German chocolate brownies with coconut are a three layer treat where you get all the delicious flavors of a German Chocolate cake in bar form. The pecan coconut filling is nestled between rich brownie layers. A great treat if you’re a coconut lover and want to take your chocolate to the next level.
Do you just love a slice of German chocolate cake with the gooey coconut and pecan frosting slathered on the top and between each layer? These German chocolate brownies with coconut are the next best thing. I think they’re actually a little better because the brownies are nice and fudgy and not dry like some cakes can be.
I’m a huge coconut fan. My family will tolerate it but I don’t think they swoon about coconut desserts the way that I do. Give me an Almond Joy and I’m happy. Let me tell you coconut brownies are so much better!
Most recipes I’ve seen for German Chocolate brownies are brownies with a coconut frosting. The only problem with frosting the brownie is the coconut topping is very sticky and there’s no way to eat it without getting frosting all over you. This also makes them difficult to store or ship.
I wanted all the flavor I love in a German chocolate cake but I wanted to be able to eat it without a fork. The trick is to layer the gooey frosting in between two layers of brownie batter. Since the frosting is so thick it doesn’t seep down into the brownies. This method makes it easy to freeze, and I just mailed some to Natalie and she said they arrived in perfect shape!
What is German chocolate
You might think that German chocolate is German, but it’s not. It was developed in the US by a baker whose last name was German. It is slightly sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate and is commonly used in German chocolate cake. It also has a lower chocolate content at only 46% versus 60% in semi-sweet chocolate.
Why you’ll love brownies with coconut
- This is a version of brownies that is next level! They might remind you of a Mounds or Almond Joy candy bar.
- Decadent chocolate and a gooey coconut layer come together for all the flavor of a German chocolate cake, no fork needed.
- These make a great gift during the holidays or to have on hand for friends that stop by.
What you’ll need
- Sweetened condensed milk – this provides the sweetness and is a good binding agent for the filling
- Egg yolks – use up the whites for a breakfast the next morning
- Sweetened coconut – You need the sweetened version to form the lovely filling.
- Pecans – these are a great option but any nuts on hand will work
- Pantry staples – sugar, vanilla, butter
- German chocolate – this is a sweeter chocolate, you can easily substitute semi-sweet in this recipe which is what I normally do.
- Pantry staples – flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt, vanilla.
How do you make German chocolate brownies with coconut
Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper.
Whisk sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla in a large saucepan.
Add sugar and butter and bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens.
Stir in coconut and pecans. Refrigerate while making the brownie batter.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Melt chocolate, 1 ½ sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar in the microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, just until the mixture melts. Let cool until it is warm to the touch.
Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then mix in flour mixture just until combined.
Transfer 2 cups brownie batter to prepared pan and spread to the edges of the pan. Drop filling all over the batter and spread to even out. Top with remaining batter.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate before cutting to make pretty brownies.
How to serve German chocolate brownies
- Fill up a glass of milk and enjoy a bite of these decadent brownies!
- Eat a warm brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
- Freeze and eat frozen for a cool ice-cream like treat.
FAQs and tips
This is chocolate is slightly sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate. It has only 46% cacao versus 60% in semi-sweet.
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container on your counter for 3-4 days or in the fridge up to a week. You can freeze them for about 3 months before they start to loose their flavor.
The added sugar helps the coconut stay moist and sweet. If you opt to use unsweetened coconut, it will be chewier but there’s plenty of sweetness in the remaining ingredients of this dessert to offset it.
Get more brownies & bars recipes
German Chocolate Brownies with Coconut Recipe
- 1 14oz sweetened condensed milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 2 ⅔ cup sweetened coconut 7 ounce package
- 1 ½ cups toasted pecans chopped
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces German chocolate or sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ½ sticks butter ¾ cup
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar and ½ cup butter and melt over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly until it is slightly thickened. Stir in coconut and pecans. Refrigerate while making brownie batter.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Melt chocolate, 1 ½ sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar in microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, just until mixture melts. Let cool until it is warm to the touch. Whisk in eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla, then mix in flour mixture just until combined.
- Transfer 2 cups brownie batter to prepared pan and spread to edges of pan. Drop filling by spoonfuls all over the batter and spread to even out. Top with remaining batter and spread to cover filling with offset spatula
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate before cutting to make pretty brownies.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Don’t over mix the brownie batter once you have added the flour.
- Make sure the coconut layer is thick before removing from the stove, you don’t want a runny frosting layer.
- You can use semi-sweet chocolate instead of German chocolate.
- You can substitute walnuts for the pecans.
- These are sturdy enough to ship and freeze well.
I am going to make these — I love German chocolate cake, so these brownies should be a hit as well — but I’m concerned about one ingredient’s amount: 12 ounces of German chocolate? Most German chocolate cake recipes use only 4 ounces and, as much as I love chocolate in all forms, 12 ounces sounds like an overload compared to the amount of flour and other ingredients. Would you please confirm if 12 ounces is correct for a single recipe?
Barbara Curry says
Since they don’t have cocoa powder, the chocolate is not too much. You can use your favorite brownie recipe instead and still use the coconut filling.
No, I’m going to make the recipe as is. I just wanted to make sure the amount was correct. 🙂 Thanks for the quick response!
Okay, so I made them a week ago (12/9/2021) with the intent to share them with friends.
They almost didn’t make it to the friends. Seriously, I could have eaten the whole pan by myself, but then I thought to myself, “Hey, it’s Christmas, a time to share!”
These German chocolate brownies were FANTASTIC! This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thank you for sharing it.
And Merry Christmas!!!
Barbara Curry says
Kevin, you made my day, so glad you loved these. I took a batch to the office this morning and they were a big hit.