German Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

German Chocolate Cookies feature a homemade ultra soft, chewy, and gooey double chocolate cookie loaded with a flavorful coconut pecan topping. Amazing!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Ultra chocolaty with that perfect combination of tropical coconut and nutty, earthy pecans.
Texture: The cookies are ridiculously soft yet chewy and loaded with melty chocolate chips. Top that with the super gooey yet crunchy coconut topping and each bite is pure bliss.
Ease: A few more steps involved than your typical cookie recipe but so worth it! The topping may seem weird at first but just follow the directions and you’ll be good.
Appearance: Taking the extra time to drizzle melted chocolate over these really does elevate them to a new level, especially because the topping looks kinda strange on its own.
Pros: Super fun and flavorful twist on a cookie.
Cons: None, except maybe that I preferred these cookies on the first day they were made.
Would I make this again? Mmmhmmm.

German Chocolate Cookies feature a homemade ultra soft, chewy, gooey double chocolate cookie loaded with a flavorful coconut pecan topping. Amazing!
I’ve seen German Chocolate Cookies a few times on Facebook. Each time I saw a recipe I made a mental note to add it to my “to bake” list.

Unfortunately most of the recipes I kept seeing involved cake mix. Now, I have nothing against cake mix on a moral level. Sometimes you just gotta take a shortcut.
German Chocolate Cookies feature a homemade ultra soft, chewy, gooey double chocolate cookie loaded with a flavorful coconut pecan topping. Amazing!
BUT on a pure food level, I almost never use the stuff. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m all about homemade from scratch goodies whenever possible. They just taste better! And if you only eat special treats when you can make them from scratch, it’s pretty hard to overdo it. Unless you’re like me and you bake things for a living. Let’s not get into that right now…

German Chocolate Cookies feature a homemade ultra soft, chewy, gooey double chocolate cookie loaded with a flavorful coconut pecan topping. Amazing!

This recipe takes cookies to a whole new level. I’ve had way too many sickeningly sweet yet bland cookies in my life. What a waste of calories. That’s why I love these German Chocolate Cookies. They’re rich and pack a huge flavor punch so they’re incredibly satisfying. And if you’re a huge chocoholic like me you’ll adore them! Plus, as a total cookie queen, you know I got you covered with a solid recipe.

PS – This is one of the recipes that didn’t quite make it into my new and upcoming eBook, Tessa’s Christmas Cookies. It’ll be out on November 17th for an early bird sale price so stay tuned!

German Chocolate Cookies feature a homemade ultra soft, chewy, gooey double chocolate cookie loaded with a flavorful coconut pecan topping. Amazing!

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How to make
German Chocolate Cookies

Recipe By Tessa Arias, Handle the Heat
Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes


For the cookies:

1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the topping:

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 heaping cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted


For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350Β°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Using a medium spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoon rounds onto the prepared baking sheets

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before removing the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

For the topping:

In a small saucepan set over medium heat combine the milk, sugar, egg yolk, and butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Let cool until thick enough to spread on top of the cooled cookies.

Drizzle the melted chocolate all over the cookies. Let everything set for at least 15 minutes before serving. Cookies are best served the day they’re made.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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48 Responses to “German Chocolate Cookies”

  1. #
    AmyG — November 11, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Our family does not usually eat cake, especially because a cake is just too much for the three of us. I think these cookies would be the absolute best for my daughter’s 20th birthday, because she loves soft chocolate cookies and the one icing she likes is the coconut pecan. I can’t wait to make these for her next week. Additionally, these seem so much easier than cake to share. Thanks for making a recipe available that I can trust to have been tested.

    • #
      Tessa — November 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Hi Amy! I’m so happy to hear that! Sounds like this recipe was good timing πŸ™‚ Happy birthday to your daughter!

  2. #
    Laurel — November 11, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Tessa,
    Do you think these cookies would pack ok? I was thinking of making it a “foodie” Christmas for the cooks in my family back home. Ya know, homemade caramel corn and cheese corn, cookies, some homemade spice mixes, gift cards to the King Arthur Flour store. These cookies look amazing and my mum loves coconut, so I’m hoping a clean, Christmased-up Pringles can of these would make it ok! πŸ˜€

    • #
      Tessa — November 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I don’t think so sadly πŸ™ Not only are they best eaten the day they’re made but the topping is pretty sticky and would make packing and transporting a bit of a mess.

    • #
      Laurel — November 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Ok, no problem! It’ll just be a treat that goes to work with my taller half, then. πŸ˜€
      Thanks for responding so quickly! Everything I’ve tried from your blog has turned out so great! My brother in law says your caramel sauce is like liquid Werther’s. πŸ˜€

    • #
      Tessa — November 12, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Love to hear that!! Thanks Laurel πŸ™‚

  3. #
    Katherines Corner — November 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I think I just drooled πŸ™‚ I invite you to share your cookie recipes at my annual cookie swap linky party Hugs!

  4. # — November 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I prepared this recipe and received rave review! Although they are very rich, they are also extremely high on the “yummy” scale, and no one who tried it didn’t want another one. Also, the instructions were extremely well done, and leave no worries about making an error. I will be baking these often from now on. Although I rarely make a recipe by simply following the directions, with this recipe, the only change/addition I incorporated was the use of vanilla bean paste, instead of just straight vanilla. Very good recipe! Thank you.

    • #
      Tessa — November 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment! So glad you enjoyed the recipe. The vanilla bean paste sounds lovely!

  5. #
    JoniB — December 21, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Tessa, I made these cookies and they are SO good, they will be a Christmas cookie for ever! I would like to know the nutritional information if possible.

  6. #
    Angelica — December 22, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Can you substitute regular milk with evaporated milk??

  7. #
    Marina — December 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Could these possibly be frozen? Just wondering with the topping and all.

  8. #
    Jess — January 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Just made these- followed the recipe to a T and they turned out phenomenal! Great way to start off the New Year, thank you for this delicous recipe!!! Only disappointment was the meager yield of 24. I’ll double the recipe next time.

  9. #
    Renay — January 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Hi Tessa, I will be trying this recipe out, I have two questions, can you omit the chocolate chips in the cookie recipe without ruining the recipe and referring to the packing question, couldn’t you pack them using parchment paper for the stickiness from the icing?

    • #
      Tessa — January 17, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Feel free to omit the chocolate chips (though they’re so much better with them!!) and as for packing with parchment, even then the weight of the cookies stacked kind of smashes everything. If you try let us know how it goes!

  10. #
    Ali — February 13, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I’d like to make these, but want all of the German chocolate ingredients inside the cookies, without the addition of icing. I found some coconut-flavor-filled chocolate chips that I think would work perfectly in this recipe. I’m thinking of adding some coconut extract, sweetened shredded coconut and chopped pecans to the dough, in addition to the coconut morsels.

  11. #
    H Flores — February 17, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I made these and they are incredibly tasty cookies! Even just the cookie by itself is a great chocolate cookie…thanks!

  12. #
    Stacy — February 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I made these last night and they were absolutely wonderful. Put in fridge overnight and took to work and wow they were a great big hit and tasted just as good today as they did last night. Added to my cookbook already will make again for sure.

  13. #
    Loree — March 4, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Like you, I prefer to make things from scratch. Have you ever tried substituting Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate for the cocoa powder? It’s so yummy in German Chocolate Cake, so I would really like to try it with these cookies. I know I would probably have to decrease the butter as well. And I thought I could grate the chocolate instead of melting it. Would you happen to know by how much I should decease the butter? The pictures make me swoon, BTW!

  14. #
    Jule — March 31, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Hi Tessa!
    I’m from Germany but I’ve never heard of these cookies before! πŸ˜€
    Anyway, I’m sure they taste delicious and I will try this recipe soon πŸ™‚

    • #
      Tessa — March 31, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Haha! Well I really just took the idea of a German Chocolate Cake and made it into cookies! Let me know what you think of the recipe!

  15. #
    Sheila — April 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    As for stacking cookies, I use a staggered arrangement for each layer with wax or parchment paper between each layer. The bottom layers don’t take as much direct weight staggered. The recipe sounds yummy.

  16. #
    Miranda Eskelson — April 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Oh man, these cookies were amazing!!

  17. #
    Stephanie — April 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Hi, so I was wondering, if all I have is sweetened dutch process cocoa, could I just omit some of the granulated sugar in the recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — April 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Hmm I’m not sure because I’ve never used sweetened cocoa powder. Doing so may alter the texture :/

  18. #
    Deb — June 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Went to visit family. Made these cookies one morning. Same day made a second/double batch – family loved them. Put some in the freezer – wax paper between layers – 2 weeks later my parents texted me to tell me they loved them straight from the freezer. Tess – thank you for sharing these!!!!!

    • #
      Tessa — June 23, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Oh, that’s so awesome!! I’ll have to try them frozen next time πŸ™‚

  19. #
    Jennifer — August 14, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I loved making these, they were amazing & such a great idea! Everyone loved them!

    • #
      Tessa — August 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Wonderful!! Happy to hear that, Jennifer πŸ™‚

  20. #
    Kathleen — August 23, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Could you make the cookie up ahead of time and freeze them, then make the topping when you want to serve ? Would the cookie still be good?

    • #
      Tessa — August 23, 2016 at 7:57 am

      I’d reccomend freezing the balls of dough, letting them come to room temp, then baking off when you’re ready to serve. That way the cookies have the best taste and texture πŸ™‚

  21. #
    Robin — September 4, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I couldn’t find the dutch processed cocoa, can I use Hershey unsweetened cocoa?

  22. #
    Carissa — September 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Hi Tessa!
    My cousin requested German chocolate cookies and I found your recipe. He and everyone that tried them loved them. I’m not a fan of shredded coconut so I was cooking without tasting but your recipe was easy to follow and turned out great. Thank you so much!

  23. #
    Cynthia — September 15, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I made these the Lazy way with a German choc mix and the coconut nutty frosting out of the can..with a 1/2 cup melted choc chips with a tablespoon of milk to thin it out put in a piece of wax paper made in a cone drizzled over top. The cake mix I added 3 eggs, 1/2 cup applesauce and 2 T milk. Hand blended. Dropped onto cookie sheet sprayed with Pam baked @ 350 10 min frosted warm. Perfect. Made 2 dozen. Placed in covered containers on waxed paper. Only downfall can’t stack them. Very moist cookies.

  24. #
    Judy — October 2, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    My husband is from Germany and had never heard of German Chocolate cake either. Several years ago I read that German chocolate cake was named for the American who came up with the recipe and whose last name just happened to be German. Mystery solved.

  25. #
    Betty White — November 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Could you make the cookie ahead of time and then put the frosting on at a later date?

  26. #
    Dwayne Talley — November 29, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Are these cookies soft or do they harden.

  27. #
    Madrid — December 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Does anyone have any idea approximately how many calories per cookie?

  28. #
    Shoshana Mazal — December 19, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    We can’t get evaporated milk here in Israel. What can be substituted? Also sweetened shredded coconut isn’t sold. Can sweetened coconut strips be shredded in a food processor to make this?

  29. #
    Carla J. Long — December 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

    These are absolutely THE BEST cookies I have ever made or eaten! I’ve baked cookies for all 9 of us as a child ALL MY LIFE, and there is no cookie I’ve made, that ever tops this one!!! The only thing I would say is not to bake them more than 10 minutes, or they will turn out like mine, and they were a little too hard. I also agree with Tessa, and would have to say they are best eaten the day they are made. The frosting is just too die for, and tastes like a homemade Christmas caramel made on the stove. Definitely make these!

  30. #
    Carla J. Long — December 22, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Forgot to comment, that I also froze mine, and they tasted perfectly fine right out of the freezer. Also, I would recommend that you DOUBLE the recipe, because they are JUST THAT GOOD! Thanks Tessa! You definitely ARE the cookie queen…

  31. #
    Vernette — January 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I have a question. The way I understand the cookie receipt I need a total of 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk. Then I need 1 egg yolk for the frosting. Is the right way? Thank you Vernette

    • #
      Tessa — January 22, 2017 at 11:53 am


  32. #
    Kathleen — February 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Hi Tessa, can you make these into one giant cookie? And if so do you need to change the baking time? Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — February 14, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      I have no idea, Kathleen, I’ve never tried! Let us know how it turns out if you give it a go πŸ™‚

  33. #
    Crystal — February 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Hi where can you find this coco powder? Or can you use hersey’s? Suggestions please πŸ™‚

  34. #
    T — May 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I accidentally put one whole egg and 1 egg white in the cookie dough. I haven’t baked the cookies yet so do you think they will be fine as is or should I add the egg yoke?

  35. #
    CindyV — July 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I made these tonight for a party. They were fantastic!

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