German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

by Erin

Have your cake and cookies too with these German chocolate cookies made with German chocolate cake mix and a dollop of pecan-coconut frosting in the center.

German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies 4

German chocolate cake has nothing to do with Germany. German chocolate itself was created by an English-American man named Samuel German for Baker’s Chocolate Company back in 1852 and was originally called German’s chocolate. It wasn’t until 1957 when a homemaker from Dallas, Texas had her recipe for German’s Chocolate Cake appear in the local newspaper, resulting in an increase in German’s chocolate sales. The possessive form was eventually dropped and thus we have the false impression of a German origin. There you learned something new today.

German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies 1

While I love German chocolate cake, as you know I’m a bit partial to cookies so made a cookie version instead to celebrate today being #NationalGermanChocolateCakeDay. Yea yea it’s not actually cake but it’s close enough. Heck I even used German chocolate cake mix for the cookie dough and the thumbprint is filled with pecan-coconut frosting. I mean cake-mix cookies are already delicious, and now you add that filling? YUM!

German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies 2

Today Bob and I are heading to the Finger Lakes with his family for the week! When we return we still have a hoarder-looking house full of stuff from the basement to deal with which I absolutely do not look forward to. Coming home to a disaster is not ideal, but thankfully we come back on Friday and will hopefully be able to take care of it all that weekend because I cannot live like that any longer and retain my sanity.

German Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies 3

Three years ago: Mexican Corn Casserole

Four years ago: German Chocolate Banana Bread

Five years ago: Honey-Lime Chicken Kebabs


Makes about 4 dozen cookies



1 box (15.25 oz.) German Chocolate cake mix

2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut (optional)


1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

1 egg and 1 egg yolk, beaten

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, and vegetable oil. Stir with a spoon until thoroughly mixed and no dry pockets remain.
  3. Place the coconut in a shallow dish or on a plate.
  4. Form the dough into round, 3/4-inch balls (I used a small cookie scoop). Roll each ball in the coconut, pressing slightly to make it stick. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Bake cookies for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are set or slightly golden on the edges. Using the back of a spoon or your thumb, gently push a crevasse into the center of each cookie immediately after removing from oven. (Be careful not to push all the way through the cookie.) Let cool slightly before transferring to wire rack.
  6. While cookies are baking, make the frosting. In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla and cornstarch. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Once the cookies are completely cool, spoon a teaspoon of frosting into the center of each cookie (may have leftover frosting).

Source: Cookies adapted from my Funfetti Cupcake Blossom Cookies and frosting from my German Chocolate Brownies.

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