German Chocolate Pie Bars, an easy pie full of chocolate, pecans, coconut, and an ooey-gooey sweet chewy center. These from-scratch pie bars are baked in a 13×9 pan and great for parties and potlucks. So delicious everyone will think they’re from a bakery!
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German Chocolate Pie Bars, delicious bars full of chocolate, pecan, and coconuts! These simple homemade pie bars are part cookie and part pie. Perfect for a holiday dessert or even Christmas cookie exchange or platters. Be careful though. They’re so delicious and tasty you may have a hard time stopping at just eating one.
These from-scratch pie bars are a lot like my Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Pie Bars, one of my favorites! They’re both full of chocolate and ooey-gooey and delicoius. A chocolate lover’s dream!
They will probably remind you of pecan pie which is also quite similar.
This German Chocolate version though, combines chocolate, coconut, and pecans. Another great flavor combo I have to say!
The bars are baked in a 13×9-inch baking pan so they can feed a crowd, BUT don’t’ worry if you don’t’ have a crowd to feed. They also freeze well. So they’re perfect to store in the freezer so you have some on hand for whatever occasion you may need them for. Or bake them, and save them for the holidays.
What is German Chocolate
German Chocolate (in the U.S.) doesn’t always refer to anything to do with Germany. It generally refers to a chocolate cake made with a sweet baking chocolate named after Samuel German who developed a sweet baking chocolate (Baker’s German Chocolate). The cake is frosted with a coconut and pecan frosting. German chocolate has now loosely referred to desserts with chocolate, pecan, and coconut. See Wikipedia for more info.
So although these bars are more of a pie, than a cookie, the combo of chocolate, pecan, and coconut is perfect in them.
Equipment You May Need
You really shouldn’t need any particular equipment or supplies for this particular recipe, but a few suggestions…
- 13×9 Baking Pan – A good 13×9-inch baking pan, that is not glass or dark metal, I personally think works best for these bars.
- Parchment Paper – Precut parchment paper sheets come in handy for recipes like these. You can lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board for easier cutting. Not a necessity, but if you’re particular about what size and shape you want to cut the bars into, the paper does help.
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
German Chocolate Pie Bars Ingredients
- Butter – I used unsalted. If you want to use salted, just omit the salt in the crust.
- Brown Sugar – I used light brown sugar, but dark would work if you don’t mind a stronger molasses flavor.
- Flour – Just regular all-purpose.
- Salt – Just a pinch.
- Brown Sugar – Again, I used light brown sugar, but you could use dark. You could also use granulated sugar in the filling if you’d prefer.
- Corn Syrup – Helps get that ooey-gooey chewy center.
- Butter – Unsalted. If you want to use salted, omit the salt in the filling.
- Vanilla – Just a little for flavor.
- Eggs – Large eggs.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Make sure you use unsweetened. You could use dark unsweetened cocoa powder if you’d like instead.
- Salt – Just a pinch.
- Chocolate Chips – I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. You can use finely chopped chocolate such as a bar of Baker’s German chocolate in the baking aisle (although generally sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate). You can really use any chocolate you’d like but be sure it’s not too sweet (like milk chocolate) since there’s already a lot of sugar in the filling. Dark chocolate would work really well too.
- Pecans – I coarsely chopped the pecans so they would spread more evenly and cover the size of the pan.
- Coconut – Sweetened flaked coconut found in the baking aisle. Sincere there’s a lot of sugar already in the filling you probably would be ok with unsweetened flaked coconut as well.
How to Make German Chocolate Pie Bars
- PREHEAT. Preheat oven and prepare pan.
- MAKE CRUST. Mix together butter and brown sugar, then flour and salt. Press on bottom of pan. Bake.
- MAKE FILLING. Mix together brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla, eggs, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut. Pour over crust.
- BAKE. Bake bars until the top is set and crackly.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
- Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. I have to admit, I like these pie bars all 3 ways! I have been known to heat up a bar in the microwave.
- You can serve like cookies in small bars, or top with ice cream, whipped cream, and/or your favorite toppings like chocolate or caramel sauce, chocolate chips, pecans, or even toasted coconut.
- You can cut the pie bars into any shape you’d like. Small bite-size pieces in cute mini or regular sized paper cupcake liners would work. Or you can also cut into jumbo bars, triangles, rectangles, or any other size and shape.
Quick Tips for Best Results
- The crust layer will just fit the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Might need a little patience to spread it evenly on the pan. I like to use the back of a fork to help press down the crust and spread it.
- You need about 3-4 cups of “mix-ins” for the pie filling. You can use any combo of coconut, chocolate, and pecans to get to that amount. As written the recipe has about 3 1/4 cups of mix-ins. If you don’t want such a strong chocolate flavor you might want to reduce the chocolate amount in half and add more coconut and pecans. I wouldn’t add more than 4 cups though of the mix-ins..
- Bake the pie bars until they are just a little brown around the edges and the top looks “set”. It might still look slightly jiggly and soft in the middle but the top should look a bit crackly and set. The top should not look wet.
- For sharp clean edges when cutting, you should refrigerate or even freeze the bars. Although delicious warm (warm pie is delicious right?), the bars may be a little more ooey-goey and not cut as well. A large serrated knife I have found works best for cutting when the bars are cold.
German Chocolate Pie Bars FAQ
How should I store pie bars?
Store the bars covered at room temperature. You can also store them in your refrigerator or freezer.
Can I freeze the pie bars?
Yes! They freeze very well. You can freeze the whole pan or the cut bars. Just make sure they are well wrapped.
How long will the bars last?
The German Chocolate Pie Bars will last at least a few days at room temperature. Probably a week or so in the fridge or a couple of months in the freezer.
For the chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut you can use more/less of each to make about 3-4 cups. Instead of mini chocolate chips, you can use finely chopped chocolate.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
There’s a lot of fat in these bars, but to cut down a little you could try a reduced-fat butter or margarine. You could also try lower-fat chocolate if you can find one you like.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add more/less coconut, pecans, and/or chocolate chips. You can add your favorite baking chips, toffee chips, or even another kind of nut if you’d like. Again, I wouldn’t add more than 4 cups total of “mix-ins” including the chocolate, pecans, and coconut.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – You’d have to try vegan substitutes for the butter (coconut oil maybe), eggs, and make sure to get a vegan friendly chocolate.
Vegetarian – The bars are vegetarian.
Low-Carb – There’s a lot of sugar in these so hard to make low-carb. You can try a sugar substitute for the brown sugar in the crust and filling to help a little. I’d also use lower sugar chocolate and unsweetened coconut.
Gluten-Free – You could try a gluten-free baking flour that has a 1:1 substitute ratio for all-purpose flour. And check the brands for all the other ingredients just to be sure.
Other Pie Recipes You May Enjoy
- Cannoli Pie – A fun twist on the popular Italian pastry.
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie – An easy no-bake dessert full of chocolate and peanut butter.
- Mini Walnut Apple Pies – Bite size pies made in a mini muffin pan.
- Strawberry Pie Dip – All the great pie flavor with none of the fuss.
Hope you enjoy this simple and delicious German Chocolate Pie Bars recipe. Tell me in the comments what you thought!
German Chocolate Pie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 13x9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Line bottom and sides of pan with a sheet of parchment paper if desired.
- In a large bowl mix together softened 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar until well combined. Stir in flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt until just combined. Press dough down into bottom of pan. Bake crust about 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned around edges. Remove from oven set aside. Leave oven on.
- Meanwhile, mix together 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, melted 1/4 cup butter, vanilla, eggs, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut. Pour over crust.
- Place the bars back in the oven at 350 degrees F for another 25-30 minutes or until filling is slightly browned and crackly on top. Cool completely.