure when I first saw the dish come out of the oven. 

But, boy! Was I ever glad I tried this. Talk about delicious bars!

Now that I know it works, I’ll have to come up with more ideas in the future. 

The German chocolate crust was divine, by the way. And that texture of that coconut pecan topping was simply over-the-top! 

I highly recommend this recipe. You’re going to love it! 

Variations on this Recipe

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

If you want to skip the canned frosting you can add a different topping: combine a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk with a softened block of cream cheese. Mix it together until smooth then add a cup of coconut and a cup of chopped nuts. Pour onto partially cooked crust and bake for 30 minutes. 

Other German Chocolate Recipes from Out of the Box Baking

Earthquake Cake: If German Chocolate Cake is your thing but you don’t have time to make the coconut pecan frosting from scratch, this is the recipe for you! This luscious Earthquake Cake oozes with flavor. It’s loaded with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips, and it bubbles over with an extra-special addition: cream cheese filling!

German Chocolate Cake: If you love the sweet flavor of German Chocolate cake and you’re nuts about coconut pecan frosting, you’ve definitely come to the right place! In this post I’m going to give you my tips and tricks for one of the most classic cakes of all time–German Chocolate! And best of all. . .it starts with a boxed mix!

German Chocolate Bars from Scratch:  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.

Follow this link for a comprehensive post listing more of my fall cookies and bars, perfect for autumn!


Learn more about doctored cake mixes, the theme of this blog. 

For the master list of all doctored cake mix recipes on this site, visit Doctored Cake Mix Recipes, Master List. 


That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious german chocolate pecan pie bars recipe. 

See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

The Lazy Gastronome

Busy Monday


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Simple German Chocolate Bars

Simple German Chocolate Bars

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you love a delicious German chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting, have I got a treat for you! These bars come together quickly, taste amazing, and best of all. . .they start with a box of cake mix!

Ingredients

  • German Chocolate Bar Ingredients
  • 1 box German Chocolate Cake mix
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 canisters coconut pecan frosting
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (optional)

Instructions

    How to Make German Chocolate Bars using a cake mix.
    Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray, then placing a piece of parchment paper on top of it, as shown in the photo below. (This is for easy lifting after the bars have set.) Add a light spray of Baker’s Joy (or other spray) on top of the parchment paper.

    Melt your butter and set it aside.

    Place the dry cake mix into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add the egg and butter.

    You will end up with a dough that looks a bit look cookie dough, only slightly thicker.

    Plop it into the baking dish and press down with your hands as best you can.

    Place in preheated oven and bake for ten minutes.

    Remove from the oven and add both canisters of coconut pecan frosting.

    You’ll notice that it begins to melt quickly against the hot dough. Don’t worry about that.

    Pop the dish back into the oven and bake for twenty minutes. Remove and sprinkle the top with some chopped pecans.

    I also added a bit of sweetened coconut to mine.

    Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until the coconut has started to look toasty.

    Remove dish from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. When you first see it you might think, “This is too bubbly and wet! It will never work out.”

    Just wait! It will, if you give it time.

    After an hour or so you’ll notice that the top layer of the bars is just right. Place the dish in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

    Once they’re fully chilled, it’s time to cut them into bars.

    I used a bench scraper to loosen the sticky edges from the pan. Then I lifted the whole thing out, using the parchment paper.

    Pull paper away from the edges and use a sharp knife or other cutter to cut these into squares. (I have an amazing cutter that I bought on Amazon.)

    Once they’re in bars, you can serve and enjoy!

    Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap.

    They will stay good in the fridge for 4 - 5 days. You can freeze these bars up to two months if you like. Allow them to thaw naturally.

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Janetta

Monday 7th of August 2023

These sound scrumptious and pretty easy. Thanks!

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