German Chocolate Pie

This week I’m headed to Nashville, Dallas, and Houston and hope to see some of y’all at my book signings there! For complete details on my signings and to learn how to get book plates, please click here. To purchase my latest book, Come Home to Supper, please click here. These make great Christmas gifts and I encourage you to send in for free book plates to make all of the copies you purchase autographed copies for an even more special gift!

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

This is a decadent pie recipe that is really  simple to make. This one is in my first cookbook but I’ve never published it online before so I thought I’d share it with you in time for your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners along with the story I share in my first cookbook :).

My father did not have an easy start in this world. His family was very poor growing up and the true stories of his childhood seem so unrealistic to my kids that I fear they think we’re making them up. He rose above it all, though, and even he will tell you that his success in life is due in large part to my mother.

They began dating when Mama was only fourteen. By the time Mama was seventeen, Daddy had dropped out of high school and asked her to marry him. She responded with “My daddy won’t let me marry anyone who hasn’t finished high school,” and back he went!

They were married in 1969. Daddy worked as many as three or four jobs at a time when we were little in order to provide for us and make sure Mama could stay home for our benefit.

For my mama, and for most of us, cooking isn’t just something on our to-do list each day. It’s something we do out of love. Where some folks might bring flowers or buy gifts, we put a gift on the table at each meal, taking care to prepare foods just right for our families.

Daddy is retired now from a successful career in law enforcement. Mama still enjoys cooking for him, though, and this pie is a special one that she makes just for him. Between my parents, I honestly don’t know who is the most appreciative, Daddy that he has Mama, or Mama that she has him. We all enjoy this rich chocolate pie though :)

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

You’ll need: German Chocolate, Margarine (or butter), evaporated milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs, vanilla, chopped pecans, sweetened flaked coconut*, and an unbaked deep dish pie shell.

*I buy the biggest bag of coconut they have because I have to munch on some while I’m cooking with it :)  You know, just to make sure it is good enough to use. Quality control – that’s what it is. ~winks~

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

In a small saucepan (or whichever pot jumps out of the cabinet first), melt chocolate and margarine over low heat, stirring constantly.

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

Once they are melted and well blended, remove from heat and stir in the evaporated milk. Set aside.

*I forgot to stir in my evaporated milk so had to do it in a later step, the actual recipe is at the bottom though!

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

In large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

I just used a whisk because I have fifty million whisks in my kitchen. I love those things, almost as much as I love tongs. I probably have sixty million pairs of tongs – but anytime I see a good whisk or set of tongs I still buy them!

Because I am quite sure I always need just one more.

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

Stir in eggs and vanilla.


Realize that you forgot to add the evaporated milk when you were supposed to so add that in now, too :) 

Stir until it looks kinda like this

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

Gradually stir the chocolate mixture into this.

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

It’ll look like this :) and smell like a little chocolate heaven.

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

Pour this into your pie crust. 

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

Mix your coconut and pecans together a little bit.

You can just use a spoon or toss it with your fingers.

German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

Sprinkle on top of the pie.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes until puffed and brown. but check it after thirty and if the coconut looks like it might burn cover it with foil for the remainder of the cooktime.

Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers and serve reheated or cold.


German Chocolate Pie - DELICIOUS!

German Chocolate Pie


  • 4 ounce package German Chocolate (on baking aisle)
  • 4 tablespoons margarine (1/2 stick) - can sub butter
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1+1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 unbaked, deep dish pie shell
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1+1/3 cup sweetened, flaked coconut


  1. In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate and margarine over low heat, stirring to mix well. Remove from heat and blend in evaporated milk. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Gradually stir in chocolate mixture. Pour into pie crust.
  3. Combine the pecans and coconut and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until puffed and browned*. Cool for about thirty minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers and serve reheated or cold.
  4. *Check pie after 30 minutes of baking and if coconut is very brown, cover with foil for remaining cook time to prevent burning.
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 “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

~Abraham Lincoln

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  1. Debbie Strum says

    This pie is definitely calling my name! YUP!! No doubt in my mind. Will have to make it for this weekend. Well…if I can wait that long! LOL Thanks Christy… and thank you Mama Janice for letting Christy share this recipe with us!

  2. says

    Awesome looking pie – reminds me of the German Chocolate Cake my mom used to make – yummy!!! I am just so happy that you are able to go on your abbreviated book tour – I hope it is without pain for you!! Prayers for your safety on your trip :) Bless you for giving all you do to your readers here, your friends and your family (honestly, it feels like we are your extended family and we love you for making us feel that way).

  3. Chris A. says

    Christy, could you tell me if this is best warmed or cold? I need a dessert for luncheon at work Wednesday so hopefully you can say cold would be best since I can’t get it ready early enough!

  4. Diane Kirkland says

    I love reading and hearing your stories. Thanks for sharing.
    And, Thanks for sharing this recipe. I used to make this pie a lot, but somehow the recipe got lost and I never found one quite the same. This looks like it’s a winner. It’s on the menu now for Thanksgiving! Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family!

  5. says

    Looks YUMMY!!!

    Christy, I have a question for you. Have you- or ANY of your followers made a pumpkin pie using a gingersnap cookie crust instead of a pastry crust? if so, how was it\? I’m thinking of trying this for our Thanksgiving Pie this year but I have guests coming for our first Thanksgiving Dinner since moving to England 3 years ago and I want everything to be PERFECT!!!!You know show em what Southern Home Cooking is REALLY like!!
    Thanks for the input, Sugah!!

    • cyndy says

      Christy may have a better answer but I have used gingersnap cookies to make a pie crust- do it just like you would a graham cracker crust. Crush the gingersnaps and mix with some melted butter. You could add some sugar if it doesn’t seem sweet enough for your taste (I don’t) Use about 2 tablespoons melted butter per half cup of cookie crumbs. Depending on your pie pan, you’ll need 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups crumbs (that would be 6-8 tablespoons butter). You can use almost any cookie to make a crust. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Beulah says

    German Chocolate!!! I love anything chocolate but reallyt love German chocolate, even like to break off a square and eat it before going to bed, also like the unsweetened baking chocolate to nibble on. Just give me chocolate and I am in heaven!!!!

  7. Rene says

    I used to get a pie similar to this at Bishops cafeteria. I was excited to see it in your recipe book. I haven’t made it yet, b/c my family aren’t coconut lovers, but after seeing this post, I decided I might need to make it for myself for my birthday! :)

  8. Richard R. Jordan says

    I see you are going to Texas this coming week; brings to mind two thoughts: 1.You might should not ride any Texas horses, unless you are seeking adventure. 2.My memory may be rusty but as I remember German Chocolate had its origins in Texas; Dallas I think. Baker’s brand had Sam German, an employee, to blend a chocolate for a new recipe for cake, and it was published about 1952. My apology if memory is wrong. Thanks for recipe; I’ll try it ASAP.

  9. Nancy Romeo says

    this is a great old recipe – has been in Betty Crocker and Southern Living
    BUT .. IT MUST COOL completely on a cooling rack at least FOUR hours or the center will not set up. It you cut into it after 30 minutes it will be runny and gooey…But it is an excellent pie and glad to see it again. Actually made it today!

    • says

      I wonder if the recipe is exactly the same because I didn’t wait but an hour or so (maybe only thirty minutes) before cutting it for this photo and didn’t have any problems. But you are absolutely right, I’ve found this usually applies to many pies, folks don’t give them time to cool fully and they end up on the runny side :)

  10. Joyce Faucheux says

    this looks decadent & I could not have in my house or I would eat it all by myself.
    I love coconut & am a chocoholic so this is not good for me- but if I could have just once bite it would be great

  11. mary says

    Your post reminded me of the only complaint I ever got for a Christmas present. As a new bride (in the 1960′s) on a limited budget, I gave this pie to our numerous relatives for Christmas every year, and it was a favorite. Then our financial situation improved and I moved on to other gifts. When my brother-in-law called, I expected a warm holiday Thank You and was quite surprised when he started with “Where’s my pie? It’s Christmas!” And he had his pie every single year after that.

  12. Winnie Mom says

    I made this just the other evening and couldn’t wait till it cooled completely. I cut after 40 minutes and it had set up and was very good. I’m not a big chocolate fan but this was good. My daughter and my better half thought it was awesome. They want one for Thanksgiving now too. Best chocolate pie ever.
    Thanks for all the recipes that taste so good with everyday ingredients!!

  13. Lisa Wilcox says

    Made this pie for Thanksgving…D-E-L-I-S-H!!!! Made it last night and put it in the fridge(being a nurse we had our Turkey day today) .That will definitely be THE Thanksgiving pie we will go back to…I microwaved each piece to take the chill off.FANTASTIC!

  14. Dawn Brady says

    German chocolate pie – I may faint! I love the stories. Today’s youngsters cannot relate to the hard lives many of our parents & grands endured, and may they never have to experience such times. Yes, cooking for others is much better than just for oneself. Take care.

  15. Wilda says

    Hello, I made this stellar pie a few days ago for company. Excellent taste and quality. However, all the coconut and pecan topping sunk into the pie! The pie looked rather like a dry creek bed on top. Hahaha. So, I quickly called my husband and had him pick up whipped cream in a can. No one was any the wiser and we all loved the pie. Maybe next time I’ll wait 10 minutes or so to top the pie.

  16. Phyllis says

    Hey Christy, I just noticed the printed version of the recipe does not have the oven temperature included. Its well stated in your instructional post however when you print the recipe the temperature is missing so I had to come back and look it up. Pie is delicious, nevertheless. My Glenn is addicted! Thanks again!

  17. Robin N. says

    I made this for dessert this evening. My entire family truly enjoyed it. I recently happened upon your website and I am so happy I did. I look forward to trying more of the recipes you have posted. Thank you very much.

  18. Kentucky Lady 717 says

    Hi Christy, love what you said about the parrot….AMEN to that…..have a parrot joke I will share with you later :)
    I am looking for a CHOCOLATE PIE recipe that has to be baked……just can’t stand the thought of making a pie and not cooking the eggs…..the one you have posted here sounds and looks great…..but ever since the egg scare we had a few years ago, I want all eggs to be cooked….. so do you have a recipe like this ? If not do you think that could be your next project LOL… are such a brain when it comes to recipes….and I say why didn’t I think of that….just like the chocolate rice treats you just came up with….can’t wait to make this…..looks yummy…….

  19. Nancy Stillians says

    What did I do wrong? I made this pie yesterday for a small dinner party & followed the instructions to the letter. Note: I did introduce the evaporated milk to the melted chocolate/butter mixture as the recipe instructs. The pie ‘cured’ for almost 6 hours, part of that time in the refrigerator, but instead of a creamy chocolate center, I ended up with chocolate SOUP! Fortunately, I’d also baked a gorgeous Hummingbird Cake, so a dessert crisis was averted. I usually have great results with your recipes, but not this time. Any thoughts?

    • says

      First of all, I’m so sorry this happened to you! Sounds like you are a wonder woman who knows how to save the day, fortunately. I wish I could be in your kitchen and tell you exactly what went wrong but if you followed the recipe to the letter then we know it has to lie in either your oven or your ingredients. My first thought is to question the cornstarch, since that is what our main thickener is. Secondly, I’d look at the oven temperature and see if it is cooking accurately, or perhaps the placement of the pie in the oven. It isn’t possible for me to find the culprit from where I am, I’m afraid, but these are the spots I’d look first if I could.

  20. Nancy Stillians says

    Thanks, Christy. I’ll give it a second try in a different oven – the “pie-soup” was THAT good! And, to set the record straight—I am no Wonder Woman. Two desserts were made for our dear friends: the cake for him & the pie for her. Steve, the “him” is a fantastic cook & had recently treated us to a lovely Italian “Jesus’ Birthday” cake, his first foray into baking! Sandra, his wonderful wife, is of German heritage…and yes, I know German’s Chocolate has NOTHING to do with that country…but she adores that cake, so the pie seemed fitting. BOTH are native Californians, so I introduce them to good ol’ Southern cooking at every opportunity! Thanks again for the suggestions.


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