Easier than cake… “German” Chocolate Bars

Another round of family birthdays took us to beautiful southern Arizona this weekend, where temperatures were cool enough that I needed a throw blanket to curl up on the patio with. Our summers might be near insufferable, but this change in the weather makes Arizona living fantastic.

Because of the traveling (only 3.5 hours by car, nothing too terrible), I opted for a simple dessert. My sister’s perennial favorite birthday cake is a German Chocolate Cake. Even though I recently extolled the importance of letting the birthday girl have her cake and eat it too, I sacrificed on a layered cake and went for a German Chocolate bar-approach.

Couldn’t have been easier. The ingredients come together in about 8 minutes and bake up in 25. They were a perfect complement dessert to the carrot cake my mom made for the group as well. 


German” Chocolate Cake Bars, adapted from Brave the Kitchen

Though these bars do not contain German’s chocolate or cake, they are a perfect substitute for the cake should you not have the time nor inclination to bake one. 

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Heath over to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Over the graham crackers, spread the sweetened condensed milk evenly. Layer with chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut. You can gently press the mixture down slightly with a spoon or fork. Place into the oven and bake about 25 minutes until the coconut is lightly browned.

I found that after allowing mine to cool, I placed the whole pan into the refrigerator for at least one hour. I then cut the bars and served them. The refrigerator step made the bars much easier to cut.

Serve and enjoy. And try to snag a picture before they all disappear (see below).


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