German Chocolate Cookie Bars

4.97 from 29 votes

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German Chocolate Cookie Bars have a chewy chocolate cookie layer topped with gooey homemade German chocolate coconut frosting.

German Chocolate Cookie Bar on a plate.

These German chocolate cookie bars are perfectly chewy with a crunchy, yet gooey coconut frosting topping. They are heavenly! And SO EASY to make! I have probably made these German Chocolate Cookie Bars at least 5 times since the beginning of the year. I love them!

You can’t go wrong with these bars. They are a new favorite at our house! They are so gooey and delicious! Oh and did I mention they are super EASY? I almost always have all the ingredients on hand so I make these whenever I have a sweet tooth and I don’t want to make a trip to the store!

Ingredients in German Chocolate Bars

  • Chocolate Cake Mix – You can use German Chocolate cake mix, Devil’s Food cake mix, or any other chocolate cake mix
  • Butter – Unsalted works best for this recipe
  • Eggs – You need one for the crust and one for the filling
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • vanilla extract
  • Pecans
  • Shredded coconut
  • Milk chocolate chips – You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips.

How to Assemble German Chocolate Bars

  1. Prepare the crust according to the directions below
  2. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, egg, pecans and coconut and pour evenly over the warm crust. You can heat this mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until just hot but we have found that it works best pouring the mixture directly over the warm chocolate crust.
  3. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top
  4. Bake until the top is a light golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

German Chocolate Cake Mix vs Devil’s Food Cake

As you will see in the recipe below you can use either a German Chocolate Cake Mix or a Devil’s Food Cake Mix. Originally we started off ALWAYS making it with German chocolate cake mix but when I was craving these and found all I had in the pantry was a Devil’s Food Cake mix I made it with that and haven’t gone back since. They were way more moist and have a richer flavor. Since I made this discovery months after we posted the first time, it was too late to change the name.. so we still call them German Chocolate Cookie bars but really we like them best when they are “Devil’s Food Cake bars with coconut topping”. Both ways are delicious so if you want to keep with the German theme, feel free to stick with it. You really can’t lose.

Making German Chocolate Bars From Scratch

No box cake mix? No problem! You can make the chocolate cake mix in this recipe from scratch. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups cake flour (all purpose flour will work fine if you don’t have cake flour)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir well and use this cake mixture in place of the box cake mix below.

Variations and Additions

  • Caramel – Drizzle melted caramel over the top
  • Almonds – for more of a crunch you can use chopped almonds instead of pecans
  • Easter style – Toss the coconut in a tiny bit of green food coloring for an Easter twist. Add chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs over the top as another fun addition.

You can’t go wrong with these delicious German Chocolate Cookie Bars but if you are looking for MORE delicious treats like this one, give some (or all) of these a try:

  • Caribbean Coconut Fudge Bars: These tasty bars come straight from St. John’s in the Caribbean. Chocolate and coconut is ALWAYS a winning combination! You will love all the delicious layers of these bars!
  • Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars: Craving a taste of the islands but looking for something more on the fruity side? You have GOT to try these coconut lime cheesecake bars. One of the most popular recipes on our site!
  • Coconut Pecan Cookie Bars: These cookie bars are SO easy to whip up. No cake mix needed! Only a few easy ingredients and you’ve got yourself dessert in about 30 minutes!
  • Peanut Butter Bars: Better than your lunch lady used to make!
  • We have MANY MANY more cookie and bar recipes… check them ALL out HERE!

Read Next: 25+ Easter Desserts and Treats

Frequently Asked Questions About German Chocolate Bars

Can you freeze German Chocolate Bars?

Yes! Wrap them up and store them in an air-tight freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Allow to warm to room temperature before serving.

What is a German Chocolate Bar?

A German chocolate bar is a cookie bar made with a cookie crust and topped with a coconut topping and chocolate chips. It like German chocolate cake in a cookie!

Do I need to use German chocolate in this recipe?

No, you can use any kind of chocolate cake mix. In fact our favorite chocolate cake mix to use is Devil’s Food cake!

A German Chocolate Cookie Bar with another one in the background on a plate.

German Chocolate Cookie Bars

4.97 from 29 votes
German Chocolate Cookie Bars have a chewy chocolate cookie layer topped with gooey homemade german chocolate coconut frosting. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dutch, German
Servings 12



  • 9×13 inch pan





  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (I used non-stick cooking spray).
    Greased baking pan for German Chocolate Cookie Bars.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, butter and egg.
    Cake mix, butter, and egg in a medium bowl for German Chocolate Cookie Bars.
  • Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. The crust should not come up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and remove from the oven. The crust will not look done.
    Ingredient mix spread into baking pan for German Chocolate Cookie Bars.
  • While the crust is baking, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, egg, pecans and coconut.
    Sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, egg, pecans, and coconut in a bowl for German Chocolate Cookie Bars.
  • Pour evenly over the warm crust and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips.
    Ingredient mixture and chocolate chips spread over German Chocolate Cookie Bars.
  • Bake for 24-30 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.
    Golden brown German Chocolate Cookie Bars.


  • Any kind of chocolate cake mix will work for this recipe. Or you can make your own cake mix from scratch! Use 3 ½ cups of our homemade cake mix and add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
  • Try drizzling a little caramel over the top to add a decadent touch
  • To freeze, place finished bars in an airtight freezer-safe container. Separate bars by wrapping individually or separating with parchment paper. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 5gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 333mgPotassium: 191mgFiber: 2gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 300IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 2.2mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. This is not GERMAN Chocolate Bars this is Deviled Food Bars. German Chocolate cake is a type of chocolate named for a man whose last name is German. So you would need to use a GERMAN Chocolate cake mix for this to fall under that category!

    1. German chocolate is a fairly common colloquialism for desserts that have chocolate, coconut and nuts. If it makes you feel better, just buy the cake mix that says German chocolate on the label. Amazing what people find to grouse about these days . . .

  2. I made these yesterday with a German chocolate cake mix and an entire 12 oz. package of milk chocolate chips on top. WOWZA! They are GREAT. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  3. I used German Chocolate pudding cake and it turn out a little more than golden brown and a little burnt around the edges, otherwise it was still very good. Very easy to make.

  4. Where is the German chocolate? Why call them German Chocolate Bars when there isn’t any German chocolate?

  5. After reading all comments, I am going try this. Making cookies, fudge, etc for Christmas gifts. This will be a good addition

  6. I am making these at 10:00 pm. They smell so good right now. Thanks for the recipe. Mine are taking a bit longer to cook as I used homemade sweetened condensed milk which was a bit thinner.

    1. They don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator unless you prefer to serve them cold. I think they taste best at room temperature. Thanks for asking!

  7. I made these today for my daughter to take to school for a party in her German class. I omitted the nuts due to obvious reasons (never knowing if their is a nut allergy in the bunch). Went together really quick and are baking now.

  8. Hey I am planning to make these soon, they look absolutely amazing! I have one question when I mix the cake mix with butter and eggs, do I use a mixer, or do I use a spoon

  9. I am so excited to make these but realized I bought the Devils Food with the pudding mix added. Will it ruin the recipe?

  10. I am not a cook or a baker. I wish the directions stated that the crust needed to be cooled before putting the condensed milk mixture on it. What I thought was going to be a easy delicious desert just landed in the trash. Total disaster.

    1. You are supposed to put it over the warm crust… it should be slightly undercooked. You don’t cut the bars until they are cooled or they will be too gooey.

        1. Usually 30-60 minutes. Sometimes I will put them outside on a cold day and they will cool quicker. Thanks for asking!

  11. Mmmmm these look so good, so obsessed with chocolate :/ oh and I still can’t believe I won your iPad mini giveaway, thank you so much.

  12. I’ve made something very similar to these before and they’re super good! Thanks for reminding me of this great recipe!