German Chocolate Pecan Pie pairs together two classic desserts with its chocolate, coconut, and pecan filling baked in a homemade chocolate pie crust.

Slice of German Chocolate Pecan Pie on teal plate

As I’m updating this German Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe from 2014, I remember the roller coaster of emotions I had the week before I made it.

It started out hopeful as a golden opportunity for something I’ve been wanting appeared in my inbox. Here was my chance, my big break! I was nervous, excited, anxious.

I was so proud of the work I turned in that afterwards my adrenaline was pumping. Then I got the response – rejected.

I was a bit shaken up but pulled myself together and did a reshoot. Which was also rejected.

I failed not once but TWICE at something I wanted more than anything.

Needless to say my confidence was a bit broken. But later that same week, something almost magical happened.

Where as I failed in one area of my job, I was succeeding in another.

And for the first time in what felt like forever, I can finally say I love my job – as a recipe developer, as a food photographer, as a full time blogger.

It took me awhile to realize this until I was talking with a friend about how she felt about her job.

That’s when it clicked. Despite the ups and downs, I haven’t actually felt miserable since I quit my previous job.

Frustrated, yes. Lonely, yes. Failure, yes. But not miserable.

There’s an article my friend shared with me a long time ago that talks about determining success.

It isn’t “what do you want to enjoy” but rather “what pain do you want to sustain” because no matter what path we choose, there will always be a struggle in order to get what we want.

Even though I failed, I want it badly enough that I’m willing to put up with the rejection and try again.

So what does that have to do with pie? I also failed at making this German Chocolate Pecan Pie the first time.

The risk about developing recipes is that you don’t know if it’ll work until it’s too late. And it was definitely too late to save the first pie (albeit still edible).

Luckily, I knew what I did wrong (too much liquid), so I adjusted the recipe and tried again. Success!

This German Chocolate Pecan Pie is when German chocolate cake with its chocolate, pecans, and coconut meets pecan pie with its gooey pecan filling.

Kinda like how I made Pecan Pie Cheesecake by mashing together cheesecake and pecan pie.

The best part? I even made a chocolate pie crust. Not from Oreos but actual chocolate pie dough from scratch. It’s amazing. I mean, it’s chocolate pecan pie all the way!

Because pecan pie is typically associated with Thanksgiving, I took my pie to my friend’s house who was hosting Friendsgiving. Turns out her favorite dessert is German chocolate cake, so the pie went over especially well.

Whether you serve this German Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any day of the year, you won’t want to skip dessert!

Overhead shot of German Chocolate Pecan Pie in white pie plate

Ingredients For German Chocolate Pecan Pie

To make your coconut pecan German chocolate pie, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • German’s chocolate: German’s chocolate is baking chocolate that is around 48% cacao, often found in a green box. If you can’t find any, you can use semisweet chocolate which is around 55% cacao.
  • Butter: Used to help melt and temper the chocolate
  • Eggs: Pecan pie technically has a custard filling, which uses egg for the base.
  • Corn Syrup: In addition to sweetening your pie, corn syrup plays a very important part in texture. It prevents sugar crystallization during baking, which means your pie won’t be grainy.
  • Brown sugar: Helps sweeten the filling as well as adds caramelization
  • Salt: Salt is a flavor enhancer and will only make everything taste better.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla is another flavor enhancer. If your desserts ever taste like they’re missing something, add vanilla. Make sure you use real vanilla extract and not imitation vanilla.
  • Pecans: It isn’t pecan pie without pecans!
  • Coconut: I used sweetened flaked coconut because that’s what is easily available, but you can also use unsweetened.
  • Pie Crust: Can’t forget the pie crust! Unfortunately you can’t buy chocolate pie crust, but making it from scratch is easy especially if you have a food processor.

Want to get a bit boozy? Make Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie from Feast and West.

Chocolate pie crust rolled out into white pie plate

How To Make Chocolate Pie Crust

The idea for chocolate pie dough came to me during Zumba class one evening (because why wouldn’t you think about pie while you’re exercising?)

I don’t even know why I was thinking about pie, but there I was during one of our routine songs where I thought, heyyyyy why don’t I add cocoa powder to regular pie dough and make a chocolate-based pie?

The easiest way to make pie dough is to use a food processor because all you do is dump and pulse.

However if you don’t have one, you can put everything in a large mixing bowl and combine by hand using a pastry blender.

First, add your flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Pulse 1-2 times to mix it together.

Next, add your cold butter to your bowl. It’s important your fat is super cold or your dough is going to get soft and sticky. Pulse until it looks like little pebbles.

Now it’s time to add cold water. Once again, you want to work with cold ingredients so your dough doesn’t get too warm.

Pulse until a dough forms. If it still looks crumbly, give it another minute or so to come together.

If it’s really dry, you can add a teaspoon of water, but you don’t want to add too much because then the dough will puff too much in the oven.

Next, gather your dough and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. If you don’t have plastic wrap, use a lightly floured surface.

Gently knead the dough together then form a round disk. Cover the top with another sheet of plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.

Slice of German Chocolate Pecan Pie on teal plate

How To Make German Chocolate Pecan Pie

Once your pie dough is chilling, make your pecan pie filling.

First, melt together your chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. It’s important you don’t let the bowl touch the water. You want indirect heat to gently melt the chocolate.

Once melted, let it cool for at least 15 minutes. If you add really hot chocolate to your filling, your eggs will curdle.

Next, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt then whisk in the chocolate. Stir in some of the pecans and coconut.

Transfer your filling to your pie crust then top with the remaining pecans and coconuts.

Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes or until the middle is puffed up and the filling has a very slight wiggle when you gently shake it.

Cool completely to room temperature before serving with homemade chocolate whipped cream. Don’t cut it while it’s warm or it’ll be a gooey mess.

Can you make German Chocolate Pecan Pie in a 6 inch pie plate?

Back when I published this recipe in 2014, I made it in a 9 inch pie plate because that was the standard size.

Nowadays you can easily make a small pie for two using a 6 inch glass plate.

For the pie dough, make my recipe for Small Pie Crust. Add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder to the flour.

Next, follow my recipe for Small Pecan Pie. Whisk 1 ounce melted German chocolate and 1/2 cup flaked coconut into the filling.

Once your pie cools, serve it as dessert for your Thanksgiving Dinner For Two or Christmas Dinner For Two.

How To Store German Chocolate Pecan Pie

Fun fact – because pecan pie is custard based, it needs to be refrigerated after 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze pecan pie?

Yes, you can freeze your freshly-baked chocolate pecan pie. After it cools for 2 hours, wrap in plastic wrap then place in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 1 month.

To serve your frozen pie, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. If you thawed it at room temperature, the filling may weep and result in a soggy crust.

More German Chocolate Recipes

Loved this recipe? Here are more German chocolate recipes for you to make:

German Chocolate Pecan Pie

German Chocolate Pecan Pie

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

German Chocolate Pecan Pie pairs together two classic desserts with its chocolate, coconut, and pecan filling baked in a homemade chocolate pie crust.


Chocolate Pie Dough

  • 1 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Pecan Pie Filling

  • 3 ounces German (48% cacao) or semisweet (56% cacao) chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


For the pie dough

  1. In a food processor with the blade attachment, quickly pulse together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt to combine. Add the cold butter then pulse until cut into the flour, looking like small pebbles.

    Alternatively, add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl then cut in the butter by hand using a pastry cutter or two knives.
  2. Add water and pulse until a dough forms. If it seems crumbly, pulse for 1 more minute.

    If it's still not coming together, you can add a little more water but don't add too much or your crust will puff up too much when baking.
  3. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into an evenly round disk. Top with another piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to roughly a 12-inch circle between 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. If your dough is sticking, refrigerate for another 15 minutes or until cold. Transfer to a standard 9-inch pie plate (1 1/4 inches deep, not deep dish). If you're having trouble, you can patch the dough back together in the pan.
  5. Trim off any excess dough then shape crust as desired. Prick the bottom with a fork then refrigerate while you preheat the oven.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400F. Have a room temperature baking sheet ready.
  7. Line the pie crust with greased foil covering the top (touching the dough) then fill with pie weights, such as dried lentils or beans.
  8. Place your pie pan onto the room temperature baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

    Do not put a cold pan directly onto a hot oven rack or hot baking sheet. The sudden change in temperature may cause your pan to shatter.
  9. Remove the foil and weights then bake another 5 minutes or until the bottom no longer looks uncooked.
  10. Turn the oven down to 350F and let the crust cool while you make the filling.

For the filling

  1. In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water), melt together the chocolate and butter. Cool 15 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in the cooled melted chocolate. Stir in 3/4 cup pecan halves and 1/2 cup coconut.
  3. Transfer filling to cooled pie crust then top with the remaining 1 cup pecan halves and 1/2 cup coconut. Bake 50-60 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 200F (it'll puff and have a slight wiggle). Cool completely before serving (do not cut while warm).

    Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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Originally published November 13, 2014