German Chocolate Pie

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This decadent dessert is everything you love about German chocolate cake in one easy-to-make pie! Layers of chocolate custard, perfectly sweet shredded coconut, and salted pecans all in a golden, flaky crust. It’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table!

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what desserts you want to serve alongside your meals! You really can’t go wrong with a delicious homemade pie. A few more incredible recipes to try are this banana cream pie, pistachio cream pie, and coconut cream key lime pie. They’re all creamy, delicious, and so easy to make!

German chocolate pie in a pie dish with a slice cut out of it.

Coconut Pecan German Chocolate Pie Recipe

German chocolate is one of my absolute favorite cake flavors. There’s just something about the combination of milky chocolate and sweet, shredded coconut that is to die for! When I first tried this pie I was blown away. It’s everything you love about German chocolate cake but in creamy, decadent pie form! (To be honest, I never thought that anything could be better than traditional German chocolate cake, but I think this pie has it beat.)

Honestly, this German chocolate pie is everything you could want from a dessert. It’s rich and chocolatey while still being light and fluffy! You’re going to absolutely love the custard filling! And did I mention that the topping is made with shredded coconut, butter, brown sugar, and condensed milk? It’s every dessert lover’s dream and the perfect remedy for a sweet tooth.

German Chocolate Pie Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to put this insanely good pie together! German chocolate pie uses a lot of standard baking ingredients to make your life a little easier! Note: exact measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Cooked Pie Crust: You can use a premade crust or make your own from scratch using my recipe here. Note: since this is a cream pie and there’s no baking involved, you’ll want to make sure your crust is blind-baked and not raw.
  • 9-Inch Pie Pan: A deep pan is best for this recipe!

Filling

  • Milk Chocolate Chips: Give the custard its perfect chocolatey flavor. You can also use dark chocolate chips if you’d like!
  • Butter: Adds richness and makes the texture of the filling extra creamy!
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar makes the filling nice and sweet.
  • Cornstarch: Helps the filling solidify.
  • Whole Milk: Adds creaminess and makes the chocolate filling nice and smooth.
  • Egg Yolks: Bind all of the ingredients together and make the filling smooth and silky!
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla makes everything better! Add some in for a deeper, sweeter flavor.

Topping

  • Brown Sugar: For smoky, sweet flavor.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Coats the flaked coconut in creamy, fluffy goodness!
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: You know the dessert is good if condensed milk is an ingredient. This adds flavor and a creamy texture to the topping!
  • Butter: Adds richness and flavor.
  • Large Egg Yolks: Help all of the topping ingredients to bind together.
  • Sweetened Coconut Flakes: A must-add for that classic German chocolate flavor!
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract if you can for the best flavor.
  • Salted Pecans: Chopped pecans add a boost of flavor and texture. You can also use chopped walnuts if you’d like!

How to Make German Chocolate Pie

This German chocolate pie is so easy to make! It’s also perfect for making ahead – this gives it plenty of time to chill and set so you can cut it into nice, uniform pieces!

To Make the Filling:

  1. Melt Chocolate and Butter: In a microwave, melt the chocolate and butter together in 10-15 second increments, and stir until smooth.
  2. Prepare Hot Mixture: In a saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch, whisk in the whole milk, and cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Add Egg Yolks: Mix a small amount of hot mixture with egg yolks in a separate bowl. Once incorporated, add the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture in your pan and constantly whisk, bringing it to a gentle boil. Mix for two additional minutes, and remove from heat.
  4. Combine: Whisk in your chocolate butter mixture and vanilla, and stir until well combined. Pour into your baked pie crust. Let set up completely before putting the topping on.

To Make the Topping:

  1. Sugar and Cream Mixture: In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, heavy whipping cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. Add Egg Yolks: Whisk egg yolks and a small amount of hot mixture in a separate bowl. Once combined add it all back into the saucepan and return to the stove. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, constantly stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix In Remaining Ingredients: Add in your vanilla, shredded coconut, and salted pecans. Cool for 10 minutes then pour over the top of your chocolate filling.
  4. Garnish: (Optional) Top with additional shredded coconut and chopped pecans.
6-photo collage of chocolate custard filling and coconut topping being prepared and added to a baked pie crust.

Extra Tips and Tricks

These are just a few extra tips on how to customize and perfect your German chocolate pie! I know you’ll love this recipe just as much as I have! It’s quickly rising in the ranks on my list of favorite pies.

  • Melt Chocolate Slowly: When melting the chocolate and butter together, be sure to do so in small increments, only 10-15 seconds at a time, stirring each time. Melting it too quickly can burn your chocolate.
  • Let the Filling and Topping Chill: Allow your filling to cool in the fridge while preparing the topping so it can set up before you put the topping on. Remember to cool the topping for about ten minutes before putting it on your pie.
  • Add Flaked Salt: If you want a salted caramel effect, add some salt to your topping, to taste.
  • Use a Deep Pie Pan: Using a deeper pie pan is best for this recipe, if you want to use a shallower pan cut the filling recipe in half.
  • Make a Homemade Crust: If you really want to take this recipe to the next level, try using my grandma’s perfect pie crust recipe! I also have a post on how to blind-bake a pie crust, which is a necessity for any cream-based pies you’ll make this season!
  • Switch Out Chocolate Chips: This recipe uses milk chocolate chips, if you want a less sweet filling you can substitute for semi-sweet or even dark chocolate, depending on your preferences.
A slice of German chocolate pie being served with a cake spatula.

Storing Leftovers

This pie stores great covered in the fridge. It can be made the night before serving and kept chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it!

  • In the Refrigerator: Your German chocolate pie will last for up to 4 days in the fridge. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
Closeup of a slice of German chocolate pie with a bite taken out of it.

German Chocolate Pie

4.60 from 5 votes
This decadent dessert is everything you love about German chocolate cake in one easy-to-make pie! Layers of chocolate custard, perfectly sweet shredded coconut, and salted pecans all in a golden, flaky crust. It's the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cooked pie crust in 9” pie pan a deep pan is best for this recipe

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cups sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping

  • cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cup salted pecans coarsely chopped

Instructions
 

Filling

  • In a microwave, melt the chocolate and butter together in 10-15 second increments, stir until smooth.
  • In a saucepan mix sugar and cornstarch, whisk in the whole milk and cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • In a separate bowl mix a small amount of hot mixture with egg yolks. Once incorporated add the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture in your pan and whisk constantly, bringing to a gentile boil. Mix for 2 additional minutes, remove from heat.
  • Whisk in your chocolate butter mixture and vanilla, stir until well combined. Pour into your baked pie crust. Let setup completely before putting the topping on.

Topping

  • In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, heavy whipping cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and a small amount of hot mixture together, once combined add it all back into the saucepan and return to the stove. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, constantly stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat.
  • Add in your vanilla, shredded coconut, and salted pecans. Cool for 10 minutes then pour over the top of your chocolate filling.
  • Optional: top with additional shredded coconut and chopped pecans.


Nutrition

Serves: 8

Calories645kcal (32%)Carbohydrates77g (26%)Protein9g (18%)Fat34g (52%)Saturated Fat22g (110%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat6gTrans Fat0.4gCholesterol206mg (69%)Sodium202mg (8%)Potassium290mg (8%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar65g (72%)Vitamin A936IU (19%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium228mg (23%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword german chocolate pie, german chocolate pie recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m happy to be trying this recipe when German chocolate cake is my husband’s favorite. How do you store this? I’m thinking refrigerate it, but not sure.

  2. 5 stars
    What is the butter in the topping for?. I cut up the butter and followed the directions to a T and there is the 1/4 cup of cut up butter just sitting there why my beautiful pie is done and waiting to be eaten. Ii obviously must be an error?

  3. 5 stars
    My husband is so picky but this pie had the same ingredients that are in his favorite dessert, Hello Dolly squares, so I thought I’d give it a go for Thanksgiving dessert. Wow! It was awesome! I’m a novice at best… When I read that I had to temper the eggs, I was going to abandon the pie and go store bought lol. I’m so glad I didn’t. It was actually pretty simple to make, looked amazing, and tasted even better than I imagined! This recipe is going in the big binder and will be made often!!

  4. 3 stars
    Two things:
    Save yourself 45 minutes and use the cooked kind of chocolate pudding for the filling. Tastes EXACTLY the same. If I make this again that is what I will do – big time saver and no one with know the difference.

    Also, for the topping when am i using the 1/4 cup of butter?
    Did anyone actually test this recipe?

    I would also use less coconut (maybe a generous cup) and more pecans (1/4 cup more).

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