Our favorite thing about the holiday season is seeing all kinds of different traditions come together and become something fresh in warmth of family and friends both old and new— especially when those traditions are of the culinary kind! We’ve recently found a recipe that combines the “old world” and the “new world” in a treat that’s perfect for Christmas, New Year’s, next Thanksgiving and even Valentine’s Day: German Chocolate Pecan Bars!

Also known as German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, these delightful desserts combine the tastes of a traditionally European chocolate cake with an all-American pecan pie without being overly complicated or time-consuming. All you need to do is layer a quick and chocolaty shortbread crust with some melted chocolate and a take on pecan pie filling – with some coconut for extra delight! – and you’ve got yourself a treat like no other.

Allow us to show you how it’s done. When you can’t wait to make them, just keep reading for the full recipe!

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German Chocolate Pecan Bars

Serves 24
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 cups pecan halves, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Line a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing an overhang on two ends. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar.
  3. Add the cubed cold butter and blend with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small peas. It will be dry, but it will come together when baked.
  4. Press the flour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the baked chocolate crust from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle the dark chocolate chips evenly across the crust. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
    Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly across the crustTipHero
  7. In a large bowl, gently whisk the eggs. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and melted butter, and whisk until smooth.
  8. Mix in the unsweetened shredded coconut and pecans.
    Pecan halves mixed with eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and shredded coconutTipHero
  9. Pour the pecan mixture on top of the melted chocolate chips, and spread evenly.
    Pouring pecan topping on German chocolate crust baseTipHero
  10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown and the filling has set.
    German chocolate bars with pecan toppingTipHero
  11. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into squares.
4 German chocolate pecan bars on a white plateTipHero

How classic and delicious do these bars look? We just can’t get enough of the combination of classic German chocolate shortbread crust, melted chocolate, and pecan-coconut topping, and we also love that we can take out the coconut if we really want, or if we’re hosting guests who aren’t particularly fond of the flavor. (Believe it or not, coconut-haters do exist!)

But it’s not about us anymore— we want to know what you think! Does this recipe remind you of bars or cookies you’ve made in the past? What about a classic pecan pie or German chocolate cake? Will you be giving these bars a try this holiday season? Can you think of any ways to switch things up and make this recipe your own? Tell us what you think and let us know how these bars turn out for you!

Recipe adapted from Bake or Break