German Chocolate Cookies

german chocolate cookie hero

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 14 mins
Freeze: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 34 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 36 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
343 Calories
20g Fat
39g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 343
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 117mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

German chocolate cake is a delicious and decadent treat, with its rich layers separated by a gooey filling of coconut and pecans. But making it is a time-consuming project since it requires baking, assembling, resting, and frosting. Our German chocolate sugar cookies are a fantastic alternative, needing a lot less active time in the kitchen but providing all the flavor—you do need, however, to appropriately chill the dough in the freezer for two hours, as this will prevent the cookies from spreading when baking.

With most of the classic ingredients of the cake, these beautiful cookies are amazingly chewy thanks to gooey pockets of chocolate chips. Toasted pecans will perfume your kitchen and the deep aroma of cocoa will make your mouth water. We suggest a stand or hand mixer to cream the melted butter and shortening with the sugars, but mixing it by hand is still possible. Since they're pleasantly rolled twice in granulated sugar, the crunch is irresistible, as is eating just than one alongside a strong cup of coffee. The cookies will keep in an airtight container on the counter for three days and can be frozen in a resealable plastic bag for up to a month.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • Granulated sugar, for rolling

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    German Chocolate Cookies

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

    flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans and whisk again.

    chocolate chips, coconut and pecans added to the flour mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, yolk, corn syrup, and vanilla.

    egg, yolk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Microwave the butter and shortening together in a microwave-safe bowl until melted, in 30-second bursts. Alternatively, melt on the stovetop over medium heat.

    Microwave the butter and shortening together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Let the butter and shortening mixture cool slightly and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

    butter in a stand mixer

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until incorporated and smooth.

    butter and sugar in a stand mixer

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Add the egg-syrup mixture and beat again until well combined.

    egg syrup mixture added to the butter mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Setting the mixer at low speed, carefully add the dry ingredients, stopping the mixer when there are still some streaks of flour.

    cookie dough in the stand mixer

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Continue mixing by hand with a flexible spatula. The dough should be very soft and wet.

    cookie dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  11. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto one or two parchment-lined cookie sheets. There should be enough space for 12 cookies per sheet.

    cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  12. Place the granulated sugar in a small shallow bowl. Roll each cookie in it and place it back on the cookie sheet. Place the cookies in the freezer until frozen solid, or about 2 hours.

    cookie dough balls rolled in sugar on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  13. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once frozen, roll the cookies again in the sugar. Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating at the halfway point until the cookies look dry everywhere but their centers, which should still look shiny. Bake all the remaining cookies.

    sugar covered cookie dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  14. Once removed from the oven, take a 3 1/2-inch or 4-inch wide drinking glass or cookie cutter and place the glass/cutter over one cookie at a time. You may need to push the edges of the cookie under the glass if they have spread a lot. Gently move the glass in a circular motion —as the sides of the cookies come in contact with the sides of the glass or cutter they round out perfectly, so much so that when you lift the glass or cutter off the cookie, you are left with a perfectly round cookie. Eat the cookies warm or at room temperature.

    German Chocolate Cookies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  15. Enjoy!

Tasty Substitutions

  • Use dark chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate if you prefer them to semi-sweet chips.
  • Use natural cocoa powder if finding Dutch process cocoa is difficult.
  • Use light corn syrup in lieu of dark syrup.
  • Substitute the vegetable shortening with additional butter. Keep in mind that the shortening contributes to the cookies' chewiness and helps the cookies hold their shape.

How Do I Toast Pecans?

To toast pecans, simply place them on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven until darkened in color and fragrant. This should take between 7 to 10 minutes.