German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes on a cooling rack

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 110 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Yields: 48 cupcakes
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
301 Calories
18g Fat
30g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 301
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 163mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you love the combination of sweet chocolate and toasted coconut of the classic German chocolate cake, you will love it in the form of cupcakes.

The name German chocolate actually comes from a person rather than the country. German's® Sweet Chocolate is a type of dark chocolate used in baking that was created by Samuel German in 1852. He wanted to create a type of chocolate with sugar in it, to make it more convenient for bakers. If you've never used it before, German's® Sweet Chocolate is sweeter than semisweet chocolate and can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores; it's most widely available from Baker's brand.  

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 4 ounces German's sweet baking chocolate, cut into pieces

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Coconut Topping:

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Garnish:

  • 24 whole pecans

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cupcake recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 (24-cup) muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

    Ingredients for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. In a 1-quart saucepan, melt the German chocolate with water over low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.

    Chocolate melting for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. In a large bowl, beat the granulated sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

    Butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating and scraping well after each addition.

    Eggs in a mixing bowl for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture.

    Cooled chocolate added to batter for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. In a medium bowl, stir to combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

    Dry ingredients in a bowl for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. At low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture until combined. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla extract, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining flour mixture. Beat just until there are no visible traces of flour (Be careful not to overmix as the cupcakes will become dense).

    Dry ingredients added to wet for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each 2/3 high. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

    German chocolate cupcakes ready to be baked in a pan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  9. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

    German chocolate cupcakes cooling on a rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Coconut Topping

  1. When ready to frost, start the coconut topping. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.

    Ingredients for coconut topping for German chocolate cupcakes in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the toasted flaked coconut and vanilla.

    Toasted coconut added to saucepan of coconut topping for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Transfer the coconut filling to a medium heatproof bowl and chill until completely cooled, about 1 hour.

    Coconut topping for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Frosting

  1. Beat the powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Increase speed and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

    German chocolate cupcake frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star attachment. Pipe the chocolate frosting in a circle around the tops of each cupcake, leaving an opening in the center.

    Frosting in a piping bag for German chocolate cupcakes

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Spoon some of the coconut filling into the center of each frosting circle, then top with a whole pecan.

    German Chocolate Cupcakes topped with coconut and pecan

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Enjoy!

What Does German Chocolate Cake Taste Like

The cake—and by extension, the cupcakes—taste like the perfect blend of chocolate and coconut; one does not overpower the other. The chocolate is not as rich or dark as what you might think it would be. German chocolate, if you buy the easily available Baker's brand, is 48 percent cacao, whereas semisweet can be anywhere between 58 and 64 percent cacao. German chocolate is sweeter and the taste is not as densely chocolatey.

Tip

The cupcakes can be prepared in advance and chilled up to 24 hours. If chilled, remove cupcakes from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

How to Store German Chocolate Cupcakes

You can keep these cupcakes at room temperature, covered, for a day or so. After that, transfer to the refrigerator, covered, where they should keep for 4 to 5 days; they will of course dry out the longer they are in there.


You can also freeze individual cupcakes, if well wrapped, for up to 3 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator.