German Chocolate Cupcakes – So Decadent!

I remember eating German Chocolate cake while on our honeymoon in Maui, and falling in love (yes with H, but also with the cake).

It’s been ages since I’ve made it, and while it can be labour-intensive, it’s so worth the time. If you toast the nuts and make the frosting first, you’ll be ahead of the game!

Getting back to the German Chocolate cake … H thought it was from Germany, but it was originally made with dark chocolate by an American chocolate maker named Sam German. So, it’s more of an American cake.

The frosting, which is made from coconut and pecans, is quite the icing on the cake! If you’re not a fan of nuts or coconut, then this cake is not for you though :(

I was watching Barefoot Contessa a few days ago (I love her show), and she made German Chocolate Cupcakes with a twist. There was no German chocolate in her recipe, and she added almonds with a touch of almond extract. I had to make them!

Thankfully, I read the reviews from other bakers on her recipe, so I knew I wanted to cut the recipe in half. 14 jumbo cupcakes are way too many, even for a cake lover! With a bit of math, I ended up with 11 regular-sized cupcakes. I also cut the frosting in half, and it was just enough. I would not recommend using the full amount of almond extract; it’s too overpowering.

I could hardly wait to bite into the cupcakes, so I chilled the frosting since it was still a bit warm.  Do you see the wooden spoon?  After I scooped the mixture into a bowl to cool, I intentionally left a good amount on my spoon …  mmm!  A delicious taste test!

The cupcakes were so chocolaty, but not too sweet. I’m so glad because it would have been over the top with such a decadent frosting.

The cupcakes were so chocolaty, but not too sweet. I’m glad because it would have been over the top with such a decadent frosting.

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Ina Garten
Makes 14 jumbo cupcakes


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs (or 3 large eggs), at room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp freshly brewed coffee
  • 1-3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1- ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Coconut Frosting

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1-1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks (I just used regular sized egg yolks)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp pure almond extract
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line jumbo cupcake pans with 14 or 15 paper liners or 2 regular cupcake pans with 22 – 24 paper liners
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl
  3. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs one at a time, then add extracts and mix well
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee
  5. In a third bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt
  6. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour mixtures alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Don’t over mix!
  7. Fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to be sure all ingredients are combined (I still had butter on the bottom of my bowl!)
  8. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners using an ice cream scooper
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting

Coconut Frosting

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Whisk in the evaporated milk, brown sugar, and egg yolks and bring to a simmer over medium heat
  3. Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. If the mixture looks a bit curdled, beat it vigorously with a whisk
  4. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut, almonds, pecans, and salt
  5. Allow to cool for about an hour
  6. Frost the cupcakes with a knife or small metal spatula

Kitchen notes:

  • I cut the recipe in half and came out with 11 regular-sized cupcakes.  Bake time was approximately 16 – 18 minutes.  To cut the 2 extra-large eggs in half, I used 1 large egg and for the 2nd egg, just break into a bowl, mix with a fork and eyeball half of it.  I have no patience to convert butter into tablespoons when my butter comes in cup sizes, so I just used ½ cup butter.  12 tablespoons equals the amount in the recipe, but if you cut the recipe in half, 6 tablespoons equals ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons, so I just used ½ cup.  The recipe came out great!
  • I would not suggest using the full amount of almond extract indicated in the “original” recipe, it will be too overpowering.  If making the full recipe, use ¼ tsp.  If making half the recipe, like I did, use 1/8 tsp, or omit all together
  • I did not have 2 tablespoons of cooled coffee on hand, nor would it have been fresh!  I just added 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the dry ingredients
  • My range is quite new so I didn’t have to simmer the frosting for the full 15 minutes.  I cooked it for about 8 minutes, until the back of a spoon is coated.  Don’t use high heat
  • If the frosting hasn’t cooled after 1 hour, place it in the fridge for a bit

2 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cupcakes – So Decadent!

It makes me smile when I receive a new comment. I look forward to hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s