German Chocolate Brownies are great for when you want people to think you’re fancy, but you don’t have time to make dessert from scratch.Jump to Recipe
I think German Chocolate cake is one of those sorts of polarizing foods that people either love or hate. I personally adore German Chocolate cake but I like brownies more than cake, so these German Chocolate Brownies were born!
And while like I said, I love German Chocolate, the cake is actually a bit of a hassle to make. So I decided that in order to get that awesome topping, I would go ahead and whip up a box of brownie mix, and take it to the next level by making them into German Chocolate Brownies.
The box mix is just your standard fudge brownie mix, but the topping I made from scratch, and it takes the brownies from generic box brownie fare (which, lets be honest, is still freaking amazing) and gives it that oomph and wow factor.
German Chocolate Cake History
The roots of German Chocolate cake go back to the 1850’s when an American baker named Samuel German developed a type of chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate company. Originally, the cake was called German’s Chocolate Cake, but the name was changed mistakenly over the years, ending with the name we know today, and the opportunity for every food blogger ever (hi!) to tell you about the history of this cake.
German Chocolate Frosting
The frosting is made of evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, nuts and coconut (I add a little bit of Vanilla extract as well) and is heated through so you don’t have to worry about consuming raw eggs – although if you’re anything like me, you ate enough raw brownie dough that you’re obviously not worried about consuming raw eggs.
Making German Chocolate Brownies:
Follow the directions on the box for the brownie mix. Bake the brownies in whatever size pan you want, but I generally go for 9x9 because I like thick brownies.
If you use a 13x9 pan, you’ll want to double the recipe for the frosting. The recipe as is is perfect for a 9x9 pan.
Start by pouring the evaporated milk into a medium saucepan, followed by the egg yolks, brown sugar and butter. Bring to a slow boil, and let simmer/boil for 3-5 minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened significantly. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Let cool completely before spreading on the cooled brownies.
This recipe calls for 1 ½ egg yolks, which is a strange unit of measurement for egg yolks, and you can do it one of two ways:
Mix together two egg yolks in a bowl, weigh them, and then do the math to figure out how much to add (¾ of the total weight)
Crack the egg and let the whites fall off, and then quickly break the yolk in half with your fingers, and let half of it go into a bowl. This is generally how I do it - it's messy, but it's kind of fun.
This isn't a recipe where a few grams of egg yolk is going to affect the final dish, and it's easier than weighing everything out. Although, you do end up wasting some egg with this method, so if your thing is food waste, then this isn't the method for you.
The recipe originally called for sweetened coconut, but between the sugar and the sweetness of the brownies, I think it makes it a little bit too much so I generally use unsweetened coconut, but you do what feels good to you.
One of the best parts of this recipe is that it can be made entirely ahead of time, and then you can put it together right before serving. The brownies are incredibly rich, and a small piece is all you need.
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German Chocolate Brownies
- 1 box of the brownie mix of your choice + whatever is called for to make them.
- 1 ½ egg yolks*
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter half a stick
- 4 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Make the brownies as directed, and let cool completely.
- To Make the Frosting:
- In a medium saucepan add the egg yolks, brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk, and bring to a low boil. Let the mixture boil for 3-5 minutes or until it gets very thick and bubbly.
- Once that happens, remove from the heat and add the vanilla, coconut and pecans, and stir to combine. Scrape the mixture out into a separate bowl, and let cool completely before spreading over the cooled brownies.
- Cut and serve.