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This super easy, no-bake German Chocolate pie recipe has everything you love about German Chocolate cake without the time it takes to bake cake layers. It goes together quickly because of a buttery crumb crust and after just a few hours in the fridge it’s ready to wow your family, impress your guests, or give you serious brownie points at the next church potluck.
For this recipe you’ll need: crumb crust, German Sweet Chocolate, heavy cream, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, egg, vanilla, pecans, sweetened flaked coconut
German Chocolate Pie Backstory
When I was a little girl we lived for a time in Pennsylvania, just northeast of Philadelphia.
My dad was an executive and so every day he put on a black suit and a gray tie and got in his company car to drive the 3 miles to the train station where he boarded his train to the city and read his paper, right alongside a hundred other men that looked basically the same and were doing basically the same thing.
At precisely 5:50 I would walk up the street to the corner where at precisely 6-o-clock his car would come into view. He’d stop and pick me up and we’d ride together for the five seconds it took to get to our house and park in the garage.
It was the Madmen era (the show) and life was extremely predictable – at least for me.
On the weekends we’d explore the area. Sometimes we’d go camping (Airstream trailer) or maybe just a Sunday drive in the country… but the very BEST days we’d head to Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country.
After a day of way too much sugar, way too many rides, and way too much excitement I’d be too tired to walk to the car and rode high on my dad’s shoulders – honestly it was my favorite place to be.
On the way home we would ALWAYS stop at the same restaurant. We had to stand in line, swatting flies, for what seemed like forever before it was our turn to shuffle through the screen door into the inside of what Heaven must surely be like.
We were handed plates and seated at long table, family style. Once seated we we allowed to roam the hallowed hall, a room filled with at least 10 tables of piled up food. Fluffy biscuits, fragrant breads, rolls, pies, cakes, roast beef, roast chicken, bowls filled a mile high with creamy mashed potatoes with yellow pools of melted butter…
It was crowded so the potential for me to fill my plate unseen was very high. I’d creep quietly to the pie table and try to get as many different pies on my plate before my mom saw me and ordered me back to her side with “the look”.
I always put one slice of pie on my plate before any of the other delights… This German Chocolate Pie.
What Is German Chocolate Pie?
If you’ve ever eaten German chocolate cake you’ve got a pretty good idea of what German chocolate pie is! At its most basic it’s a chocolate pie with a pecan and coconut topping or pecans and coconut stirred in to the chocolate pudding.
But when have I ever done anything basic?
The thing that I didn’t like about this pie was that the pudding was too soft for the topping. It was a weird texture combination for me – and I didn’t remember it being that soft, pudding like texture back in the day. So, I tried a baked chocolate custard – and that didn’t make the grade. Finally I tried this extra rich chocolate ganache and, like Goldilocks, found that it was just right!
What Is German Chocolate?
German chocolate isn’t chocolate from Germany. It’s actually German’s® Sweet Chocolate, created by Samuel German for Walter Baker & Company in 1852.
He created it with the sugar already in it to be more convenient for bakers – a cutting edge development at the time. It’s sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate but also has a dark, rich flavor. If you can’t find German chocolate (as we call it) in your store you can substitute dark chocolate for it.
How to Make German Chocolate Pie
Time needed: 3 hours.
- Heat the Cream
Heat the cream on top of the stove or in a large, microwave safe bowl until it is steaming.
- Stir in Chocolate
Remove the cream from heat then stir in the chocolate.
- Blend Chocolate and Cream
- Whisk in Butter
- Pour the Ganache into the Prepared Crust
- For the Topping: Melt Butter
- Whisk in Sugar and Evaporated Milk – Cook until the mixture boils.
- Add Egg
Remove from heat and add a little of the hot mixture to the beaten egg then return to the pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens.
- Add Remaining Ingredients.
Add the vanilla, coconut, and pecans and stir to blend.
- Let Cool and Spoon onto Chilled Pie. Chill Until Served.
How to Toast Pecans
Toasting the pecans (and coconut) for this German Chocolate pie topping makes ALL the difference. You can skip this step if you must but… it’s SO much better with them toasted!
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Chop Pecans -You don’t have to always chop the pecans before toasting but for this recipe it’s necessary. Just chop them coarsely while the oven is preheating.
- Toast Pecans – Add the pecans to a cookie sheet and place in the oven.
- Stir the pecans well about halfway through. This allows all the surfaces to get toasted.
- Watch the pecans carefully. When they start to get aromatic remove them from the oven. It takes about 5 minutes.
How to Toast Coconut
You’ll toast coconut basically the same way but preheat the oven to 325F. Coconut will go from golden brown to crispy black in seconds to you’ll need to watch it very carefully.
Chocolate Pie FAQs
Most chocolate pies don’t freeze well but this German Chocolate Pie freezes beautifully for up to 3 months because it is made with ganache.
If you want your pie to be extra chocolaty make it in a chocolate cookie crumb crust as I have in this recipe! Crumb crusts are super easy, no-bake, and take almost no time at all to make.
A chocolate pie will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for 4 days or so.
Cover tightly and store chocolate pie in the refrigerator. This German Chocolate Pie can be frozen for up to 3 months but pudding based chocolate pies don’t freeze well.
You May Need
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I HATE trying to get a pie out of the oven and inadvertently breaking the edge of the crust with the hot pad. I don’t like my perfect pie crusts to be crumbled and yet, nearly every time, I mess up one of the edges getting it out of the oven or even the fridge.
Well, with THESE Pyrex easy grab pie plates that doesn’t happen! The edges are wide so you have plenty of room to hold the pie plate without messing up the crust. YAY!
More Great Pies!
- Dutch Apple Pie – with that perfectly crumbly topping!
- From Scratch Chocolate Pie – just like Gramma used to make.
- Chocolate Chess Pie – Made without the ingredient made famous in “The Help”.
- Texas Flood Pie – Like Mississippi Mud Pie only BETTER.
- Millionaire Pie – used to get this rich creamy pie after church at Furr’s!
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – buttery pastry with that sweet-tangy filling. It’s a country classic!
- Coconut Pie – this comes from a really old cookbook in my collection. It’s not creamy – it’s more like pecan pie but with coconut instead of pecans…SO good!
- Lemon Meringue Pie Cheesecake – A layer of crust, a layer of lemon cheesecake, a layer of lemon pie filling and then topped with meringue? It’s amazing!
Check out this pie recipe roundup from Kitchen Magpie!
No-Bake German Chocolate Pie
This is one of those pie recipes you’re going to want to put on your “A” list! So easy, so quick, and SO good. I like to have a couple of them in the freezer for “pie emergencies” like unexpected company or a neighbor who needs a little love. Give it a try and let me know what you think…
I also make it with this Oreo Crust for more chocolatey flavor!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars!
No-Bake German Chocolate Pie
- 1 Crumb crust, , prepared – may use Restless Chipotle Oreo Crust
German Chocolate Filling
- 16 ounces German’s Sweet Chocolate , , may substitute bittersweet chocolate
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup butter, , room temperature, cut into pieces
Coconut Pecan Topping
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg, , beaten
- 1 1/2 cups coconut, , shredded sweetened – toasted
- 2/3 cup pecans, , chopped and toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons butter, , cubed
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- Heat cream in microwave (or on top of the stove) until it is steaming hot.
- Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. (If the chocolate won’t melt all the way you can add it to the microwave and heat it for 20 second increments, stirring in between – just until it is melted and blends with the cream)
- Add in the butter and stir until well blended.
- Pour into the prepared crust, either cookie or chocolate (or even a traditional pastry that’s been pre-baked!)
- Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Toast the coconut and pecans as directed in the post.
- Set aside.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl until it’s completely blended.
- Set aside.
- Combine the evaporated milk, sugars, and butter in a small saucepan.
- Cook, stirring continually, until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil.
- Remove from heat.
- Whisk a little of the hot milk mixture into the egg then add it back to the pan, whisking continually so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecans.
- Spoon over the chilled filling .
- Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.