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german chocolate cupcakes

My dad loves German chocolate cake. It's his fave.

So I've been studying recipes (I have stacks of library cookbooks I check out again and again) so I could make him some from scratch.

I now have a batch for him to try tomorrow.

I'm thinking -- yes. These are them.

The Ones.

First, I tasted the caramel coconut-pecan frosting -- delicious. Much richer and more flavorful than the store-bought stuff.

Second, the cake -- awesomely good.

The cupcakes have a tender, soft crumb, are nice and chocolatey, and make for a great froster.

It's not as rich as the ganache-filled ultimate chocolate cupcakes, which are so over-the-top chocolate-rich (in a good way) that I cannot find a suitable frosting.

These right here are yummy, soft, simple and cheap to make -- nothing more costly than Hershey's cocoa powder and a little oil.

Oh yeah baby.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Coconut-Pecan Frosting

adapted from Baking Unplugged, by Nicole Rees (cake), and Buttercup Bakes at Home, by Jennifer Appel (frosting)

makes about 10 to 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup warm coffee or warm water (I used coffee)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners or spray well with vegetable spray.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, beat together sugar, oil and egg until thick and pale, about two minutes with a handmixer. Beat in vanilla.

With mixer on low, or with whisk, mix in the flour mixture and coffee (or warm water) alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for about 16 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into center comes out with only a few crumbs attached.

Allow cupcakes to cool in pan on wire rack for about 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and allow them to cool completely on wire rack.

Frost with caramel coconut-pecan frosting. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

For the frosting:

  • 9 ounces evaporated milk (I used almost two 5 oz. cans)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

In medium saucepan, whisk together the evaporated milk and egg yolks. Add sugar, butter and vanilla to the pot and stir. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will bubble, thicken and darken slightly.

When thick and bubbling, remove from heat. Stir in coconut and chopped nuts. Pour into a big bowl and cool to room temperature. I popped mine into the refrigerator for about 45 minutes, stirring once in a while, to speed the cooling process up.

Note: This makes about a 1/2 cup extra frosting. I'm probably going to eat it, save it, make more cupcakes. I can't throw mine away.

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Reader Comments (6)

Oh man, I bet your dad goes crazy for these cupcakes. Sensational! I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cupcakes up.

I made these for my mom's birthday (she loves German chocolate cake), and they were phenomenal! At first I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of cooking the frosting, but it was actually quick and simple. And the best part? I could just glob the frosting on the cupcakes without worrying about spreading it beautifully, so it was much faster and easier to ice them than it would've been with traditional frosting. They're now a family favorite, and I'm making them tomorrow for my daughter's birthday. Thanks for sharing!

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

P.S. I used the extra frosting for dessert a few nights later. We dipped strawberries in it--SO AMAZING!

August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Thanks, Lauren! I'm glad to hear about the birthday celebrations and cake-making! And, I totally agree about that frosting...I can eat that stuff right out of the bowl. :)

October 14, 2014 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

Do you store the extra frosting in the refrigerator? I am taking these cupcakes to work tomorrow so I am going to qait to frost them.

October 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterhattie

Hi Hattie -- Yeah, I'd refrigerate the frosting, well wrapped. I think refrigeration gives most things a bit more longevity. I'd leave the frosting out at room temperature after the chill for several minutes to give it time to soften up, which will make it easier to spread. I hope all went well at work with the cupcaking! :)

October 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

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