German Chocolate Cookies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Chocolate | Cookies

German Chocolate Cookies

November 11th, 2015
4.98 from 35 votes
4.98 from 35 votes

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

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

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? Definitely!

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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.

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

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.

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.

Tips for Making German Chocolate Cookies

What Type of Cocoa Powder is Best For German Chocolate Cookies?

I recommend using Dutch-process cocoa for these cookies. It can be difficult to source in grocery stores, but it can be purchased easily online. My favorite brands of Dutch-process cocoa powder are E. Guittard, Penzey’s, Bensdorp, or Valrhona.

Why Use Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder?

I recommend using Dutch-process cocoa because it provides a deep color, more moisture, and a flavor that I think complements the sweet coconut topping perfectly. Dutch-process cocoa has more fat than most grocery store natural/unsweetened cocoa powder products, which is what we want for flavor and moisture in this specific recipe.

comparison of dutch process vs natural cocoa powder

If you must use natural cocoa powder, go ahead. Just note your German Chocolate Cookies may be lighter in color and slightly drier in texture. You can learn more about the differences between cocoa powders here.

What Baking Sheet is Best for German Chocolate Cookies?

A light-colored aluminum half-sheet pan is my favorite for baking cookies. Avoid dark nonstick pans altogether, they brown too much and may burn the bottoms of your cookies. This is particularly important for dark-colored cookies like these German Chocolate Cookies, as it can be harder to tell visually when these are done baking. The below photo features cookies from the same exact batch of dough, baked for the same amount of time at the same temperature. The only difference was the baking pan!

Side-by-side testing to find the best baking pans! Including nonstick vs. aluminum, and which pans specifically you should NEVER use!
Check out my Baking Pans 101 post for all the surprising details. Or, just click here to score my favorite baking pans for cookies (and everything else!)

Why Use a Cookie Scoop?

How to Store German Chocolate Cookies

Store German Chocolate Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Store cookies with a tortilla, apple wedge, or piece of bread to keep them soft a little longer.

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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4.98 from 35 votes

How to make
German Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
German Chocolate Cookies feature a homemade ultra soft, chewy, and gooey double chocolate cookie loaded with a flavorful coconut pecan topping. Amazing!


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:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. 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.

  4. Using a medium (1.5-Tablespoon) size spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoon rounds onto the prepared baking sheets

  5. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : german chocolate cookies
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Kumi — October 3, 2023 at 6:48 am

    Can I use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 3, 2023 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Kumi! Yes, that will work just fine. You will lose a tiny bit of richness and moisture from the additional molasses in dark brown sugar, but your cookies will still be delicious! Let us know how it goes 🙂

      • #
        Kumi — October 16, 2023 at 2:20 am

        I made with light brown sugar. My husband and kids loved it. I usually don’t eat chocolate cookies but this one was so delicious, not so sweet. Thank you Kiersten!

        • #
          Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 16, 2023 at 8:26 am

          So happy to hear that, Kumi!

  2. #
    Karie Holsenbeck — October 1, 2023 at 9:23 am

    This recipe makes an awesome German chocolate cookie. I have made this several times. Everyone loves it

  3. #
    Julie — August 19, 2023 at 3:48 am

    Hi. I am wondering if these could be made a bar cookie, like a brownie?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 21, 2023 at 7:40 am

      Hi Julie! We haven’t tried that, so I can’t say for sure! Let us know how it goes if you give that a try 🙂

  4. #
    Sharon Loewen — August 9, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    I love this cookie! It’s the best chocolate cookie ever! I followed the cookie recipe exactly. I didn’t need to refrigerate the dough because I used the cookie scoop recomended and that worked great. Thanks for the tip to use the light cookie sheets. I did turn down the heat for the topping to cook it as long as it needed to cook. This made the topping the thickness it needed and after only several minutes cooling, it spread on the cookies nicely. I took the advice of someone to put the melted chocolate in a ziplock bag and cut the tip off to drizzle the chocolate. It worked perfectly!

  5. #
    Joyce — August 5, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Have you ever substituted gluten free flour in the recipe? I’ve used one to one gluten free flour in several recipes and it’s turned out great. If you’ve made gluten free cookies, which brand have you used?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 7, 2023 at 9:44 am

      Hi Joyce! We don’t bake with gluten-free substitutions, so we can’t say how that will work or give advice on brands. Let us know how it goes if you experiment with this! 🙂

      • #
        Julie — August 21, 2023 at 4:55 pm

        I made them as written and they were fabulous! I may try a bar version in the future.

    • #
      Barb — August 27, 2023 at 5:01 pm

      Re: gluten-free, I made them with King Arthur Measure for Measure – no other changes to the recipe – and they came out great. Terrific recipe!

      • #
        Emily — August 28, 2023 at 1:02 pm

        Wonderful to hear! Thanks for sharing, Barb!

  6. #
    Jean Allaire — July 22, 2023 at 8:23 am

    To make a double batch is it an exact doubling of all ingredients? I know with some recipes there are some changes. Thank You.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 24, 2023 at 10:03 am

      Hi Jean! Yes, just double all ingredients – no further adjustments needed 🙂 Happy baking!

  7. #
    Jean Allaire — July 22, 2023 at 8:18 am

    I made these for a large group yesterday. Next time I double the batch!!! I bake for.these people very often and they always have wonderful things to say…This time people wanted me to box them and sell them! I felt like a gourmet baker! will definitely be making again and again!

  8. #
    Diane — June 28, 2023 at 11:03 am

    This is got to be one of the best chocolate cookies I have ever had! I just made these for my granddaughter who is turning 20 and shipped them to her with a two day delivery date. I froze them before I shipped them and I am hoping that they are safe to eat in two days. Can you confirm that?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 28, 2023 at 11:29 am

      Hi Diane! As Tessa mentions in the pink tip box above the recipe, these cookies can be stored at room temperature for 2 days. This short window is purely for quality purposes, as cookies may dry out or become stale by this point. The extra precautions you took to prevent this should mean the cookies are still delicious for your granddaughter! I’m sure she’ll love them 🙂

  9. #
    Jenn Turcott — June 20, 2023 at 9:51 am

    sooooo yummy. My daughter said they were the best cookies she had ever tasted. I did follow a suggestion to toast the pecans and coconut and I also used hersheys dark cocoa powder.

  10. #
    Carmen — June 19, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    This is the first time I made this and it was delicious. I made especially for my son-in-law since he really like German chocolate cake. I wanted something different. The family enjoyed the cookies.

  11. #
    LP — June 14, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    The best cookie EVER!

  12. #
    Martha — June 12, 2023 at 10:59 am

    Hello, I don’t know English, I love seeing you online and seeing your recipes, I really like your page, I cook as a hobby and I love baking, I would love to buy your book but I don’t think it will reach Mexico, right, I live in Hermosillo, Sonora and I think that in July we will go to Phoenix, in which part or in which store is your book.- Thank you very much, I am using Google translate.- Greetings, thank you and much success.- Martha

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 14, 2023 at 9:15 am

      Hi Martha! So glad you enjoy Tessa’s recipes and posts! The Ultimate Cookie Handbook is not available in stores, but you can grab it on Amazon US here, or as a digital download here! Also, FYI, it’s only available in English currently. Thanks again and happy baking 🙂

  13. #
    Cheryl Bedra — April 3, 2023 at 11:43 am

    Reguarding the topping soaking into the cookie. I would most likely make these the day before ( Yes, I will be making them !) My thought was brushing a thin layer of melted chocolate onto the cooled cookie.When iet dries, put the eopping on.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — April 3, 2023 at 1:43 pm

      That should work well, Cheryl! Let us know how it goes 🙂

  14. #
    Sue Healey — March 30, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Do you need a whole egg and an additional egg yoke for the batter and then another egg yoke for the topping on the cookie?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — April 3, 2023 at 9:33 am

      Hi Sue! Yes, that’s correct! So you’ll need a total of two whole eggs + two egg yolks. Let us know what you think of these cookies once you’ve given them a try 🙂

  15. #
    Paul S Dobisz — January 27, 2023 at 9:34 am

    These cookies are fantastic everyone loved them, one note this is a 3-step recipe obviously. you have to flatten the cookies down when they come out of the oven otherwise the topping won’t stay on the cookie. The same thing goes for the topping, I put the cookies in the frig so the topping would set quicker and then flatten the topping down. Then to drizzle the chocolate (my first-time drizzling chocolate). I poured the melted chocolate in a Ziploc bag and cut the corner out worked like a champ.

  16. #
    Dean Tieleman — January 18, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    Awesome recipe. Contrary to what many believe, this cake/cookie did not originate in Germany. It is actually an American recipe.
    In 1852 Samuel German, an English American Baker who worked for Baker’s Chocolate Company, created a new type of dark-baking chocolate. German made sweet baking chocolate with more sugar than the average semi-sweet baking chocolate. This chocolate was named Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate after its creator.

  17. #
    Amber — January 17, 2023 at 10:07 pm

    Loved but a little on the sweeter side. Will reduce sugar a bit next time. Fluffy texture.

  18. #
    Cindy — December 20, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    My 4 stars are not indicative of the finished product (which is really 5 stars) but of some ‘idiosyncrasies’ I had with the recipe itself.
    I found it better to refrigerate the dough for at least 15-20 minutes before baking since handling is so much easier and quicker And the cookie stays more uniform in size ; secondly, it took 16 minutes at 350 for these cookies to set (yes, my oven is correctly calibrated ); thirdly, as a recipe editor, it’s helpful to expand the instructions for making the topping. I know to watch the cooking of the egg-based topping so the egg doesn’t ‘cook’ but some people don’t. You really do have to be diligent about stirring at a lower heat so the egg doesn’t scramble. Also (and this is just My preference), i toast the coconut and pecans before adding them to the topping…brings it to a whole other level.
    Other than those details, the cookie is absolutely smashing!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 21, 2022 at 9:23 am

      Hi Cindy! I’m so glad you enjoyed these cookies so much! Thanks so much for your feedback on the instructions. We have this recipe on our list of recipes to refresh and update soon, so we appreciate it. Thanks so much!

  19. #
    Darlene — December 20, 2022 at 8:15 am

    Theses cookies are awesome this is the second time I’ve made them for Christmas. My one friend loves these, I make her the German chocolate cake for her Birthday

  20. #
    Kathy — December 18, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    These cookies were amazing. My husband loves German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan frosting so I thought he’d like these. They are now his FAVORITE cookie. Everyone that eats them loves them. I just made them today and people are already asking for the recipe. Thanks for the recipe and allowing me to bump up my cookie recipe list.

  21. #
    Shawn Ternay — December 4, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Omg chocolate heaven…

  22. #
    Cindy — September 29, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    fantastic recipe

  23. #
    Shauna — March 28, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Are these shelf stable?

    • #
      Emily — March 31, 2022 at 10:25 am

      Hi Shauna! We suggest that these cookies be eaten the day they’re made, but if not, you would need to store them in the fridge due to the evaporated milk in the topping. Just keep in mind that the topping softens the cookies even more over time. If you’re trying to make these in advance, you could keep the topping and cookies separate until the morning of serving. Let the topping come back to room temperature and spread on your cookies, then drizzle with chocolate. I hope that helps!

  24. #
    Michelle — February 28, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    I absolutely love all your recipes!! I was wondering if this batter is better chilled overnight like your bakery chocolate chip cookies?

    • #
      Emily — March 1, 2022 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Michelle! Chilling your cookie dough overnight most directly applies to chocolate chip cookie dough, but any time you want to develop stronger flavors and a thicker, chewier texture in any drop-style cookie dough, chilling will be your friend 🙂 Feel free to experiment with it! Let us know what you think of these cookies when you give them a try 🙂

  25. #
    carolyn — December 24, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    These cookies were a hit with my husband and i !!!
    So im sure glad to know they are going to be a hit with my inlaws and there family for Christmas 2021
    Thanks alot !!!

    • #
      Emily — December 27, 2021 at 11:13 am

      Glad you enjoyed them! Thanks so much for the comment 🙂

  26. #
    Angela — December 18, 2021 at 8:06 am

    I live in Co. High altitude. How much more Flour should I use?
    I can’t wait to make these!!

    • #
      Emily — December 20, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Angela! Neither Tessa or I bake at a higher altitude, so I can’t say for sure. If you find that you normally need to make adjustments for a recipe to turn out, then I would stick to whatever you normally do. You can also check out King Arthur Baking’s article HERE for more help. Please let us know how it goes if you give this recipe a try 🙂

  27. #
    Angie Coggins — December 18, 2021 at 7:11 am

    I am going to try these, can’t wait. Is it anything you can do to make them crunchie not soft, my husband likes hard cookies not soft. Thanks, Angie Coggins

    • #
      Emily — December 20, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Angie! Tessa created these cookies so they replicate the taste of a German Chocolate Cake, which is why they’re super soft cookies. Feel free to bake them for a bit longer for a crunchier cookie 🙂

  28. #
    Alexia — November 28, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Excellent flavor and a big hit with everyone (that likes coconut)!

  29. #
    Susie — November 14, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Cookie calls for 1 stick of butter but then states 4 ounces. Can you confirm which is right, please?

    • #
      Emily — November 15, 2021 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Susie! 1 stick of butter = 4 ounces, or 113 grams. We included the measurements for this recipe in weight as well as volume. I hope that helps!

      • #
        Susie — November 18, 2021 at 7:13 pm

        Wow! Must have been a long day but I was thinking Tablespoons not Ounces! Thanks for the great recipes!

        • #
          Emily — November 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

          haha no problem 🙂 Can’t wait for you to enjoy these cookies!

  30. #
    Elaine — November 5, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    I’m also from Phoenix! I made these for the person I work for, he likes German Chocolate Cake so I thought why not make him cookies and they were a hit.

    • #
      Emily — November 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      So happy to hear that, Elaine!

  31. #
    Collette Ricks — October 28, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Do you have the ingredients list with grams?

    • #
      Haley Wehner — October 29, 2021 at 2:05 pm

      We don’t just yet, but we’re actively working to update all the older recipes on the site with gram measurements! Our Ingredient Measuring Guide might come in handy here to get the accurate weights:

  32. #
    Trisha Rodriguez — June 29, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    I took a chance on these for my daughters wedding and they were fantastic! They froze and thawed really well for transport. The only thing I did different was added flour because I’m at altitude and the first batch wasn’t as thick as I’d like. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — June 30, 2021 at 9:14 am

      Perfect, I’m glad you were able to tweak the recipe to work where you live! I’m honored you chose to use my recipe for your daughter’s wedding! 🙂

  33. #
    Meg — June 16, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Hi! What does 2 sticks of butter equals to in cups? Also what does 8 tablespoons of butter equal to in cups

    • #
      Tessa — June 17, 2021 at 8:53 am

      On the butter wrapper, it shows how much 🙂 2 sticks = 1 cup. If you’re looking to switch out the butter in this recipe, I wouldn’t recommend it!

  34. #
    Rebecca — March 13, 2021 at 5:24 am

    I’ve made these and brought them to work everyone was raving about them , I don’t eat cookies I just enjoy baking and sharing and now that I’ve made these that are a fantastic and a favorite forsure. Thanks for the perfect recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — March 15, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      So glad these cookies were a hit!

  35. #
    Diana — December 29, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I was my hardest cookie I have ever made, and frankly, I think it was the fact that I was not patient enough with it. I wanted to get it done ASAP as part of my Bakemas series. It was delicious but next time I will definitely take my time and I’m sure it will come out more delicious!

  36. #
    Samantha — October 13, 2020 at 11:16 am

    I was wondering how many cups of butter do I need to make to cookie batter?

  37. #
    Sharon Ochoa — August 20, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Everyone said it tasted like German Chocolate Cake and was easy to make .. Thanks for the recipe ! S. Ochoa

  38. #
    Crick — April 8, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    So very good, and I forgot the chocolate chips. Stored in the fridge and they were even better a couple of days later! I’m a cookie snob but this recipe made my filecrick!

  39. #
    Julie — February 16, 2020 at 8:45 am

    This is an outstanding recipe! I always double the recipe.

  40. #
    fran — January 28, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    i’ve actually decided to make these cookies and so i could travel with them, decided to make them a sandwich cookie with the pecan coconut topping as a filling instead. i’ll let you know how they turn out

    • #
      Tessa — January 29, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      Fun idea!

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