German Chocolate Cake Cookies

These German Chocolate Cake Cookies are a delicious chewy chocolate cookie with a gooey caramel pecan and caramel frosting.

Today I am featuring one of the best cookies you will ever eat, ever! A cookie that will become so addictive you will make them in large quantities and freeze them just to be able to have them for a week or two at a time. Making one of the traditional cakes, German Chocolate cake into a a cookie was one of the best recipes I have ever made. How can you really go wrong with caramel, pecans and chocolate?

My favorite thing about this recipe is that everything is from scratch. This chocolate cookie is so chewy and moist making it the best platform for the frosting. Bake them today, as they are hands down amazing, delicious, unbelievable , out of this world and the best cookie ever, as quoted by my friends and family that tried them.

If you are looking for an easy German Chocolate Cake recipe – I have a No Bake German Chocolate Cheesecake that is to die for. But honestly either one of these recipes you will love!

No Bake German Chocolate Cheesecake - caramel jar

What brings me the most joy when making this cookie, is my husband. He loves these, had I made these when we were dating I think we would have gotten married even earlier, he loves them so much it would have created an instant proposal.

Enjoy!!! XOXO San

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

German Chocolate Cake Cookie - a soft, chewy chocolate cookie with a rich caramel, coconut, nut frosting.


  • Chocolate Cookie
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • German Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional: ¼ cup chocolate candy coating, melted for drizzle


Chocolate Cookie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer or large bowl using a hand mixer, blend the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and blend until combined.

Drop the dough by tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, 12 cookies per sheet, and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

German Chocolate Frosting

Add evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla to a large pan and place on stovetop over medium heat.

Stir so that it becomes well combined. Continue stirring until thickened, this takes approximately 11-12 minutes. I set my time for 11 minutes and 30 seconds, this seems to work every time.

Once thickened remove from heat and add coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread.

Spread frosting over the tops of cooled cookies.

Optional: Drizzle with melted candy coating and let set up. Top with white chocolate heart. See note.

Note: I melted some pink chocolate candy coating, put it into a Ziplock lunch baggie, snipped off a small corner. Then on some wax paper drew hearts with the chocolate. I let them harden, then gently placed them on top of the cookies. A great decoration for upcoming Valentine’s Day.

Kids review: My son, Aiden 10 years said “This is Heaven put in a cookie.” His friend, Isaac 9 years said “This is the best cookie ever. You should put this in your favorites.” This made my jump up and down, as Isaac is the pickiest eater and he doesn’t like really anything with nuts. SCORE. Win. On top of that all the kids had the same reaction, as did my husband, friends and anyone I had try them.

Chocolate Cookie adapted from Sunny on Food Network
Frosting adapted from Chef in Training


    • Dianne burns says

      I made these cookies tonight and they were flat as a pancake. Threw in the trash. I followed the instructions on the recipe as said.

      • Sandra says

        These cookies are flat and chewy cookie, they are not a thick cookie. Hopefully you tasted them before throwing them away.

    • debbie says

      I love German chocolate cake and this looks good, but I have a daughter that is allergic to tree nuts. Is there an alternative to the coconuts and pecans I can use?

        • DAWN BLIESENER says

          I use a chocolate cake mix for chocolate cookies all the time..I use white cake mix for white cookies all the time too! Soo much easier nd cheaper really..Then with the german chocolate frosting in can…way easier!

    • Rita says

      Am in the middle of making these divine looking cookies …… They are coming out looking as flat as a pancake … Maybe flatter. More like a ginger snap. Not soft and chewy. Batch made about 4 doz. Cookies are tasty, but not what I expected. Tried various baking times, but they always flattened out. Might try mixing another batch of dough, but as of now, can’t see the coconut frosting on these ….. Maybe a dip in white chocolate , so all is not lost , but …….. Any thoughts ?

    • Debbie says

      I know I am late to the party. But, these cookies are outrageous. My family started to devour them before I could frost them! I bake a lot of cookies so it is a big deal that these are such a hit. I am also making your recipe for your grandpa’s favorite German chocolate cake for my mom’s birthday,.. Grateful for the recipes!

      • Debbie says

        One more thing, I added chocolate chips to the cookies because, well, basically, I add them to everything. I think it is one of the reasons my family could not wait for the frosting!

    • says

      I made these yesterday and turned out pretty good. I think the “prep time” needs to be adjusted….part of the directions is to stir the frosting for 12 minutes!! Can’t do everything else in 3 minutes!!!

  1. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says

    Hi Sandra! German Chocolate is one of my favorite cakes! These look insanely delicious and dangerous for me to be around! :) Add the fact you said they’re the best cookies I will ever eat, I guess I will have to try them!!! 😉 Pinned :)

  2. says

    My husband loves german chocolate cake so when he hears that I have a recipe for german chocolate cookies, he’s going to be so excited! Thanks for the post!!!!

  3. Sandra L. says

    As a kid, my request for birthday cake was always German chocolate. I can’t wait to try it in cookie form! Pinning and trying soon. Thanks! (p.s. love your name! – I’m also a mother of 5! )

    • Sandra says

      Sandra – welcome! So happy to have you here, can’t wait to get to know your more. What is your boy to girl ratio? Mine is 3 boys / 2 girls. SO FUN! and exhausting! San

      • Bill W says

        My son has egg allergies and I have a substitute for eggs, but not sure what would work for the egg yolks. Any suggestions?

    • Sandra says

      Debi – thanks for catching that when I updated my recipe I forgot to edit it. It is correct now. Thanks for catching this! San

      • Barbara says

        The directions say nothing about when or how to add the chocolate striping I’m seeing on the picture……I see something about white chocolate..which makes NO sense and a pink heart floating..where??This SOUNDED like a great recipe…I was anxious to TRY it..but how about REAL directions that match the pictures?

        • Sandra says

          Barbara – there is a note at the bottom of the recipe about the chocolate and how to do that. If you need more details than listed email me at sandra@

    • Sandra says

      No you are good, but I am sure it would still taste just as yummy! But no refrigeration needed. xoxo San
      ps: not a silly question!

  4. says

    My husband loves German Chocolate Cake! I might just have to try making these for him! Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes. Pinning.

  5. says

    I am definitely pinning this and trying them ASAP. I love German Chocolate Cake, so I’m super excited about these!

    Linking up via Turn it Up Tuesday on Epic Mommy Adventures!

  6. Alyssa says

    Just a tip to those who want to print out this recipe – use the print button at the top of the post that is located next to the “Save Recipe” button. If you use the one located right above the comments section, it is 9 pages long.

  7. Aimee says

    I just made these tonight. O. M. G. These are amazingly delicious. And beautiful to look at. I, of course, did not have quite enough cocoa powder (a little more than 1/4 cup), and no evaporated milk. So I threw in an oz of melted bakers chocolate and used a combination of skim milk and cream and they turned out fine. Okay, better than fine…I don’t know how I’m going to avoid eating them all at once. Thanks so much!!

    • Sandra says

      Krista –
      It makes 2 dozen. The cookies will come out flatter than you may expect, I just had someone email me about that. They are soft and chewy! Enjoy! xo San

    • Sandra says

      Marilyn this made my day! Thank you for coming back to write this. So happy you loved it as much as us! xo San

  8. Anecia says

    Wow, I mean wow these cookies were a HUUGE hit at my sister’s wedding last night. I kept getting compliments on how wonderful the cookies tasted! My sister’s husband’s family are Italian and I needed to make a “family” cookie recipe that’s German from our family. I came across your recipe, thanks to Pinterest! And thanks to you for your recipe and I will be making these again!

    • Sandra says

      Anecia – this made my night! Thank you for coming back and giving feed back! We love them too so happy your family loved your German recipe 😉 xo San

  9. Jenelle says

    Does the frosting set up well? I would love to make these to send to my dad for his birthday since he is a huge fan of German Chocolate cake, but I need to be able to ship them…. Which means they would have to be stacked on top of each other. Would it work with these cookies?

    • Sandra says

      Jenelle – it sets up nicely. You could mail them for sure. Let them sit out for a bit to let the frosting harden but you could do this and you could even slide pieces of parchment paper in between. Where are you sending them?

  10. @thenewforkr says

    These are the best cookies ever! I made them for a Father’s Day brunch and they disappeared! Everyone loved them! You cannot eat just one! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Sylvia says

    My mom loved these German chocolate cookies were a hit. I used splenda brown sugar and added chopped brownie pieces to the recipe, so that it resembled the ice cream we ate as kids. The whole batch was gone in seconds!!! Definitely a keeper with my bunch. thanks for posting a great recipe

  12. Lillian says

    I just made a comment about this recipe on this Pin over on Pinterest – – Comment: Does this bother anyone else? – This image has a watermark right on it for the creator of this recipe – – But yet this Hungry Recipe person steals it anyway and get 249 rePins… We all need to stick together and try our best to give credit where credit is due…
    It looks yummy… I look forward to trying this recipe… and I am Pinning it fro this page!

  13. Haley says

    Hi, just wondering if I did something wrong here.. After adding all the frosting ingredients together in my pan and stirring and applying heat, it seemed as if the egg whites didn’t quite mix. I wasn’t worried about it until they started turning white and then they definitely weren’t mixing well. I strained the pieces out and took away from heat, but it doesn’t seem to be thickening quite as much as I would expect it to. Do you think refrigerating would help ?

  14. Rachelle says

    OMG!!! I just made these and they are amazing! They will literally melt in you mouth, thank you so much for posting these they will be my go to holiday treat :)

  15. Michele says

    these look sooooo amazing!! I was wondering if the gooey topping gets a “crust” to it or do the cookies stick together if they are stacked?

    • Sandra says

      It does harden, but you will be able to stack them once they sit for a while. I would stack them with wax paper. You can also freeze them, they do amazing. Just defrost them by putting them in the fridge for a few hours. Oh, so good. San

    • Sandra says

      I have never made these GF. But if you do will you come back and let me know how it goes. I will try this next week.

    • Patty Scully says

      I just made this with four bean flour, you can find the recipe on-line. They are amazing! I chose this flour mix as it is used cup for cup like regular wheat flour. I did add 1 tsp. of Xanthum Gum to hold the flours together. AMAZING recipe! I can’t wait to see my daughter’s face when she stops to pick some items up to return to college! YUM!! This may be the best cookie recipe that I have ever made and I have been cooking GF for my daughter for 20 years!

  16. says

    I would like to know if I can sub some of the sugar for apple sause or would it be too thin? I am a diabetic and want to cut the sugar in half and not lose the flavor. Thanks

  17. Karla says

    we made these cookies and they are easy to make and very delicious- I have a family of german chocolate lovers and they are a hit! thank you for sharing this recipe we will make them again! happy holidays

  18. Karley says

    I just wanted to say, I made these and OMG!!! They were absolutely fabulous! The directions were spot on and my family LOVED them!!! Thanks!

  19. Marielle says

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing! I’m going to a cookie exchange and need to make 4 dozen cookies. How many does this recipe make so I can scale it from there ? Thanks!!

      • Wendy says

        I would like to make these for my husband’s birthday. We are going to be stuck in a hotel that day so I’ll have to make them ahead of time. At what point should I freeze them? Just the cookie base or will they freeze and thaw OK completely assembled? Thanks for this recipe; I can’t wait!

      • Anna Royer says

        I am planning on freezing them. Should I freeze the icing and the cookie separate and put them together after defrosting or do they do well assembled before freezing?

  20. Joanne Girard says

    I made the cookies exactly like the recipe says. However my cookies are rock hard. I made them using the spoon drop. I used a teaspoon. They weren’t overly filled and i’m not sure what i did wrong. Might have to throw them away and start again. Maybe cook them less. I cooked them for 10 min. Oh well just thought i would share.

  21. lea says

    Hi! these look just amazing!! I want to make these but I don’t understand what is two stick of butter? 2 x 1/4 cup?

    Lea :)

    • Lisa says

      Each “stick” of butter is 1/4 pound, or 8 tablespoons.

      Therefore, 2 sticks means 1/2 pound, or 16 tablespoons.

  22. Danni says

    These cookies live up to all the hype! My dad loves German chocolate cake. Made him a batch last night. These are seriously perfect cookies! Thanks for the recipe!!

  23. says

    Help please, I cooked the icing the amount of time required. It had begun to thicken, then added the pecans and coconut. Set of stove and used mixer, but still too thin to use on cookies. How do I get it thicker or thick enough now?

  24. Linda says

    I’m going to make these tomorrow. Can you come up with an Italuan Cream Cake Cookie recipe now? I would truly be in heaven

  25. Lesa says

    Hello Sandra,
    These are the best cookies I have ever tried in my 31 years of marriage. Thank You for allowing me to try one of your prized possessions !!

  26. Bill Dimond says

    Trying the recipe tomorrow. Looks great. One question: Ingredients for the cookies asks for 2 sticks of butter. For the frosting it asks for 1/2 cup of butter. Used to be a stick was a cup. Now when you buy the butter the sticks are 1/2 cup. Does the cookie recipe require 2 cups butter or 2 sticks (1 cup)?


  27. Katelyn says

    Hi! I’m making these for a picnic tomorrow afternoon. Should I refrigerate them for tomorrow or will that harden the cookie? Is it better to leave them on the counter in an air tight container? So excited thank you!!!

  28. Kristle says

    My husband is currently deployed and I know he would LOVE these. Any suggestions on shipping these and being able to keep them tummy and not moldy or gross lol

  29. Wendy says

    I would like to make these for my husband’s birthday. We are going to be stuck in a hotel that day so I’ll have to make them ahead of time. At what point should I freeze them? Just the cookie base or will they freeze and thaw OK completely assembled? Thanks for this recipe; I can’t wait!

  30. says

    Hola muero por probar esta receta más q nada por mi hija q le encanta el chocolate, pero hay una cosa q no entendi de la receta la primera parte para preparar la galleta, aq te refieres con 2 paladas de mantequilla podrías aclararme ese detalle y yo lista para empezar a preparar.
    Saludos y gracias por tus recetas

  31. Katina says

    I was wondering what the measurement are for the two sticks of butter. By the way I love german chocolate cake so it will be neat to try the cookie form of the cake.

  32. Monica says

    Looks like a good recipe but could you ease up on the video ads? They were screaming through my speakers so loud and I can’t find a way to turn off the ads so I had to mute my speakers! So annoying and makes me not want to look at the rest of your site! :(

  33. Hunter says

    Had to scroll down a country mile to reply, so I know these cookies are going to be great, just so you know, you have made one 6’2″tall biker very happy. Yes Guys bake too. Finally I’ll have something between my teeth (besides bugs) to smile about when Im out riding, the only bad thing is.. Ill have to stash a bunch for the brothers in my saddel bags.
    Thanks Sandra.. your aces
    Hunter C.

  34. Roxanne Myers says

    I’m going to make this this weekend for the first time…if they’re as good as they look, I’ll take them to my corporate Christmas Party in December! Fingers crossed.

  35. Diana says

    Sorry, but these aren’t German Chocolate Cake Cookies – they are chocolate cookies with the frosting from a German Chocolate Cake. German chocolate cake gets its name from an ingredient it uses: German’s Sweet Chocolate. This chocolate was originated by the Baker’s Chocolate Company (now a subsidiary of Kraft Foods) in the mid 1850s and was named after it’s creator, Sam German. The story of the chocolate says that a misprint in a newspaper that included the recipe for the first German Chocolate Cake simply left out the “s” on the name, and this is why the chocolate is often known simply as “German.” The chocolate is similar to a semisweet chocolate, but has a higher sugar content to it. This means that recipes that use it tend to be a little bit sweeter than ones that don’t.

  36. says

    Is it possible to use canned German Chocolate frosting that is in a can?. I don’t have all the ingredients on
    hand and the Pecans here cost around $8.00 for 4 oz. I wasn’t sure if it would be too runny. I have tried
    it before and good substitute has coconut, nuts etc. I want to make these for the Senior Pot Luck Dinner.
    Thank You, Bea

  37. Laurie says

    These do look amazing, BUT if the recipe only makes 24 cookies, that means each one has 2 tablespoons of sugar. Yikes! Just wondering if there are any other options which do NOT include artificial sweeteners?

  38. Eileen says

    Made the cookies this weekend, and my husband said they were amazing. He asked…we don’t have to share these right? Awesome Cookie!

  39. Nancy says

    I made these a couple of months ago and brought some to work. I’ve had multiple requests from co-workers for more. Thanks for a great recipe!

  40. Megan says

    I love these! I made them and now anytime there is a family gathering they all beg me to bring them! So yummy! Thank you for the recipe!

  41. yolanda says

    Made these today for Thanksgiving dessert, and they were great! My cookies did not turn out flat at all, but I used my spatula to flatten them just a bit for the frosting. They were perfect coming out of the oven anyway. Definitely will be making again!

  42. Theresa Boyle says

    I was curious about how the frosting sets up? I’d like yo make them for a cookie exchange but don’t want them smoothed when I box them up.

  43. Phyllis J says

    well, I cannot figure out what I could have done wrong…….they puffed up beautifully in the oven, and then flattened out completely, becoming hard as rocks! I very carefully followed the recipe and checked it again. With all the reviews from people who have not tried them yet, I am wondering if anyone else has this result….I do see that one person has. I was looking for a cookie just as these seemed to be. Oh, well….

    • Sandra says

      How did they taste? Also, how old are you baking ingredients? These cookies are flat, they are not a thick or puffy cookie.

  44. Sharon Gunstream says

    I made these tonight and these are absolutely the BEST COOKIE i have ever made. Thank you for this recipe!

  45. Laverne says

    Wanted to make these for awhile, tonight I finally got around to it. These are scrumptious, my husband said these are now on his yummy list. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  46. Tracee says

    I am definitely going to make these cookies! My daughter loves German Chocolate cake, donuts, and I’m sure she will love these too. I will need to ship them so I may make them into a sandwich style cookie so the topping doesn’t go all over the place. Thanks for the great recipe.

  47. Kristy Chavez says

    I am excited to try these as I absolutely LOVE German Chocolate Cake. I am curious as to how well these will taste with chocolate as the base instead of German Chocolate. I am a stickler on this when it comes to my German Chocolate Cake. A chocolate cake with German Choc. Icing does not taste the same as German Chocolate being used. Either way I’m sure these are delicious cookies & I will update after I try.

  48. Lizette says

    I was so excited to try this recipe but when I did the cookies came out so thin that they broke when I tried taking them of the paper and the ones I did take off are so fragil to hold that they crumble. I don’t know what I did wrong . Help please.

  49. Ken says

    Made these very yummy cookies. Chilled the frosting to make it thicker. Turned out great. Love the chocolate cookie. Very moist and chewy. Thinking about just using the cookie recipe to make whoopie pies or sandwich cookies. Thank you for posting a delicious recipe.

  50. Jola says

    I baked your German chocolate cake cookies but I did little mistake, good mistake 😉 Instead of evaporated milk I used condensed milk I did not added extra sugar and I used unsweetened coconut flakes. I also use chocolate cake from the box to makes cookies and now I am doing again and I baked Ghirardelli chocolate cookies from the box.
    Cookies are very delicious, thanks for the recipe :)

    • Sandra says

      Katie – you can. They freeze well but they never last that long to do this. But I love eating them cold. xo San

  51. Icing recipe gone wrong says

    I followed recipe exactly. After stirring the icing for probably 20 min it barely got thick. I thought at some point it would, but needless to say after wasting my money and entire evening I’m throwing cookies in the pail. Super disappointed with the directions or perhaps inaccurate measurements. 11 minutes 30 seconds versus 20 minutes+ = I wish I chose someone else’s recipe. Money not well spent & final product in the pail. :( #sadness

    • Sandra says

      Sorry this did not work out for you. As you can see from the comments many including myself have has success. I would encourage to try this again, if you have any questions or issues feel free to email me. San

  52. says

    The cookies are moist and delicious. My husband usually doesn’t eat frostings with coconut and nuts but he loved these cookies. I am making another batch to share with friends. Thanks for the great recipe!!!!!!!!

  53. Sheila Wedell says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I had been looking for a good scratch recipe for these – I have been making mine with a German Chocolate cake mix and canned coconut peacan frosting, but would love to try from scratch! Mine are a box of cake mix with 1/4 cup oil and 2 eggs. Once mixed together, roll into about 40 balls (about an inch) and bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. When they come out of the oven, flatten with spatula and let cool. Frost the bottom of a cookie and sandwich together with another. Makes 20 sandwich cookies that won’t stick to a ziplock bag in a lunchbox! They are soft and chewy.

    • Sandra says

      I can’t do canned frosting, but I love the idea with the cake mix. I do that with other cookies. I can’t wait for you to try this. You will find that homemade frosting is so much better. xo San

  54. Kate says

    I made these cookies for my mom for Mother’s Day, and she said they were absolutely the best cookies she’d ever had! Thanks for sharing the recipe!


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