German Chocolate Brownie Pie: A decadent fudgy brownie is topped with the classic coconut and pecan German chocolate frosting!

This tasty twist on a German Chocolate Cake Recipe is so much easier than baking a full-fledged cake and definitely as rich and delectable!

German Chocolate Brownie Pie in a ruffle edged pie plate with pecan halves

German Chocolate Brownie Pie

It had been quite a while since I’d whipped up my Brownie Pie, a simple dessert composed of a rich brownie batter baked in a flaky pastry shell. To make it even easier, I decided to omit the crust and gild the lily with a topping of the classic German chocolate frosting recipe.

I could probably eat a bowl of this caramelly coconut icing with bits of pecans. It’s heavenly, especially for coconut fans like me. I gave my coconut phobic husband permission to scrape off his topping with strict instructions to save it for me! I call this a win for me and a win for him.

Slice of German Chocolate Brownie Pie on a round white plate with a red handled fork

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is German Chocolate?

In 1852, American baker Samuel German developed a type of dark chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate Company. Sweeter than semisweet chocolate, it contains chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, flavorings, and lecithin, an emulsifier. To honor Mr. German, it was named Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate. 

What's in A German Chocolate Cake?

Now that you know what makes up German chocolate, you might surmise that this chocolate is a component of the cake. Since it’s similar to semisweet chocolate, that can also be used as a substitute. The first German chocolate cake recipe was posted in the Dallas Morning Star in 1957. Credit is given to Mrs. George Calay, a homemaker. So the cake is actually Texan, not German. Sales of German chocolate went crazy after this recipe was shared with the public.

Besides the German chocolate, a German chocolate cake recipe contains buttermilk, which makes for a moist, tender cake. It is also iced with a special German chocolate frosting recipe with coconut, pecans, sugar, butter, and cream cooked with eggs. If you love coconut and pecans, this is a to-die for cake filling and frosting!

How to Make a Brownie Pie

  • I took my favorite One Bowl Fudgy Brownies and baked them in a pie plate instead of a square baking pan. I like to use an offset spatula to smooth the top before baking.
  • When the brownies have cooled to room temperature, make the frosting.
  • Gently cook the custard mixture, which will become the frosting base, over medium heat while stirring constantly. You do not want the egg yolks to scramble, but instead to cook slowly and help form a luscious base to which you add the coconut and pecans. Let cool to room temperature before frosting.
  • Spread on top of the brownies. Paired with the fudgy base creates a dazzling dessert!
German Chocolate Brownie Pie slice on a white dessert plate

Memories of My Dad, AKA the Dude

German chocolate anything reminds me of my dad. Known by family and friends as “the Dude,” he passed away almost four years ago. I first shared this recipe with a twist on one of my Dad’s favorite recipes for Father’s Day. My dad was a huge fan of steak, sushi, tacos…well, almost everything except his mom’s oxtail soup.  Every birthday, my mom would run to our local Randall’s grocery store and pick up their bakery German chocolate cake. It was a huge treat for the whole family.

And, even though my dad denied liking sweets, he would eat every crumb off his plate! I created these German chocolate brownies as a tribute to the man who showed me the value of education, altruism, loyalty to family, and unconditional love. Though I get teary as I remember him, I know he’s been reunited with my mom, his cherished wife of over 50 years, and they’re sharing a bottle of red wine and laughing. That’s the way I remember them both. Nostrovia!!!

 Collage of my dad, The Dude, through the years

More Coconut Recipes You’ll Love

If you need your coconut fix, these White Chocolate Coconut Truffles have minimal ingredients and taste amazing! Chewy Coconut Cookies take nearly no time to whip up and these Coconut Apricot Bars are always a hit! Plus, don’t miss these German Chocolate Brownies or Mounds Bar Recipe. I’m also drooling over these Chocolate Coconut Cookies! Plus, check out all my Homemade Brownies Recipes.

This recipe was first shared in June 2016. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

German Chocolate Brownie Pie slice on a white dessert plate

German Chocolate Brownie Pie

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 8 servings

A brownie twist on the classic German chocolate cake.


For Brownies:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick ) butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine chocolate and the ½ cup of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave using 30-second increments till chocolate is melted, stirring frequently. Mix in sugar and let cool for a couple minutes
  3. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then stir in flour and salt until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 40 minutes or till crust is brown and top of brownies is appears set. Cool to room temperature.
  5. To make the topping, cook heavy cream, sugar, yolks, and butter over medium heat, stirring constantly till mixture starts to boil and thickens. Remove from heat and mix in coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Let rest till cools to room temperature, then spread over the top of the brownies.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 3gSugar: 49gProtein: 5g


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