German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

German chocolate cake is one of my childhood loves. My mother used to make it from a cake mix with store-bought frosting. And that was just fine with me.

Having an anti-coconut husband has limited my baking with coconuts over the last several years. In the spirit of “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” I think I enjoy all that German chocolate-y goodness even more because I don’t have it very often.

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars are a delicious chocolate twist on traditional pecan pie bars.

In this case, those nostalgic flavors are baked into pecan pie bars. If you’ve never made pecan pie bars, imagine those gooey filling and toasty pecans of pie fame filling a simple crust and baked in a big pan instead of a pie plate. Add to that a little cocoa in the crust, some melty chocolate on top of the crust, and stir in some coconut with the pecans. Now, we’re talking!

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars are a wonderfully delicious combination of chocolate crust, more chocolate, coconut, and pecans. A great crowd pleaser!

These are, without a doubt, the best pecan pie bars I’ve ever made. I am usually reluctant to throw out such accolades, but it is completely appropriate in this case. If you are a fan of German chocolate cake, then I think you’ll love them, too. If you don’t like coconut, you can just leave that out and add more pecans or maybe some chocolate chips.

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 59 minutes

Yield: 24 bars (about 2-inch square)

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 & 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange pecans in a single layer of a shallow baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir halfway through baking.

Line bottom and sides of a 9"x 13" baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two short sides. Grease foil.

Whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa. Add cold butter, and combine with a pastry blender* until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture into bottom and about 3/4-inch up sides of prepared pan.

Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Allow to cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes.

Place eggs in a large mixing bowl, and beat lightly. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter. Whisk together until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.

Bake 28-34 minutes, or until edges are golden and filling has set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Then, refrigerate for an hour.

Using foil overhang, lift bars from pan and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.

Notes

*You can also mix crust ingredients in a food processor, but I prefer mixing this way.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living, September 2012.

http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2012/10/german-chocolate-pecan-pie-bars/
442
104

104 Comments

  1. jaime @ sweet road October 31, 2012 Reply

    Wow, this sounds great! I’ve always been a fan of 7 layer bars, but I like the idea of these better because they have fewer ingredients so you can focus in the nuts, coconut, and chocolate!

  2. Shut the door! These look like they will quickly become an absolute favorite of mine. I love pecan pie and German chocolate cake has always been my favorite. My husband hates coconut too (who ARE these people?!) but maybe I can trick him into eating these.

  3. Deb October 31, 2012 Reply

    Oh my goodness! The German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars are so seductive! The photos are just voluptuous, well done!

  4. JEP October 31, 2012 Reply

    These bars sound incredibly perfect for me with all my favorite ingredients.

  5. RecipeNewZ November 1, 2012 Reply

    Delicious bars. Thank you for sharing them on RecipeNewZ! Everyone loved them and now you have one more RecipeNewZ feature: http://www.facebook.com/RecipeNewZ Congrats!

  6. Spencer November 1, 2012 Reply

    Looks delicious! I would love to try some. I am sure it tastes great.

  7. e / dig in hobart November 1, 2012 Reply

    i’ve never heard of german choclate cake, but i have heard of pecan pie! they look so moist and chewy and delicious.

    • Iris Eng March 19, 2014 Reply

      Honey, If you’ve not had German Chocolate cake, you don’t know what you are missing! I suggest you try one that is in premade cake mix to start with. I make one from scratch also. It’s a LOT more time consuming though. I HATE the thought of anyone who has not had wonderful German Chocolate cake! This is something that should definitely be on your “bucket list” :) My Best, Iris aka Flo

    • Cindy March 20, 2014 Reply

      German Chocolate Cake. The mix does not do it justice…Buy a package of Baker’s (the brand)Chocolate. Oblong green package. The recipe is on the inside. They have simplified the recipe from the old days and is much easier. I have been making this same recipe for 50 years! So good.

  8. Kim November 2, 2012 Reply

    I made these bars last night and they were absolutely amazing! Perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. Lori November 4, 2012 Reply

    These were delicious. Everyone loved them.

  10. Tara November 5, 2012 Reply

    I just added this to my Mouth Watering Mondays post. I will have to make these they look fantastic. Cheers, Tara

  11. Maria November 5, 2012 Reply

    Can these be frozen? Thinking ahead to holiday baking.

  12. Michelle November 6, 2012 Reply

    I’m wondering what size pan you used. Thank you!

  13. jennifer November 6, 2012 Reply

    Michelle, you’ll need a 9″x 13″ pan. It’s in the 3rd step of the directions. Enjoy!

  14. jennifer November 6, 2012 Reply

    Marla, pecan pies freeze well, so I would think that these bars would, too.

    • Esme September 29, 2014 Reply

      I made these but didn’t know exactly what was meant by waiting until the filling was “set”. I left them in the oven all 34 minutes and the filling still “jiggled” a bit so I left them longer. The crust hardened. Please advise.

      • Author
        Jennifer McHenry September 30, 2014 Reply

        Esme, baking until set means that there’s not a noticeable “jiggle” when you gently shake the pan. Keep in mind that residual heat will continue baking them after they’re out of the oven. Also, if you used a dark pan, the crust can get overbaked.

  15. SunnyCakez November 9, 2012 Reply

    Lovely article, you should write more often. I recently started a little blog myself about cakes and recipes, if you feel like it why not take a look.Cheers

  16. HeatherTM November 11, 2012 Reply

    Yum…combines two of my husband’s favorites AND involves several things I am allergic to, so perfect for spoiling him & getting credit for using coconut, pecans AND real butter (all of which I love, but do not love me!). Looks pretty easy, too!

  17. Lou Ann November 12, 2012 Reply

    I’m wondering if using the foil could be omitted? Perhaps grease the pan with some butter, coconut oil or the like? I’m just not a fan of the foil, due to the warnings of the use of aluminum & alzhiemer’s disease. :(

    • jennifer November 13, 2012 Reply

      Lou Ann, you don’t have to use the foil. It just makes it so much simpler to remove the bars. You can generously grease the pan or use parchment paper.

    • Dawn Richardson August 30, 2013 Reply

      I used Greaseproof paper..can the Corn syrup be replaced by something else? ie Nectar Agarve is it thick enough?

      • Heather March 22, 2014 Reply

        Yes these look fabulous minus the GMO corn syrup. Does anyone know first hand of a good substitute that works?

        • josh August 29, 2014 Reply

          Maple syrup would be a good alternative.

        • Diane September 22, 2014 Reply

          I wonder if organic brown rice syrup would work instead. That would probably change the flavor a bit…it has a slightly caramel flavor to it.

  18. Jodie November 12, 2012 Reply

    How long do these keep for? In the fridge or the press?

    • jennifer November 13, 2012 Reply

      Jodie, I would keep these for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container.

  19. valerie November 12, 2012 Reply

    Gonna try!!!

  20. Rachel @ Bakerita November 13, 2012 Reply

    These look amazing!! My mom loves German Chocolate Cake and Pecan Pie…these would totally be her heaven!

  21. nisha November 17, 2012 Reply

    The cold butter used in the crust is that the same one used melted?

  22. jennifer November 17, 2012 Reply

    Nisha, the cold butter is to be cut into the crust. The melted butter goes into the filling.

  23. Katie November 21, 2012 Reply

    How many pecans do you toast in the beginning, and how many do you use in the mix?

  24. Glenda November 21, 2012 Reply

    I’m making these now and my house smells so yummie!! Can’t wait to get my families feedback on them… So easy too!!

  25. Jessica November 21, 2012 Reply

    Toast all of the pecans. I just made these for Thanksgiving tomorrow and sampled the edges as I was cutting them. Delicious, although I may have slightly overbaked them. One thing that didnt turn out I think the way it was supposed to was the crust. As I used my pastry cutter to combine the butter into the dry ingredients I don’t think it got moist enough….anyone else know what I’m talking about?

    • Dawn Richardson August 30, 2013 Reply

      @Jessica
      Yes it needs to be done in the processor to mix up then the butter melts to hold it together when you press it in the tin….

  26. jennifer November 21, 2012 Reply

    Katie, you’ll need to toast all 3 cups of the pecans and then stir them into the filling.

    Jessica, I used a pastry blender for the crust and didn’t have any problem. It’s a crumbly dough, but it should hold together well when pressed into the pan.

  27. Lesley November 21, 2012 Reply

    These were amazing! I am very picky, always looking for the BEST recipe for something. I have made good pecan pies before, but these bars are so, so good that this will be my go-to recipe for pecan pie from now on. They do taste a little like a 7 layer cookie bar. The crust is really good too.

  28. melanie November 22, 2012 Reply

    My mouth had an orgasam when I ate these not one not two but three I tell you three of these and each time I felt like my whole world was being rocked. This is one recipe I will be making again.

  29. Irene November 24, 2012 Reply

    Salivating, these look amazing. Can I substitute anything for corn syrup?

  30. jennifer November 24, 2012 Reply

    Irene, you can try golden syrup.

  31. Maggie January 15, 2013 Reply

    Made according to the recipe, and the topping was delicious, but I agree with one previous comment, the bottom lay was dry. Would do again with brownie bottom crust.

  32. jyllzie February 6, 2013 Reply

    Divine, just divine. I used white whole wheat flour in the crust and only had 2 cups of pecans so I added 1 cup walnuts as well…totally yummy. I find the crust on the not too sweet dry side is the perfect compliment for the sticky sweet ooey gooey topping.

    Thanks for the recipe…it’s a keeper! :)

  33. Joyce March 23, 2013 Reply

    These look really good. If you liked mix German chocolate cake homemade will knock your socks off! My Mom always made it as long as I could recall and now I make it and it is SO much better than the mixes. You can find the recipe on the package of German’s Sweet Chocolate bars in the baking section. I make it in a sheet pan, cut into pieces and freeze. It is wonderful to have on hand in the freezer and tastes freshly baked. I just had to let you know because if your hubby doesn’t like cocoanut you could have it all to yourself! :-)

  34. Kelli April 2, 2013 Reply

    These were awesome will be making again real soon.It’s not very often that my husband says I should have made a double batch of something but he sure did for these lol.

  35. Erin June 30, 2013 Reply

    These are SOOOOO good. Loved them and they were definitely a hit with my family, but the crust is really crumbly. I know it’s not supposed to be kind of like that, but it feels like the butter and the flour, cocoa, and sugar didn’t mix at all. It pressed into the pan just fine, but it literally gets everywhere. Anyone have any ideas on how to make it just a little more moist?

  36. jennifer July 3, 2013 Reply

    Erin, the crust can be a bit on the crumbly side. If it’s not holding together when you mix it, you could try adding a tablespoon of water, mixing, and then pinching the mixture to see if it holds together better. If necessary, you can repeat with a tablespoon of water at a time until it holds together better. I wouldn’t add more than 2 or 3 tablespoons of water total.

  37. Debi July 10, 2013 Reply

    For some reason I can’t see how many eggs and how much corn syrup. I’m so anxious to make these. They look delicious. Thank you

    • Author
      jennifer July 10, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Debi. They’re listed in the recipe – 3 eggs and 3/4 cup corn syrup.

  38. Ron July 24, 2013 Reply

    So so GOOD
    EASY TO MAKE REAL GOOD TO EAT

  39. Kim Douglas August 6, 2013 Reply

    Sounds great but I can’t find in recipe where the chocolate chips are added. The problem isn’t mentioned in comments (that I can see) so is it me or did you omit this part?

    • Author
      jennifer August 6, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Kim. The chocolate chips are added in the 5th step right after the crust has baked.

  40. Kim Douglas August 6, 2013 Reply

    Sure appreciate the quick reply and am definitely going to give these a try. Have pecan pie lovers and German Choc cake lovers in my family…something for all. thanks

  41. Kim Douglas August 6, 2013 Reply

    oh my! I just found the answer in the recipe. (I promise I read it over and over!!) My bad! So sorry to bother you but thanks for the help anyway :)

  42. Bobbie Murphy August 15, 2013 Reply

    Can you make these gluten free, & how would you do it? ty

    • Author
      jennifer August 19, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Bobbie. I have virtually no experience with converting recipes to gluten free. If you look for some information through a search engine, you’ll find lots of knowledgeable people with lots of advice like these tips from Gluten Free Goddess.

    • Dawn Richardson August 30, 2013 Reply

      @Bobbie I used Coconut flour TIANA and Vital Protein flour Gluten free as opposed to wheat which is extremely high in Carbohydrate… replaced the Syrup with Nectar Agarve Light lo Carb.

  43. Dawn Richardson August 30, 2013 Reply

    Try Coconut Sugar instead of the brown cane sugar.. Lower in calories http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com/coconut-palm-sugar/

  44. Maria November 17, 2013 Reply

    Anxious to make these, but I’m curious about why use light brown sugar vs the dark brown. What is the difference?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry November 17, 2013 Reply

      Maria, dark brown sugar has more molasses than light brown sugar, so they taste slightly different. It’s really a preference thing. If you’d prefer to use dark brown sugar, it will work just fine.

  45. Ali November 27, 2013 Reply

    LOVE THESE! I’ve made these multiple times over the last year. My husband is probably the #1 fan of these bars!

  46. Mariafe December 11, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jennifer!
    I want to know if I could use a springform pan and bake it as a one whole dessert ?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry December 12, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Mariafe. I think it might work. You’ll likely need to half the recipe, as the volume of a 9″x13″ pan is about twice as much as that of a standard 9″ springform pan.

  47. Eliza December 17, 2013 Reply

    Looks delicious, but I don’t like corn syrup. I wonder if honey would work as a substitution.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry December 17, 2013 Reply

      Eliza, I’ve not tried it in this recipe, but honey is generally a good 1-for-1 substitute for corn syrup.

  48. Melissa January 22, 2014 Reply

    These are delicious! I made them tonight and can’t wait to share them with friends tomorrow night!

  49. Tracey C January 29, 2014 Reply

    Just tried these – tasty, but what I really noticed was the lack of salt! They were just blandly sweet until I sprinkled some salt over top – that brightened it right up. Maybe I’ve gotten to used to things like salted caramels, etc. but I was surprised to see that there wasn’t any salt in the entire recipe. To each his or her own :)

  50. Katie March 15, 2014 Reply

    Can I use German Chacolate cake mix for the crust?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry March 16, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Katie. I suppose you could. It will be quite different than the crust in this recipe, though.

  51. Kari March 16, 2014 Reply

    I just made these an forgot to grease my foil…..kinda nervous how it will turn out.

  52. Vic March 17, 2014 Reply

    Why not make them gluten free and low glycemic? Just use gluten free flour and coconut sugar.

  53. Fern March 18, 2014 Reply

    Wondering how they got the German Chocolate name in the recipe. I was shocked to read and it didn’t include any GERMAN chocolate—only cocoa & semisweet chocolate chips!

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry March 19, 2014 Reply

      Fern, my guess is that it’s just a take on the flavors of German Chocolate Cake. German chocolate is a version of semisweet chocolate that usually has a higher sugar content. As far as I know, there are no German chocolate chips produced, so semisweet is the closest option, especially if you can find a low cacao percentage product.

  54. SakuraMari March 19, 2014 Reply

    I also have an anti-coconut hubby… but he is anti-nuts-in-baked-goods too. It’s a texture thing, he likes coconut flavor, and he will eat mixed nuts in a bowl. What’s really weird is he likes the gooey part of pecan pie, just not the pecans. Anyway, do you have any suggestions on what this might taste like without coconut and pecans? I’ll bet it’s still amazing, but I get the feeling it will taste like a sugar-overload without the texture. Thanks!

  55. Iris Eng March 19, 2014 Reply

    I SURE hope these are good! I’m going to make them for my church potluck!

  56. candy March 19, 2014 Reply

    I think I am going to try this and double the recipe…maybe put it in a jelly roll pan….I need to make a lot for a church function…hope it works

  57. Mike Patterson March 20, 2014 Reply

    Looks like a winner to me! Gonna try this soon.

  58. Bryan March 20, 2014 Reply

    German Chocolate cake is my favourite cake and Pecan Pie is my favourite pie. Best of both worlds and a win-win from any angle.

  59. Cindy March 21, 2014 Reply

    Confectioners sugar(powdered/sugar?). Not regular sugar?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry March 21, 2014 Reply

      Yes, it has a finer texture that works well for the crust.

  60. Julie March 22, 2014 Reply

    After you sprinkle the chocolate chips on the hot crust, do you spread them completely over the crust or leave them whole? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry March 22, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Julie. Just sprinkle them over the crust. No need to spread them.

  61. Catherine April 21, 2014 Reply

    Too much corn syrup that oozes out and makes it a bit sweeter than it needs to be. Very tasty but will reduce syrup to about half the amount next time.

  62. Catherine April 21, 2014 Reply

    Also, someone commented about the crust being too crumbly – I totally agree, I added 2 tablespoons water to the mix and it worked perfectly.

  63. Terry May 9, 2014 Reply

    I am making these right now — but am concerned. I used a food processor to mix the flour, p. sugar, cocoa and butter. It never became “course”… it is like DUST. I checked and went online, everything, they all say 3/4 C butter. That can’t possibly be right. I baked it and it is cracked and dry..like dust. Will this be ruined??? Should there be more butter to make the crust???

    (I am a cook and baker, been to Prof. Culinary school, so it wasn’t the use of the processor, etc.) I am worried tho — will let you know how the rest turns out. :)

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry May 9, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Terry. The crust should work as written. I’ve never had any problems with it. Did you weigh your flour? If not, maybe you had a bit too much and that prevented it from holding together. Also, I’ve not made this crust with a food processor, but I think that wouldn’t be the problem.

  64. Leslie Neuffer July 20, 2014 Reply

    Love this web site

  65. Miranda McCraw August 26, 2014 Reply

    Definitely seeing these in my future! Thanks for sharing!

  66. Jennifer August 30, 2014 Reply

    I am getting ready to make these for the 2nd time. They were great! I intend to again follow the recipe exactly. I admit that I was also worried about how crumbly the crust seemed when patting it into the pan, however after baking it was perfect. This is a great recipe.

  67. Nadine September 5, 2014 Reply

    I made these today and was disappointed. Crust was dry and bitter. Top didn’t hold together. Any suggestions?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry September 6, 2014 Reply

      I’m sorry to hear that! Bitter makes me think it was your cocoa powder. Make sure it’s fresh. If you didn’t make any substitutions or changes, I don’t know why the topping wouldn’t hold together. Maybe add just a little more corn syrup?

  68. Barbara September 6, 2014 Reply

    I would like to make these for a function on Thursday night but I want to make them on Monday before I leave to go out of town. One, will they still be good? Two, can I leave them in the fridge uncut till Thursday? Or do you have another suggestion to preserve from Monday to Thursday?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry September 7, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Barbara. These keep for 4 or 5 days, so I think yours will be fine if kept tightly covered.

  69. Big Hal September 17, 2014 Reply

    For all the diabetics, suggest you substitute sugar with Splenda. You can buy both white and Brown Splenda. Its sweeter than sugar and you really can’t tell any difference.

  70. Sheila Evans September 22, 2014 Reply

    Has anyone tried NOT including the chocolate chips on top of the crust. To me, the dessert was so sweet I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I think leaving the chocolate chips off might help, but not sure how it would effect the consistency, or if they are necessary for some reason.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry September 22, 2014 Reply

      Sheila, you can omit the chocolate chips if you like.

    • KrazyKook September 29, 2014 Reply

      Try using dark chocolate chips NOT semisweet chips. I used 68% dark and only one cup, and was so amazing! I love this recipe (maybe to much LOL)

  71. KrazyKook September 29, 2014 Reply

    I made this last night, I did over bake by a few minutes, I only used one cup of chips as I used 63% dark chocolate, but I must say YOU came up with the most amazing recipe!! This will play hell for my diet, but oh so worth it!!

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry September 30, 2014 Reply

      So glad you liked them! I wish I could take full credit for this wonderful recipe, but you’ll see in the notes of the recipe that it’s a slight adaptation of a Southern Living recipe.

  72. Susan Capozzoli October 4, 2014 Reply

    I was wondering if you couldn’t substitute shaved German Chocolate for the choc. chips? I love the flavor of G.choc.

  73. Patricia October 16, 2014 Reply

    Would there be any changes of the recipe or oven temp., for making this at a higher elevation of 5000 ft.? Would like to make these, and don’t want to have a bad batch. Thanks

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry October 16, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Patricia. I have zero experience baking at higher elevations, as I essentially live at sea level. Here are some suggestions from King Arthur Flour: High Altitude Baking

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>