German Chocolate Cupcakes


My boyfriend’s mother recently disclosed that her favorite cake growing up was German chocolate cake. Unfortunately, as most of her family (my boyfriend included) do not like coconut, she had not had this delectable cake in years! I decided to surprise her for her birthday and make German chocolate cupcakes. This way, I could frost half of the cakes with traditional German chocolate cake frosting and the other half with the chocolate frosting that my boyfriend and his dad could eat.

I found a fabulous recipe (Barefoot Contessa) and did a test run the week before the big day. They turned out AWESOME! This truly is a great recipe. I will definitely be using the base chocolate cake recipe for future chocolate cakes of all kinds.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly brewed (cooled) coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cake Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Line cupcake pan with paper liners

3) In a large mixing bowl or bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high for approximately 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.


4) Scrape bowl. Lower the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time.

5) Add the vanilla and mix well.

6) In a second bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

7) In a third bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.


8) With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour mixtures (alternately in thirds) to the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture. Begin adding with the buttermilk mix and end with the flour mix. Don’t over mix! Once all ingredients are combined, use a rubber spatula to fold the batter a few times.


9) Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners. I use a little less than 1/4 cup per cupcake.


10) Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

11) Cool for 5-10 minutes, remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.


Coconut Frosting Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Coconut Frosting Directions:

1) Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2) Whisk in the evaporated milk, brown sugar, and egg yolks.

3) Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for approximately 15 minutes (until slightly thickened). If the mixture starts to look chunky/curdled, reduce heat and beat vigorously with a whisk.

4) Remove mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla, almond extract, coconut, pecans, and salt.

5) Allow the frosting to cool for at least 1 hour before frosting the cupcakes.

I had a lot of extra frosting, so I put it in a plastic container in the fridge. It is excellent on pretzels- or on a spoon!


Yield: Approximately 20 cupcakes


Happy Baking!