German Chocolate Bars

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Bars arranged on a wooden cutting board.

German Chocolate Bars with a rich, buttery shortbread crust, topped with a caramel layer filled with coconut and toasted pecans, and drizzled with chocolate are sure to become a new family favorite.


Bars and brownies are some of my favorite treats. (Sorry cookies!) These mouth-watering German Chocolate Bars keep well for days, making them perfect gifts. They cut easily into squares and can be stored at room temperature. They probably won’t last long though.

German Chocolate Bars are a little something different and they’re sweet, a little bit gooey, and a little bit chewy. But they’re not too much of any one thing or any one flavor. The ingredients blend nicely without any of them dominating.

German Chocolate Bars with bowl of coconut in background.

German Chocolate Bars are super easy to make too. The shortbread crust needs a quick bake in the oven, but the rest of the bar is no-bake. Just melt some caramels with a little half-and-half, mix in coconut and toasted pecans, and pour on top of the shortbread crust. Let it set for a couple of hours, add the chocolate drizzle and you’re done.

And get ready to dig in!

Two bars stacked on a black plate with milk in background.


German Chocolate Bars

German Chocolate Bars

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
Delicious bars with a shortbread crust, topped with a chewy caramel layer full of pecans and coconut and drizzled with chocolate.
Print Recipe


  • 1 (10-ounce) box shortbread cookies, I used 2 5.6 ounce boxes and ate 1 cookie :
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 (14-ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, letting edges overhang a few inches.
  • Place cookies and sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, melted butter, and egg white. Stir well.
  • Press into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool completely.
  • Place unwrapped caramels in a microwave-safe bowl and add half-and-half. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave at 30 second intervals until mixture is smooth. (1 1/2 to 2 minutes total). Let cool slightly.
  • Add coconut, pecans, and salt to caramel mixture. Let cool 2 hours.
  • Melt candy coating according to package directions and drizzle on top of bars. Let set for 1 hour and then use foil to lift bars from pan. Cut into squares.

Recipe Source: Entertain Magazine July/August 2013

German Chocolate Bars - super easy to make with a shortbread crust and caramel, chocolate, coconut, and pecans on top.

16 thoughts on “German Chocolate Bars

  1. Mmm, these look so good. Anything with a shortbread crust is something I know i’d love 🙂 I’m with you about preferring bars over cookies…no rolling and “dropping” the cookies, just one pan that you have to cut in the end. Plus they’re much sturdier. Are these sticky or do they do well travelling?

  2. I can only imagine how wonderful this makes the kitchen smell. I already have all my Christmas goodies planned, but I’ll be saving this one for later. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love it when cake gets turned into bars like this. It seems so much more approachable and great for a large gathering. I can just picture a bite of this – all the textures and flavors. It’s one of those desserts that would go first at a party.

  4. German chocolate cake is my favorite — not for the cake, but for the frosting, so I know I’d love these bars! They must be terrific on this shortbread cookie base. Looks delicious, Christin!

  5. These look wonderful Christin. I am a big fan of German Chocolate cake and shortbread and I love that these bars are mixed with a little bit of everything. The no bake caramel topping sounds incredible!

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