German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Dan and I had a wonderfully lazy day in yesterday. We woke up late, ate leftovers, sprawled on the couch, teased the cats, played video games (well, Dan did) and watched way too much TV. We didn’t do any work, we didn’t shower, and the only time we left the apartment was to step out onto the balcony and marvel at how warm it was outside. It was fantastic. I highly recommend that you all try it.

The only fly in the ointment? When we rummaged through the pantry for sugary snacks, we couldn’t find any cookies. There were plenty of marshmallows, chocolate bars, and Halloween candy, but…no more BJs cookies, no more snickerdoodles, no more jam-filled Madeleines. Do you know how it feels to be really pumped about having cookies with your ice cream, only to discover that there is not a single cookie left in the house? It’s tragic.

And that’s why at 10pm last night, after a totally, fantastically, inactive and unproductive day, I found myself standing in my kitchen, rolling balls of dough and mixing coconut topping for German chocolate cake cookies. Once a craving for cookies hits you, it just doesn’t quit, ya know? And these cookies are absolutely worth the late-night effort. The cookie itself is chewy, and buttery, and chocolate-y, while the coconut topping is wonderfully rich and sweet. Eaten together, it tastes exactly like German chocolate cake. Amazing!

German Chocolate Cake Cookies (Adapted from a Hannah Swensen recipe, found in the Peach Cobbler Murder)
** The original recipe makes 5-6 dozen cookies. I didn’t need quite that many, so I halved all the ingredients and came out with a little over 2 dozen delicious cookies.

– 1 stick butter
– 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 large egg
– 1/4 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1-1/2 cup flour

– 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
– 3/8 cup shredded coconut
– 1/4 cup chopped pecans
– 1/4 stick butter
– 1 egg yolk

(1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease some cookie sheets.
(2) In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt 1 stick butter + chocolate chips on high for about 1-2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
(3) Add sugar, vanilla, and large egg. Mix well.
(4) Slowly add dry ingredients. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. Set aside while you make the frosting.
** Dough will be stiff and a bit crumbly — perfect for rolling into balls.
(5) In a food processor, combine brown sugar and coconut. Mix until the coconut is in small pieces.
(6) Add chopped pecans, and pulse processor.
(7) Cut butter into 4 chunks and add those to the processor as well. Pulse a few times until butter has been chopped into small pieces.
(8) Add your egg yolk, and process until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
(9) Stick your frosting into the fridge to chill while you roll out your cookie dough.
(10) Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls with your fingers, and place them on your cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart.
** The recipe says you should have about 12 balls per standard cookie sheet. My baking pans are a little smaller, so I was working with about 8-9 balls per pan.
(11) Using your thumb, press down the center of each ball to make a deep indentation.
(12) Pull your frosting out of the fridge and roll it into 1/2-inch balls. Place each ball into the center of every cookie dent.
(13) Bake for 10 minutes.
(14) Allow cookies to cool on your baking sheet for a couple minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
** Cookies are extremely soft when they come out of the oven, so if you move them right away, they’ll break. If you leave them in their baking sheet for 2 minutes, they will firm up enough to move without breaking.
(15) Enjoy plain, or with a tall glass of milk.

For other great cookie ideas, click here.


  1. says

    These look and sound absolutely delicious. Thank you for making me laugh out loud at the tragedy of finding out there are no more cookies left. I have been there too often lately.

    I am loving all your recipes and am very much looking forward to trying them out.

  2. Catherine says

    These look wonderful! My family loves German chocolate cake. I’m trying these out for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. says

    Oh man, these cookies look absolutely scrumptious!! I have got to try this recipe, I have been making a lot of cookies lately, just last night I made a batch of ‘s Butterscotch cookies. They were so good & are perfect tea dipping cookies. I can’t wait to try this cookie recipe you have here though, I’ll let you know when I make them!! yummmm & thanks for sharing, Sheila

      • says

        I sure will! I’m going to wait till after the 15th of December to make them. That’s when I’m going to do a bunch of christmas baking, so it’ll be one of the cookies I give out to friends/family =) I would do them sooner, but on the 3rd of December I already have a recipe I’m doing for a cookie trade-off thingy that day. I need to make 9dozen O.O, so I chose a simple recipe made with store bought cookies. They are oreo chocolate truffle balls on the website All-recipes

  4. Jennifer says

    I came across your recipe on Foodgawker and thought it looked so delicious. I made these today and they just spread out into flat blobs :( I made sure I wasn’t leaving out any of the ingredients, I’m not sure what went wrong. How did yours turn out so pretty??

    • justputzing says

      Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that :( How was your dough before it went into the oven? If it was crumbly and rolled into balls without getting tacky/sticky the cookies should have turned out ok…Try adding a little more flour. If it’s an oven issue, maybe try baking the cookies at a higher temp for a shorter amount of time? Let me know how it goes if you re-make! Good luck!

  5. says

    I know what you mean about having no cookies in the house when you really want them. It sucks. I especially hate it when I don’t have the ingredients to make the cookies that i want. Thanks for sharing this chocolate cake recipe in a little cookie form. I hope the coconut topping is good. I’m a chocoholic so I know I’ll love this. Lucky for me, my husband and kids don’t enjoy chocolate as much I do, so I get it all to myself :)

    • justputzing says

      Yeah, not having the ingredients is the worst. Luckily for me there’s a BJ’s right up the street from me so if I’m out of something I can just walk right over and refill my pantry :)

      Hope you like the cookies! The coconut topping is delicious — I usually don’t like coconut or chopped nuts in my desserts, but these cookies were awesome.

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