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German Chocolate Cupcakes

German chocolate cupcakes were the cupcake adaptation of For the Love of Food’s German chocolate cake. The first thing that struck me when I was making the German chocolate cupcakes were the 2 1/2 cups of sugar. This is a sweet chocolate cake! I feared that it would be too sweet. However, it actually wasn’t. It was perfect. It was also the lightest, fluffiest chocolate cake I’ve made to date – almost (if I dare say it) cake-mix light.

German Chocolate Cake is Not German

Photo from Kitchen Project

Before talking more about the German chocolate cupcakes, it’s time for a little food history lesson, compliments of Kitchen Project (Kitchen Project had no connection to Cupcake Project, but I’ve got to love the name!).

“A recipe for ‘German’s Chocolate Cake’ first appeared in a Dallas, Texas newspaper in 1957. That it was sent in by a Dallas homemaker is all we know. According to Patricia Riso, a spokeswomen for Kraft foods . It used a brand of chocolate bar called ‘German’s’ which had been developed in 1852, by an Englishman named Sam German, for Baker’s Chocolate Company.”

Read the rest of the Kitchen Project article for more on the history of the non-German German chocolate cake.

German Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Here is the For the Love of Food’s German Chocolate cake recipe, converted to cupcakes.

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5 from 1 vote

German Chocolate Cupcakes

German chocolate cake was supposedly developed by a man by the name of German for Baker's Chocolate. Make sure and give this classic a try.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut pecan frosting, German chocolate cake, German chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 30 cupcakes
Calories 294kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/2 C hot water
  • 4 oz unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate I used 70% dark chocolate instead
  • 1 C butter room temperature
  • 2 1/2 C sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Coconut Pecan Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C evaporated milk
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 3 eggs thoroughly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups baker’s coconut I used homemade baker's coconut
  • 1 C chopped Pecans
  • 1 t vanilla extract


Cupcake Instructions

  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate in the water and then remove from heat immediately and set aside.
  • In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well in between each addition.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend at low speed until combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the top bounces back when touched.

Coconut Pecan Frosting Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and eggs.
  • Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to lightly bubble. Stir CONSTANTLY!! or you will end up with scrambled eggs in your frosting!!
  • Remove from heat immediately.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Cool until spreadable consistency (over night on counter - do not refrigerate prior to frosting or it will be too thick).


Nutrition Facts
German Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 196mg8%
Potassium 121mg3%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!

Coconut Pecan Frosting

Photo from HomeMadeS (Doesn’t she take awesome photos!)

The coconut pecan frosting recipe was fantastic – especially if you use homemade Baker’s coconut. My only issue with it is that it’s ugly (see the photo at the top of this post for confirmation). Arfi from HomeMadeS made the cake above for Taste & Create in June. It looks beautiful because she topped the frosting with shaved chocolate and shaved coconut. You might think about doing that on your cupcakes if you want to make them look a bit snazzier.


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29 comments on “German Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. Funny, I was making german chocolate cake this weekend. I was glad I wasnt making it for myself as the frosting seemed a bit gross. I’m not a big fan of coconut though…

    Yes, tons of sugar, scary amounts! I think it went down ok though!

  2. I love German Chocolate cake, and now I think this will be the first thing I bake in my new house! I hope Maddy likes coconut. :)

  3. I love the frosting… That’s the best part of a German Chocolate cake!

    The photos are gorgeous too by the way!

  4. Ivysays:

    Curiouser and curiouser. :)
    I have never made German Chocolate cake. Your cupcakes look great!

  5. StLmomsays:

    Hey Stef, would love to see Thanksgiving cupcakes on
    Feel free to plug your blog there, too!

  6. Yum those look great. I love German chocolate but I am the only one in my house that does :(

  7. Those cupcakes look fabulous! Not to mention yummy.

  8. It is happy to see your posting. Yes really informative article. I will tell this information again to my friend, oh yes I suggest you to check my blog on Chocolate , I hope the article on my blog will be usefull for you… and we can share each other. thank you… ;-)

  9. great looking cupcakes… thanks for sharing


  10. I dont think I have ever made a german chocolate cake before. I am going to have to try this one out.

    Mmm I cant wait to make the frosting so I can lick the spoon!

  11. Sorinasays:

    Hi I am new to your blog and I just wanted to say how much I’m loving it

  12. Stefsays:

    Jenny – The frosting looks gross, but it’s pretty yummy – if you liked coconut.

    Kim – Enjoy! Congrats on the new house too!

    Ms Ashley – Thanks!

    Ivy – It’s sweeter than regular chocolate cake, but tasty!

    StlMom – I added them! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

    Danielle – The homemade baker’s coconut made a big difference. I turned a lot of people around who previously didn’t like German chocolate cake.

    Little Snowflake – Thanks so much!

    Zesty – Thanks!!

    Lovely – I don’t even bother with the spoon. I just use my fingers!

    Sorina – Thanks so much for leaving me a comment and letting me know. Nice to meet you!

  13. Kellysays:

    German Chocolate Cake….Yummy!!! The frosting is so great. The perfect texture to the smooth chocolate cake!

  14. Stef, one great idea of using the recipe for cupcakes! I do love this chocolate cake, and yes, I have to reduce the sugar as well. Thank you for linking back to my post. Merry Christmas!

  15. I have been searching for this kind of recipe. Thanks so much.
    Love your blog

  16. Anonymoussays:

    Not sure what went wrong, made batter, so delicious light and fluffy. Into the oven, meanwhile made the awesome frosting. The cupcakes did not rise! I wondered when making if one tsp was enough soda but went with recipe. Oh well made a great trifle…

  17. Stefsays:

    Anon – So sorry that the recipe didn’t work out for you. Not sure what went wrong. The baking soda amount is what I used and I didn’t have that problem.

  18. Vikkisays:

    The recipe turned out great tasting! made for my husbands b-day. My only problem was that it made WAY more than 30 cupcakes. my first two batches of twelve overflowed and then i filled to half and they were fine but the batter could have made like 40 or more cupcakes. Tasted amazing though

  19. Susansays:

    I really want to make these for hubby’s b-day. In order to make the icing look better, I was thinking along the lines of piping a chocolate ganche around the edges, then putting the coconut frosting on the inside. Will let you know how that turns out!

  20. rohinisays:

    Not really a fan of the coconut frosting. What is the other frosting I can use on a German chocolate cupcake?

  21. Stefsays:

    rohini – Any vanilla or chocolate frosting would work really well.

  22. I just made these, made two batches and followed the recipe both times and even added extra baking soda! They didn’t rise :( So upset

  23. Sorry, I meant baking powder!! Not baking soda….

  24. Stefsays:

    Nikki – So sorry to hear that. Is your baking powder old? That could be a possibility. Also, sometimes that happen if you overfill the cupcakes.

  25. I make the cake 2x a year, and usually have icing left over that goes to the freezer. I’ve been wanting to find a cupcake recipe and was happy to locate this one. Made the cupcakes on 1/3/12, and they are delicious. I was less one egg, but the outcome was just as moist as the cake recipe. My husband loves them as they were made for him. The icing was left over from a cake made in May 2011, and having sit at room temp and tasted as if made yesterday. Thank you for the recipe!!!

  26. ubermomsays:

    ours were flat too. really bummed. i can’t think why, all ingredients were fresh. we bake all the time so i can’t figure out what the trouble was. any ideas?

  27. Katesays:

    I found it with my cupcakes and cupcake recipes that call for only baking soda or only 1tsp of baking powder that it never ever rises the way it should matter of fact just reading this recipe I will be putting in powder. Also just asuggestion for a “pretty frosting” I plan to pipe buttercream chocolate around the edges and fill the middle with the coconut pecan frosting.
    Thanks for sharing this!

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