The Best German Chocolate Brownies — Rich, ultra fudgy brownies topped with the best German chocolate frosting!! Sinfully delicious! Easy, no-mixer recipe that’s an automatic hit with everyone!!
Easiest German Chocolate Brownies
If my Turtle Brownies and Coconut Mounds Bar Brownies had a baby, this is what it would look like.
Dense, rich, ultra fudgy brownies topped with a coconut and pecan frosting that’s sweet and full of texture from shredded coconut and pecans.
I’m not sure why the ‘frosting’ on German chocolate cakes or brownies is called frosting when it’s more like a topping, but I’m not about to question the name of something that tastes so good.
I used chopped Fisher Pecans in the topping. Fisher Nuts is the only national brand of recipe nuts entirely without preservatives, making them an excellent choice for baking.
The brownies are an easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that’s as fast as using a boxed mix and they turn out fudgy with zero cakiness. It’s a brownie base I’ve fallen in love with because it’s easy and always delivers amazing results.
Ingredients in German Chocolate Brownies
To make these homemade chocolate brownies with German chocolate cake frosting, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Dark chocolate
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Brewed coffee
- Instant espresso granules
- All-purpose flour
- Full-fat evaporated milk
- Light brown sugar
- Sweetened shredded coconut flakes
- Chopped Fisher pecans
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe card with exact measurements.
How to Make German Chocolate Brownies
This recipe for German chocolate brownies is so simple! Here’s an overview of how the brownies are made:
- Make the brownies: Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large bowl.
- Then, stir in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, coffee, and espresso granules. Whisk in the flour and salt last.
- Turn the brownie batter into a foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish and bake until the center has just set and is no longer glossy.
- Make the frosting: To a medium saucepan, add the evaporated milk, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, and salt.
- Heat over medium-low to low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.
The frosting takes less than 10 minutes to make. The hardest part is whisking it continuously, but I just considered that a mini arm workout before diving into these decadent brownies that are the best German chocolate brownies I’ve ever had.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Yes, double the ingredients list and bake the brownies in a 9×13-inch baking dish. The bake time should be roughly the same.
Can I Use Sweetened Condensed Milk?
No! You MUST use evaporated milk to make the German chocolate cake frosting. Sweetened condensed milk is already sweetened and is supremely sticky, not at all what you want for the frosting.
Can the Brownies Be Made Gluten-Free?
I don’t dabble in gluten-free baking, but I’ve had readers report success using Cup4Cup gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Can I Use Another Type of Nut?
If you’re out of pecans or have an allergy, you can either omit them entirely or substitute them with walnuts. You won’t be making a traditional German frosting if you sub or omit the pecans, but do what you need to.
Tips for Making Fudgy German Brownies
You must line the baking pan with foil, otherwise the brownies will never come out.
After you’ve melted the butter and chocolate together, let the mixture cool off for a minute or two. If you add the eggs in too soon, you may scramble them.
Likewise, it’s important that you continually stir the German chocolate cake frosting. Whisk constantly or there’s a high likelihood you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in the bottom of your saucepan.
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The Best German Chocolate Brownies
Rich, ultra fudgy brownies topped with the best German chocolate frosting!! Sinfully delicious! Easy, no-mixer recipe that's an automatic hit with everyone!!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus Bar)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (leftover or cold coffee is okay), optional but recommended
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules, optional but recommended
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) full-fat evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and quartered
- 2 large egg yolks (discard whites or save for another use)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
- heaping 1/2 cup chopped Fisher Pecans, lightly toasted if desired
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
- To a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, chocolate, and heat on high power to melt, about 2 minutes. Stop to check and stir after 1 minute. Heat in 15-second increments until chocolate has melted and mixture can be stirred smooth. Allow mixture to cool momentarily before adding the eggs so they don’t scramble.
- Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, optional coffee, optional espresso granules (neither make brownies taste like coffee and both enhance and round out the chocolate flavor), and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until smooth and combined without overmixing.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula as necessary.
- Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until center has just set and is no longer glossy. A toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
- Allow brownies to cool in pan on top of a wire rack while you make the topping.
- To a medium saucepan, add the evaporated milk, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, and heat over medium-low to low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Whisk constantly or there’s a high likelihood you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in the bottom of your saucepan. The mixture should be boiling gently while whisking.
- Remove pan from the heat, add the vanilla, and whisk to combine using caution because the mixture could bubble up.
- Add the coconut, pecans, and stir to combine. Allow topping to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.
- Turn topping out over brownies, using a spatula to spread it as necessary.
- Allow brownies to cool uncovered for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. I prefer to cover the brownies with foil and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight because they’re much easier to slice when chilled and I prefer the taste when chilled.
Brownies will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I store them in the fridge.
Adapted from The Best Turtle Brownies and Allrecipes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 6g
More Easy Brownie Recipes:
The Best Turtle Brownies — Super fudgy and loaded with chocolate, pecans and caramel! So.crazy.good!
Chocolate Coconut Mounds Bar Brownies — Like eating a Mounds candy bar that’s on top of rich, fudgy brownies! Easy and oh so good!
Oreo Cream Cheese Brownies – Fudgy brownies with a layer of cream cheese and tons of Oreos! They’ll be your new favorites!
Andes Mint Brownies – Super fudgy brownies loaded with Andes! Chocolate + mint is the best! Meet your new favorite brownies and so easy!
Salted Caramel Pretzel-Topped Fudgy Brownies — Super fudgy scratch brownies as easy as a mix and the salty-and-sweet combo is irresistible!
Loaded Fudgy Candy Bar Brownies — Perfect for using extra candy you have! There’s no such thing as too much chocolate!
Fudgy Peanut Butter Cup Brownies — Easy, one-bowl, no mixer brownies with a full-size PB cup in every brownie! As fast as using mix and tastes way better!
Homemade Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies – A dead ringer for the real thing and just so good!
Post is brought to you by Fisher Nuts. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #fisherunshelled
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher. The opinions and text are all mine.
When do you start timing topping from the start or after it begins to boil ?
You’re not really boiling it, you’re cooking it, and you’d want to cook it approximately 7-10 minutes, or until it begins to thicken up nicely. You’ll know; because you’ll be there whisking it nearly constantly and it will change noticeably.
I found this recipe several years ago, and made it for my new boyfriend at the time. Well, it’s been 5 years, that boyfriend is now my soon to be husband, and there are still requested EVERY YEAR for his birthday. I am gluten free, so I sub cup 4 cup flour, but they turn out beautifully every. Single. Time. I did have one odd time when the frosting turned super yellow for some reason but they were STILL delicious.
Thanks for the 5 star review and what a lovely story!! Wow! Congrats on your upcoming wedding and glad that he requests these every year on his birthday!
Also great to hear that you make them with GF cup4cup flour and they turn out great!
I would love to make these in a 9×13 pan. How long would you suggest baking them for if I doubled it? Thanks so much!
Likely you shouldn’t have to bake for that much longer, it’s hard to say but I would just keep an eye on it. I haven’t done it this way myself so cannot say for sure.
Thank you! For others who may be curious, made a double recipe in 9×13 pan and they were done in 30 minutes.
Thanks for the info!
What is the weight for a stick of butter please. I’m in the UK?
I would just google it. It’s 1/2 cup butter.
These look amazing and I will be making them for my office Christmas party! I would like to double the recipe and bake them in a larger baking dish for a higher yield- do you think that will work??
I would double and bake in a 9×13, although I haven’t personally tried, I think that will be fine.
When I asked my son what he wanted me to bake, and I gave him several choices, he answered brownies. It didn’t matter what type of brownies, so I chose these. Boy, did I make a good choice!
I am big on using what I have on hand instead of buying extra items. I used Trader Joe’s 100% white whole wheat flour, because that’s what I had. But I did have to purchase; Fisher pecans, Ghirardelli premium baking bar 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, and organic unsweetened coconut flakes. I felt there was enough sugar in the recipe. It turned out great! The perfect after dinner desert. Oh, and more thing, I do not own a 8X8 pan, but I do have a 9X9 pan. I was worried that the result was flat brown squares. But that was not the case at all. The outcome was fluffy, moist, chocolaty heaven!
Thanks again, Averie!
Going to make these this weekend, last time I made this brownie recipe (for the mounds bars brownies) I used chocolate chips, but I have the TJ’s chocolate bar now, are a certain amount of squares 6 oz? Or do you just measure after you chop it up? I feel when I do that, I have a lot of empty space in my measuring cup – I could chop smaller? I just don’t want to miss any chocolate :) Thanks!
The one thing about the TJ’s bars is they’re not an ‘easy’ size, i.e. 1 square = 1 ounce, no not like that. I use a food scale that was about 9.99 on Amazon and although I am not a baker who tends to measure my ingredients by weight, with chopped chocolate it’s invaluable because you really can’t go by how the measuring cup looks because you could way over/under estimate it that way. Get a food scale and you’ll be so happy!
Can you use an unsweetened chocolate bar in this recipe??
It would be too bitter I believe.
These brownies were so delicious. I’ve made 4 batches in one week all for different people but it was hard to let them go lol!! I am in love with them. Thanks for sharing!!!
How awesome of you to bake brownies, FOUR BATCHES, and give them to others! You have very lucky friends and family! So glad you’re loving the recipe!
German chocolate cake is amazing! I never thought about making brownies!! Yum!
Nice one.. Hey,what the importance of picking unsalted butter??
So you can control the salt level since all brands of ‘salted butter’ vary widely in the amount of salt used and you have no idea what that amount is.
These brownies look amazing! I love how the frosting only takes ten minutes to make. I was surprised that you did not need a mixer to make the brownies. I have not found many recipes where you do not need a mixer. I did not know before reading your blog post that there is a type of pecans that do have any preservatives. I will have to try those out. Would you make these brownies again? Do you have any tips on making the topping? Maybe I will have to try making these brownies for Mother’s Day.
Meant to say do not any perseveratives…
I would definitely make the brownies again and I don’t really have any tips for making the brownies that I didn’t already share. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe. Enjoy!
LOVE THIS! I’m so glad your brownie base uses chocolate instead of a cocoa powder/sugar mixture. Real chocolate makes a world of difference when making brownies! I’ll definitely give these a go!!
I am so with you on the brownie bases that use cocoa powder. Everything says they’re just as good and while I have tried it once and think it’s decent, NOTHING beats real chocolate and butter and sugar :)
Oh wow, that frosting! And the brownies look so rich. These look delicious, Averie!
Made these yesterday for my dad as he LOVES german chocolate cake and he said they beat any cake he has ever had! I love the versatile brownie base-SO much better than boxed (he could immediately tell it was homemade) and super versatile! I’m interested to see what other things you can do with the base (oreos, cheesecake or my favorite PB!!) and look forward to more brownie creations :)
Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you! And yes the base is super versatile! Many of the ‘Related Recipes’ use that base. Glad your dad was impressed!
oh yummy! This looks so good! I know my Mom would love these!
I could eat German Chocolate Cake frosting with a spoon, no cake needed! LOVE it! These brownies look incredible! Your squares are always so perfect! Pinned!
Thanks for pinning, Anna! :)
These look amazing! They are cut so perfectly. I love using a tiny bit of coffee in chocolate desserts. I can’t wait to make these!
These look awesome! I love German chocolate cake because of that yummy frosting/topping! I love a sohisticated brownie–when I was a kid they were usually either plain or frosted. So many fun ways to change them up now that I’m old(er)?
When I was a kid it was the same! Plain, chocolate frosted, and always cakey (not a fan!). Good thing we can customize to our liking now that we’re old(er)!
I mean….!!!! WOW. I could literally sink my teeth into a whole stack of these right now, they look SO good! pinned :)
Thanks for pinning!
I would inhale the entire pan of these! That frosting. Holy cow! And I just made a topped brownie for Sunday, but it’s got a different flavor profile. #twinsies :)
Lol we are always twinsies! Seriously! :) Can’t wait to see yours!
Is it cheating to just make the frosting and eat it out of a bowl??? I’m not a huge fan of traditional frosting but I LOVE this kind of topping. I suppose it’s best to have a base to put it on. :)
I totally was licking the frosting bowl…so good! And sometimes you don’t even need a base when it comes to frosting :)
That brownie base is probably the best thing to ever happen to brownies. And no, it’s not frosting. But who are we to fix what ain’t broke, ya know?
Have a great weekend, Mir!