German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes taste just like the classic cake. Rich chocolate cake is filled with a layer of sweet coconut and pecan frosting and chocolate ganache. These cupcakes are perfect for parties, potlucks, or for a deliciously rich dessert any day.

three german chocolate cupcakes sitting on a piece of parchment paper

German chocolate cake is always a popular choice for parties and celebrations. It’s rich and decadent, with plenty of chocolate flavor. The only thing better than german chocolate cake is cupcakes. Turning this cake flavor into a cupcake means you don’t need to share your cake with others. Plenty of flavor is packed into this portable dessert. 

There’s something about the rich chocolate cake topped with sweet coconut pecan filling that makes me want to eat the entire batch. It is both simple and decadent with great layers of flavor. These cupcakes com together in a three step process – (1) make the cupcakes, (2) swirl on chocolate ganache frosting and (3) finish with a dollop of crunchy filling made with pecans and coconut.

Why You’ll Love Them

  • They’re the perfect individually sized way to enjoy the decadence of German chocolate cake.
  • You can use any leftover coconut pecan filling for pancakes, muffins, or other baked goods. 
  • These cupcakes resemble a small layer cake making them a uniquely fun dessert. 
  • They’re portable which means they can be used for a kids birthday party or any holiday or event which makes them easier to serve and enjoy.
  • If you have any leftovers, they can be frozen for later. 
ingredients for german chocolate cupcakes on white countertop

Ingredients You Need

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • All-Purpose Flour – This dry ingredient is the base of the cupcake batter. 
  • Cocoa Powder – Gives the cake its rich chocolate flavor and brown color. 
  • Baking Powder – Helps the cupcakes rise and become nice and fluffy. 
  • Granulated Sugar – Sweetens up the cupcake batter.
  • Eggs  – Helps set and leaven the cupcakes.
  • Butter – Gives the cupcakes a buttery flavor and dense and smooth texture.
  • Buttermilk – Adds a creamy and slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with the flavors of German chocolate cake. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Infuses a light vanilla flavor throughout. 

Chocolate Pecan Filling

  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Gives the filling a super creamy taste and pulls everything together. 
  • Egg Yolks – Adds a richly dense texture to the filling. 
  • Brown Sugar – Adds sweetness and a slight molasses flavor. 
  • Butter – Gives the filling a thick buttery texture. 
  • Coconuts & Pecans – Adds a nutty flavor and crunch to the filling. 

Chocolate Ganache Icing

  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Makes up the decadent creamy base when mixed with melted chocolate. 
  • Chocolate – Solid chocolate is broken up then melted when mixed with heavy cream. 
  • Butter – Butter gives the ganache a thick and smooth texture along with a butter flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds a hint of vanilla flavor to the icing. 
mixing batter in bowl

How to Make German Chocolate Cupcakes

Step 1.

Make the chocolate cupcakes. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in separate bowls, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold them together gently, making sure not to overmix! Keep folding just until no large lumps of flour remain. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners or grease them with nonstick baking spray. Fill each cupcake tin ¾ of the way full and bake the cupcakes for 12-15 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before icing them.

Step 2. 

Make the chocolate ganache icing. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan, and add the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla to a large bowl. Pour over the cream and allow it to sit for one minute, then whisk until smooth. Chill the icing until fully set for about 4 hours. (I usually start making the filling while the mixture is chilling so that everything is ready to assemble once the frosting is done.) Transfer chilled icing to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip and set aside until ready to use. 

Step 3.

Make coconut pecan filling. Over medium heat, combine the cream, egg yolks, and brown sugar until the mixture is bubbling and the sugar has dissolved stirring often. Add the butter, pecans, and coconut and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before using.

Step 4.

Assemble the cupcakes. On cooled cupcakes, pipe a small ring of chocolate icing around the edge of each cupcake, making sure it is large enough to hold the filling in the center. Then, fill each ring of icing with coconut pecan filling. Serve immediately or store in the fridge. 

Pipping Tip: I generally use a large star tip for the frosting. A close or open star tip works great. Ateco 849 or Wilton 2D are two that I use often.

batter for frosting in a bowl
pipping frosting on to cupcakes

Expert Tips and Substitutions

  • Bring ingredients to room temperature. Make sure all eggs and butter are at room temperature before using them in the cake batter. This will ensure that the batter stays light and fluffy.
  • Fold batter until just incorporated. It’s important to make sure you do not overmix the batter, keep folding just until no large lumps of flour remain.
  • Don’t like pecans? Try using chopped toasted walnuts or macadamia nuts instead. 
  • Cool the frosting and filling. Do not add frosting or filling until the cupcakes are completely cooled to prevent the frosting and filling from melting. 
  • Do not overfill the muffin tins. Keep it at 3/4 full for the best results.
  • To make ahead. Make the cupcakes one day in advance and leave at room temperature before frosting. You can also make them a week or two in advance by wrapping well and freezing them for up to 3 months. 
  • Chocolate ganache is optional. You can use just the filling to top the cupcakes though the chocolate ganache takes them to the next level. 
  • Leftover topping. Any leftover filling can be used as a topping on pancakes, ice cream, muffins, or even spread on toast!
one cupcake with a bite taken out of it

Can you freeze German chocolate cupcakes?

Yes! To freeze frosted cupcakes, frost completely cooled cupcakes and place them on a sheet pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for a few hours making sure the frosting freezes completely. When frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container and freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

Alternatively, you can just freeze the cake layer and prepare the filling and frosting just before serving.

Other Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

three german chocolate cupcakes sitting on a piece of parchment paper

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Chill Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 50 mins
A decadent chocolate cupcake topped with whipped chocolate ganache frosting and coconut pecan filling!
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Coconut Pecan Filling:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded toasted coconut
  • 3/4 cup roasted salted pecans, chopped

Instructions

To make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners or grease them with nonstick baking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sugar. Whisk to combine. 
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold them together gently, making sure not to overmix. Keep folding just until no large lumps of flour remain.
  • Fill each cupcake tin ¾ of the way full and bake the cupcakes for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before icing them.

To make frosting:

  • Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan, just until it starts to steam and bubble around the edges.
  • Add the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla to a large bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for one minute.
  • Then, whisk the mixture together until smooth. Transfer the icing to the fridge and allow it to chill until fully set (about 4 hours). (NOTE: I would start making the filling while the mixture is chilling so that everything is ready to assemble once the frosting is ready.)
  • Once the icing has hardened, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy – about 2 minutes,
  • Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip and set aside until ready to use. 

To make the filling:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, egg yolks, and brown sugar.
  • Heat until the mixture is bubbling and the sugar has dissolved– about 4 minutes. Make sure to stir often.
  • Add the butter, coconut and pecans and stir to combine.
  • Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before adding to the cupcakes.

To assemble:

  • Pipe a small ring of chocolate icing around the edge of each cupcake, making sure it is large enough to hold the filling in the center.
  • Then, fill each ring of icing with coconut pecan filling.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days .

Notes

Storing: Once cooled and frosted, enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days
Freezing: To freeze frosted cupcakes, frost completely cooled cupcakes and place them on a sheet pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for a few hours making sure the frosting freezes completely. When frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container and freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g, Calories: 612kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 28g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 133mg, Sodium: 130mg, Potassium: 272mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 882IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

2 comments on “German Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. Love how easy this recipe is. Can’t wait to try it this weekend.

  2. These were amazing! Definitly the best German chocolate cake I’ve had. I could just eat that filling with a spoon.

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