German Chocolate Brownies

My German Chocolate Brownies are a rich, fudgy cocoa-infused treat. They’re topped with a rich and fudgy ganache and a sweet coconut-pecan frosting. Simply put – one bite is never enough.

If you love chocolate and pecans together, our pecan pie brownies are another reader favorite. Or give our chocolate pecan pie a try for the holidays this year!

German chocolate brownies on a white serving plate.

Why these Brownies are Best

I’ve always loved German chocolate because it provides the classic sweet, sour, and bitter combo of dark baker’s chocolate – just a little sweeter.

Much like our german chocolate cake, our brownies have that same chocolate flavor topped with coconut pecan frosting.

In this recipe, picking the right chocolate makes for snackable brownies that won’t overpower you.

  • No-Fail Ganache: The easy chocolate ganache will give you a smooth consistency, every time, and without much elbow grease. It’s a fail-safe topping that guarantees delicious results.
  • Make-Ahead: Prepare the frosting and brownies separately. This way, you can break up the baking process into manageable chunks. It fits a busy schedule or when you want to impress without the rush.
  • Texture Contrast: Savor the satisfying interplay of textures. From the fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth brownie to the crunchy goodness of pecans in the frosting. It’s a textural adventure that keeps every bite exciting.

We started with our easy brownie recipe. If you love one bowl brownies, our walnut brownies and oreo brownies are equally delicious too.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make german chocolate brownies.
  • Butter – I like to use unsalted butter so that I can control how much salt I add. If you use salted butter, skip the added salt in the recipe.
  • German Chocolate – German chocolate contains more cocoa solids and less sugar than other kinds of chocolate. This means the brownies will have a rich, intense flavor that isn’t cloyingly sweet. You could use your favorite kind of dark or semi-sweet chocolate in a pinch. 
  • Granulated Sugar – Granulated sugar dissolves quickly. So it creates even sweetness throughout the batter. You could use brown or coconut sugar instead, but the flavor and texture will differ.
  • Eggs – Room-temperature eggs incorporate into the batter easier than cold ones. 
  • Kosher Salt – Kosher salt tastes less salty than iodized table salt, which makes it perfect for balancing the sweetness of baked goodies.
  • Evaporated Milk – Evaporated milk is your secret weapon to effortless ganache. The low water content creates a smooth, glossy, pourable ganache that’s less likely to seize and become grainy or lumpy. 
  • Light Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar adds a rich, sweet, nutty, and caramel-like flavor. It perfectly compliments the intense chocolatey brownie flavor. 
  • Chopped Pecans – Go with pecans for a classic German Chocolate Brownie, or swap them for walnuts or almonds if you want to mix things up. Toast the pecans for delicious flavor.
  • Shredded Coconut – To stand up against the rich chocolate flavor, use sweetened shredded coconut to offset any bitter flavors. 

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make german chocolate brownies.

Make the brownies.

  1. Melt and Mix. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add the chocolate and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Then, add vanilla extract.
  2. Blend Dry Ingredients. Add cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for approximately 40 minutes.
Step by step photos showing how to make chocolate ganache for brownies.

For the Ganache.

  1. Combine Ingredients. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and evaporated milk. Heat in the microwave for one minute, then stir until smooth. Repeat in 30-second intervals if needed.
  2. Pour on Top. Pour ganache over baked brownies.
Step by step photos showing how to make coconut pecan frosting.

For the frosting.

  1. Heat and Stir. Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Constantly stir gently and scrape the bottom and sides of the man to avoid burning the mixture or crystallization. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens to a custard-like texture, about 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Add Flavor. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut. Mix until well combined. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

Spread chilled frosting over ganache layer. Cover brownies with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Slice of german chocolate brownies being lifted out of pan.

Tips and Tricks

  • Chill for Flavor. To allow the flavors of our German Chocolate Brownies to meld, make the frosting ahead of time and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Your patience will be rewarded with a more delicious topping.
  • No Waste. Don’t toss those leftover egg whites from the frosting! Save them for another delightful treat like meringue cookies, or whip them into airy white cupcakes.
  • Custom Texture. If you prefer a drier, cake-like brownie, simply bake for an additional 5 minutes to achieve that texture balance.
  • Long-lasting Freshness. To keep your brownies fresh, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Freeze for Later. For those moments when a sweet craving strikes, be prepared! Freeze these delectable brownies in a freezer-safe container. They’ll stay delicious for up to 3 months—perfect for a quick, indulgent fix.
Slice of german chocolate brownie served on a stack of white plates.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use dark chocolate instead of German chocolate for the brownies?

Yes, you can substitute dark chocolate for German chocolate if you prefer a more intense chocolate flavor. Use an equal amount, and the brownies will still turn out delicious.

How do I achieve clean, neat cuts when serving the brownies?

To get clean cuts, dip a sharp knife in hot water before each slice. Wipe the blade clean and repeat for each cut to achieve smooth, tidy portions. Plastic knives also work great.

Can I make the brownies in advance for a special occasion? 

Absolutely! You can make the brownies a day or two in advance and store them in the refrigerator. Just be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.

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German Chocolate Brownies

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By: Aimee
My German Chocolate Brownies are a rich, fudgy cocoa-infused treat. They’re topped with a rich and fudgy ganache and a sweet coconut-pecan frosting. Simply put – one bite is never enough.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 18 brownies


For the Brownies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 bar German Chocolate 4 ounces
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

For the Ganache

  • 1 bar German Chocolate 4 ounces
  • 4 Tablespoons evaporated milk

For the Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brownie sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut


For the Frosting

  • The frosting needs 30 minutes to chill (minimum). I suggest making the frosting FIRST.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolks, salt, and evaporated milk. Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Use a whisk or rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the saucepan, while stirring, so that the mixtures doesn't burn or create crystals on the sides of the pan.
  • Continue stirring until mixture thickens into a custard-like texture (about 8-10 minutes, depending on type of saucepan, size of pan, and type of heat).
  • Once the mixture has thickented, remove from heat. Add in vanilla extract, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut. Stir until combined.
  • Chill frosting in refrigerator until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

For the Brownies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set it aside.
  • In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  • Add in german chocolate bar and sugar. Stir until chocolate bar is completely melted.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Using big strokes, stir just until mixed and no longer see any dry ingredients (do not over stir).
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool while making ganache.

For the Ganache

  • In a glass microwave safe bowl, combine german chocolate bar with evaporated milk. Heat for one minute.
  • Stir chocolate and milk until smooth, heating an additional 30 seconds if needed.

To Assemble Brownies

  • Pour melted ganache over warm brownies. Spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  • Remove frosting from refrigerator and spread over ganache layer.
  • Refrigerate brownies for at least two hours, loosely covered with plastic wrap.


  • The frosting needs time to chill so we recommend making the frosting before the brownies.
  • You’ll need 3 egg yolks for the frosting, save the egg whites to make meringue cookies or white cupcakes!
  • The brownies will be thick and fudgy. If you prefer a more cake-like (drier) brownie, bake an additional 5 minutes.
  • Use a plastic knife to cut brownies, for even cuts.
  • Store brownies in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Freeze brownies in freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.


Serving: 1brownie, Calories: 472kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 180mg, Potassium: 190mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 37g, Vitamin A: 614IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on October 18, 2023

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