German Chocolate Cookie Bars

4.97 from 29 votes
65 Comments

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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

Video

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch pan

Ingredients

Crust:

Filling:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (I used non-stick cooking spray).
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, butter and egg, and 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.
  • While the crust is baking, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, egg, pecans and coconut.
  • Pour evenly over the warm crust.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 24-30 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes

  • 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 beautiful three 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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    EVERY TIME I MAKE THIS RECIPE, IT IS A HIT!!

    FRIENDS ALWAYS WANT THE RECIPE ..

    I DO USE DEVILS FOOD CAKE MIX RATHER THAN GERMAN CHOCOLATE
    AND ALMOND EXTRACT RATHER THAN VANILLA

    DO NOT OVERBAKE .. EDGES SHOULD BE BROWN AND CENTER LIGHT LIGHT BROWN

    EITHER CAKES ARE YUMMY

    1. Wondering if these would freeze well and if so, how would you do it to get the best results? I am needing to make a very large quantity. Thanks!

      1. I haven’t tried freezing them before, but I would probably try to freeze the base and then make the topping closer to serving. Hope this helps!

    2. 4 stars
      I haven’t made these German Chocolate Cake Mix Cookie Bars yet, but plan to make them later today.
      I’m sure they are delicious, but I do feel there needs to be some clarification, as to the fact that the recipe lists them as German or Dutch origination. This is incorrect.
      German chocolate is not named after the country nor does it have anything to do with German or Dutch cuisine. German Chocolate originated in the United States and was discovered by a chocolate maker by the name of Samuel German, thus the name German Chocolate.

    3. I am baking them right now… way over 30 minutes and it still doesn’t look done. The mixture isn’t golden. They are for my husband’s birthday tonight. I’m worried they won’t turn out.🤷🏼‍♀️ Any suggestions???

      1. The top should turn a very light golden color. How did they come out? Wish your husband a very happy birthday from us!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow these look perfect! I have all the ingredients ready…so I am going to make it tomorrow. Yay!

  3. 5 stars
    Yum! My family is going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try! Looks so delicious and scrumptious!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these for a family reunion. What a hit. I used the German Chocolate cake mix and mini chocolate chips and many asked for the recipe. A definite keeper.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made these several times already they are easy and delicious. Secret don’t overcook. I bake on convection for 24 min. Five stars

    1. I always make birthday cookies in a large round baking stone that has a slightly raised edge. (Pampered chef large white baking stone) Would this recipe work in that? German chocolate is my husband’s favorite cake, so I thought it might be fun to try this.

  6. They are in the oven now!!!
    I am taking them to Birthday
    Social at church tonight and
    Can’t wait to try them.😊😊

  7. 5 stars
    Just finished baking these delicious cookie bars. Moist, rich, and chocolatey. I have a new addition to our yearly Christmas cookie platter. Yummy!!!

  8. My kind of baking! I used to love scratch baking when I was younger, but not so much these days. Thanks and pinned.