German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes that are soft, rich and soooo chocolaty slathered with caramel-esque sweet and crunchy Toasted Coconut Pecan Frosting!

These German Chocolate Cupcakes are your favorite German chocolate cake but in mini-cupcake form!  I’ve tested and tested to bring you the moistest cupcakes and the BEST  brown sugar, vanilla, toasted pecan  and coconut, frosting that is ridiculously delicious! You won’t want to skip out this German Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe!

up close of easy German Chocolate Cupcakes

Easy German Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

You know how sometimes you regret eating too much of a good thing?   Well, I divided up these German Chocolate Cake Cupcakes and dropped them off to different friends (after eating no less than half a dozen, I assure you), and I was instantly filled with regret. I didn’t eat enough of a good thing!

Because, my friends, this German Chocolate Cake Cupcakes Recipe is ridiculous. As in there is no way to wrap my brain around just how ridiculously delicious they are!

  • Ridiculously moist.
  • Ridiculously soft and fluffy.
  • Ridiculously chocolaty;  German  chocolaty.
  • Ridiculously topped with the most delectable frosting of brown sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla,  toasted pecans and toasted coconut.  Seriously guys, this frosting is heaven sent!

I first fell in love with my sister’s German Chocolate Cake (recipe coming later) that my dad would request for Father’s Day.  My dad loves coconut so every dessert for his birthday or Father’s day (like his requested Toasted Coconut Chocolate Ganache Oreo Crusted Cheesecake), involves coconut.  I wanted to take my sister’s cake and transform it into the most perfect cupcakes ever, more suitable for everyday deliciousness sharing.

It was a ridiculous success.

Last parting words before we dive into recipe details.  Be good to yourself and don’t share too many of these German Chocolate Cake Cupcakes, or you will instantly be filled with regret, cravings and yearnings for these purely ridiculously delicious cupcakes.  Now that you’ve been warned, I am so excited  for you to go mix, bake, frost and devour!

German Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients

These cupcakes have two components: the German chocolate cupcakes and the German chocolate cake frosting. Talk about yum!

  • German’s sweet chocolate: Sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate. A must when making homemade German chocolate cake-inspired desserts!
  • Semi-sweet chocolate: Adds more chocolaty flavor without making the cupcakes too sugary.
  • All-purpose flour: Spoon and level the flour when measuring it for best results.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: Gives the cupcakes a little lift.
  • Salt: Do not omit! You need some salt to balance out the sweetness of the batter. I also include sea salt in the frosting for the same reason.
  • Cocoa powder: Use unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Granulated sugar: Sweetens the batter without altering the flavor.
  • Unsalted butter: I prefer using unsalted butter in my baked goods, then add a pinch of table salt to the batter to balance things out.
  • Eggs: Whole eggs are added to the batter and egg yolks are added to the German chocolate cake icing (don’t worry, the icing is cooked!).
  • Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Buttermilk: Creates a super tender cupcake, and the tanginess balances out the sweetness of the chocolate.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: Yes, these are chocolate chip German chocolate cupcakes!
  • Evaporated milk: Not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk!
  • Brown sugar: I like using brown sugar in the German chocolate cake frosting rather than white sugar since it makes the frosting taste more caramel-y.
  • Sweetened shredded coconut: Toast the coconut before mixing it into the frosting.
  • Chopped pecans: Use unsalted raw pecans.

WHAT IS GERMAN CHOCOLATE?

These German Chocolate Cupcakes are luxuriously rich and creamy made with German chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder.

 If you aren’t familiar with German chocolate (and haven’t read my German Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache post AKA another FABULOUS Christmas dessert), then let me share that German Bakers Chocolate has nothing to do with Germany but is named after Samuel German, a Walter Baker & Company employee who developed the chocolate in 1952.

German chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate and is famous for German Chocolate Cake with its Coconut Pecan Frosting. And now you can enjoy German Chocolate in this ridiculously delicious cupcake form!

top view frosting the best German Chocolate Cupcakes

How to Make German Chocolate Cupcakes

This German chocolate cupcake recipe requires a little extra elbow grease, but it’s incredibly easy to make.

  1. Make the cupcakes: Bring ½ cup water to a simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and add chopped German and semi-sweet chocolates; whisk until smooth.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar, then add in the eggs, melted chocolate, and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture. You want to add a little flour mixture, then a little buttermilk, etc. until everything is incorporated.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the batter into your cupcake liners and bake.
  6. Make the German chocolate cake frosting: Whisk the egg yolks, evaporated milk and brown sugar together in a large saucepan.
  7. Add butter and cook over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
  8. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, coconut and pecans.
  10. Wait to frost cupcakes until they’re completely cool!

Tips for Making German Chocolate Cupcakes

MAKE SURE INGREDIENTS ARE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

If you use butter and eggs when baking, you will have much better results if you let them come to room temperature.   If they are cold, they aren’t able to allow as much air into the batter so cakes will be less fluffy than if you allow the ingredients to be brought to room temperature. Room temperature eggs also mix much easier so you are more likely not to over-mix your batter.

CREAM UNTIL FLUFFY

One of the keys to a soft German Chocolate Cupcakes – or any cupcakes – is to cream your sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  You should beat your butter and sugar at medium – high speed for at least 4-5 minutes.  I suggest setting a timer because 4 minutes will seem extra-long but you don’t want to cut it short. 

This step is so important because it is the only time you want to whip air into the cupcake batter to create bubbles.  The bubbles will expand as the cupcakes bake, resulting in a lighter cupcakes.  If you don’t cream them enough, your cupcakes will be denser, not as tender, or rise as high. 

DON’T PEEK!

I know it is going to be hard not to peek, but please don’t open the door!  Opening the doors can cause your cupcakes to cook unevenly and to fall.

DON’T OVERBAKE!

One of the main reasons people complain of dry cupcakes is because they overbake them.   You want to remove your cupcakes when there are just a few crumbs clinging to a toothpick.  Check your German Chocolate Cupcakes at about 15 minutes then continue to cook as needed, setting a timer so you don’t overbake them.

a plate of moist German Chocolate Cupcakes

How to Store German Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes may sit at room temperature for day, then they should be refrigerated. They’ll last up to 4 days, noting that they’ll dry out over time.

Can I Make German Chocolate Cakes Ahead of time?

  1. Let baked cupcakes cool to room temperature.
  2. Transfer cupcakes to an airtight container.
  3. Store at room temperature until ready to serve.
  4. Before serving, frost with German Chocolate Cupcake frosting.
  5. Cupcakes can also be frosted and then stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

CAN I FREEZE GERMAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES?

You can freeze German Chocolate Cupcakes with or without the frosting. Frosting the cupcakes once defrosted and ready to serve will taste the same as if frozen with the frosting but will give you the advantage of a prettier pretension. To freeze:

  • Wrap each cupcake tightly in plastic wrap and then place into a zippered bag or airtight container.
  • Place frosting in separate airtight container if frosting separately.
  • Freeze cupcakes and frosting for up to 1 month.   
  • Allow the cupcakes and frosting to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then unwrap and come to room temperature on the counter before serving (and frosting).
top view of soft and fluffy German Chocolate Cupcakes

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes that are soft, rich and soooo chocolaty slathered with caramel-esque sweet and crunchy Toasted Coconut Pecan Frosting! These German Chocolate Cupcakes are your favorite Chocolate cake but in mini-cupcake form!
Servings: 36 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz. German’s sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups + 3 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, (2 sticks)
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Frosting

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 36 cupcake liners in a cupcake/muffin pan. Set aside.
  • Bring ½ cup water to a simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and add chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool.
  • Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding each additional egg. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Frosting: Whisk the egg yolks, evaporated milk and brown sugar together in a large saucepan. Add butter and cook over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts, stirring constantly. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, coconut and pecans.
  • Allow to cool before frosting (you can place in the refrigerator to spread up this process.) Scoop the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes with a heaping ½ ounce ice cream scoop.

Notes

Cupcakes may sit at room temperature for day, then refrigerate.

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22 Comments

  1. Diane says

    These cupcakes do look and sound amazing! I am with your dad on the coconut thing…so good! Thanks for stopping by…it is so good to discover your site! Blessings!

    • Jen says

      Hi Diane, Welcome! If you love coconut, you will love these 🙂 Happy to discover your as well! I look forward to more of your great recipes!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Carisa! I wish I could drop some off to you 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thanks Stephanie! If you love German Chocolate cake, you are going to love these! So excited for you to try them and hear what you think!

  2. Jillian says

    These look delicious. I love that you made the classic cake into cupcakes.

    • Jen says

      Thank you Jilian! I love a good cupcake – and these are a GOOD cupcake 🙂

    • Jen says

      I hear you Patty! I am usually not the biggest coconut fan, but I LOVE this frosting!

  3. Verena says

    Hello
    How many cupcakes with this recipe and what is german chocolate?
    Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Verena! This makes 36 cupcakes. German chocolate is a type of chocolate and is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate. It can be found on the baking aisle with the other baking chocolates.

      f

  4. Kara says

    Wow! Are there even words to describe these? Your “heaven sent” description definitely fits! They are SOOOOO good! German Chocolate cake was my dad’s favorite dessert, too. Since he passed away I never make it, because my husband and kids will not eat anything with coconut. I recently found out that German Chocolate cake is our youth pastor’s favorite treat, and then I saw that you had a recipe for cupcakes, so I knew I had to make them. So glad I did! I made a dozen cupcakes with the coconut/pecan frosting, and left the others to frost to my families liking. Both the cake and the frosting are fantastic! The cake is moist and chocolately, and the frosting is seriously addictive. In fact, I shouldn’t admit it, but after topping the dozen cupcakes, I ate the rest of the frosting with a spoon….ALL OF IT….I couldn’t stop! I’ll definitely be making these often….hopefully I don’t eat them all myself. 🙂

    • Jen says

      YES! I am thrilled you loved these just as much as me – and I’m so glad you could make them with and without the frosting so your kids could like them too 🙂 but what I love the most is that you ate the rest of the frosting with a spoon! hahahah! you are the best! and I’m sure that made your dad proud. 🙂 xo

  5. Bernice Skeen says

    Could you specify if to use light or dark brown sugar or it doesn’t matter

    • Jen says

      Hi Bernice, I use light brown sugar. Typically in a recipe when it doesn’t specify, it means light. Hope that helps!

    • Jen says

      What a kind comment, thank you so much for visiting!!!

  6. Connie says

    I just reently discovered your site and am so excited to start trying your recipes. Thank you for all of the information you include with the recipes….it is so incredibly helpful!

    Question on the German Chocolate cupcakes — can I covert this into a cake vs cupcake recipe? I’m looking for a good German Chocolate Cake recipe! Thank you so much!!!!!!

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Connie! I haven’t personally tried converting the recipe to a cake, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, enjoy!

  7. Jennifer says

    I’m making these for the second time right now and I love them so much! Couldn’t find German chocolate at my store, so subbed it for bittersweet chocolate and they were perfect. Thank you! My family and neighbors love them too 🙂

    • Jen says

      I love hearing these German Chocolate Cupcakes have become a repeat favorite, thanks Jennifer! Thanks for the tip about bittersweet chocolate too!