These German Chocolate Cupcakes are a delicious combination of moist and tender chocolate cupcakes covered with a swirl of rich chocolate ganache and topped with a sweet gooey coconut pecan topping. They’re like a little German chocolate cake you can hold in your hand.
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Table of Contents
- Chocolate Cupcakes for the Win!
- Why You'll Love This German Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
- What is German Chocolate?
- How German Chocolate Cake Became Popular
- How to Make German Chocolate Cupcakes
- Recipe Tips
- Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing Cupcakes
- More Cupcakes and Cakes to Make
Chocolate Cupcakes for the Win!
Chocolate plus cupcakes equals deliciousness in my book. There is just something magical about chocolate cupcakes that can turn a bad day into a great one! That rich, velvety chocolate is like my dessert heaven. And let's not forget about the frosting – that smooth, decadent swirl on top is like the icing on the cake, literally. Whether you're indulging in just one or sharing with friends, chocolate cupcakes can bring a smile to anyone’s face.
I mean, who can resist a freshly baked chocolate cupcake? And there are just so many ways to make them! From classic chocolate-on-chocolate to impressive Molten Lava Cupcakes, and flavor combos like Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes or Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes, there's a chocolate cupcake for everyone.
Every bite of these German Chocolate Cupcakes is a layered experience of textures and tastes that you'll fall in love with instantly. Here's why this recipe is bound to become a cherished addition to your baking repertoire:
Why You'll Love This German Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
- Homemade Heaven: There’s something infinitely satisfying about making cupcakes from scratch. This recipe walks you through each step of crafting these indulgent treats, imbuing your kitchen with the warmth of homemade goodness.
- Dual Frosting Delight: Why settle for one topping when you can have two? The silky chocolate ganache paired with the rich coconut pecan frosting offers a duo of flavors that dance together in perfect harmony on your palate.
- Complex Textures: These cupcakes boast a complex array of textures that will tantalize your taste buds. From the moist crumb of the cake to the luscious ganache and the crunchy, chewy topping, every mouthful is an adventure.
- Perfect Sweetness: The blend of sugars, sweet chocolate, and toasty coconut creates a depth of sweetness that’s rich without being cloying.
- A Showstopper Dessert: Topped with a garnish of pecan halves and toasted coconut, these cupcakes are as beautiful as they are delicious. They'll shine as the centerpiece dessert at any gathering or provide a touch of elegance to a casual coffee break.
- A Nod to Tradition: While putting a cupcake twist on the traditional German Chocolate Cake, this recipe stays true to the classic components that have made the dessert a longstanding favorite. It’s a delightful nod to the past, baked up in a convenient, modern form.
- Versatile and Shareable: Cupcakes are the perfect portion size for sharing and celebrating. Whether it’s a gift, a party favor, or a sweet treat for family and friends, these German Chocolate Cupcakes are crafted for sharing the joy.
Savor the homemade charm and intricate flavors of this cupcake recipe, and let the rich history of German chocolate inspire your baking journey. These German Chocolate Cupcakes aren't just a dessert; they're an experience that you'll be proud to share and even more delighted to indulge in.
What is German Chocolate?
Contrary to what the name might imply, German chocolate doesn't hail from the chocolate-loving country of Germany. In a delightful twist of culinary history, it owes its name to an American chocolatier by the name of Samuel German. In 1852, working for the notable Walter Baker & Company, Samuel German developed a formulation of baking chocolate that carried his namesake, German’s Sweet Chocolate.
This particular chocolate was crafted to be sweeter than the semi-sweet chocolate commonly used in baking at the time, due to a higher sugar content mixed right in with the chocolate liquor.
How German Chocolate Cake Became Popular
It's this Samuel German’s creation that adds a unique taste to America's beloved German Chocolate Cake, which is not an import but a 1950s domestic innovation. When a Texas homemaker sent her recipe for a chocolate cake using German's chocolate to a local newspaper in 1957, the resulting publication sparked a nationwide craze for the dessert.
The cake’s signature coconut pecan frosting became an inseparable part of the sensation, and together they deliver a flavor that is distinct and more nuanced than your standard chocolate cake.
Today, German chocolate is synonymous with decadent desserts that bear a richness not only in flavor but in history. Its smooth and sweet profile makes it a favorite among bakers who want to give their confections an edge that sets them apart, ensuring that Samuel German's legacy lives on, one chocolate cake (or cupcake) at a time.
Here's what you'll need to make the cupcakes. The exact measurements are in the printable recipe card below.
For the cupcakes:
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Cocoa powder
- Heavy cream
- Unsalted butter
- Sour cream
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
To make the chocolate ganache:
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Heavy whipping cream
- Vanilla extract
For the coconut pecan frosting:
- Heavy cream
- Granulated Sugar
- Egg yolks
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make German Chocolate Cupcakes
Here are the steps for making the best German chocolate cupcakes:
For the German chocolate cupcake frosting (ganache):
- Place the chocolate chips, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
- Warm the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Pour over the chocolate chip mixture. Let it sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
To make the German chocolate cupcakes:
- In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and cocoa powder.
- In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until steaming then pour over the chocolate mixture. Cover it and let it sit until the chips have melted. Whisk until smooth.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and water.
- Mix until combined. Add in the warm chocolate mixture and mix well.
- Combine the dry ingredients and mix with the wet ingredients
- Add in the sour cream.
- Mix until smooth. The batter is ready for the muffin tin.
- Scoop ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner. They should be half full.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 23-25 minutes.
To make the coconut pecan topping:
While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the topping.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and eggs.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Add the salt, butter, and vanilla extract and mix until the butter has melted and the mixture is blended.
- Remove from the heat and add chopped pecans and toasted coconut.
- Stir well.
- Place the topping in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. The topping will thicken as shown.
Assembling the cupcakes:
- Fill a piping bag with a large star tip with the cooled ganache. You can also use a plastic bag with the corner snipped out. Swirl a base of ganache on top of the cooled cupcakes. Make sure to keep it flat so that the coconut pecan topping can be added.
- Take a large scoop of the coconut pecan topping and place it on top of the ganache.
- To finish, add a pecan and some extra shredded coconut for garnish.
Creating the perfect German Chocolate Cupcake is an art, but with these tips, you'll be a master in no time. Here’s how to ensure your cupcakes are as delectable as they are beautiful:
- Quality Ingredients: Use the best quality chocolate you can find for both the cupcakes and the ganache. The higher the quality, the more decadent your cupcakes will taste.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your eggs, butter, and sour cream are at room temperature to ensure they blend smoothly into the batter for an even, consistent crumb.
- Sift the Dry Ingredients: To avoid lumps and ensure the cupcakes have a light, tender texture, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt before adding them to the wet ingredients.
- Don’t Overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just until they're combined. Overmixing can lead to dense cupcakes.
- Consistent Cupcake Sizes: Use an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup to fill your cupcake liners. This will ensure that all your cupcakes are the same size and bake evenly.
- Ganache Timing: Let the ganache cool to the right consistency. It should be thick enough to pipe but still soft. If it’s too runny or too stiff, it won’t create the perfect swirl.
- Toast the Coconut: Toasting the coconut for the topping is a must. It deepens the flavor and adds a crunchy texture that contrasts beautifully with the creamy topping and soft cupcake.
- Patience with the Topping: Cook the coconut pecan topping until it's thickened and the sugar is completely dissolved. It should be cool and thick before you spoon it onto the cupcakes.
- Cool Completely: Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. This will prevent the ganache and the coconut pecan topping from melting and sliding off.
- Decorate with Care: When adding the final touches, place the pecan halves and toasted coconut strategically for a bakery-worthy appearance.
Remember, baking is part art and part science. Don't be afraid to trust your instincts. With these tips in hand, your German Chocolate Cupcakes will be as delightful to make as they are to devour!
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing Cupcakes
To make cupcakes in advance: Bake the cupcakes and allow them to cool completely. Do not frost them. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days until ready to frost. You can also freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months.
To make coconut pecan frosting in advance: Prepare it as directed. Allow it to cool and then place it in an airtight container. Refrigerate it for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the frosting for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight. Take it out of the fridge about 1 hour before you want to frost the cupcakes.
How to store frosted cupcakes: Place them in an airtight container. Store them at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Take them out of the fridge about 1 to 2 hours before serving to get them to room temperature.
How to freeze frosted cupcakes: Place them on a baking sheet with space between them. Freeze them for a few hours. Once frozen, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for them for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight.
More Cupcakes and Cakes to Make
Find lots of delicious and easy recipes for desserts right here on 2CM!
German Chocolate Cupcakes
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 16 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Coconut Pecan Topping
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups shredded coconut toasted
- pecan halves, shredded coconut
- In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips, salt, and vanilla extract.
- In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream until steaming. Do not let it boil.
- Pour the heated whipping cream over the bowl with chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes so that the chocolate begins to melt. Whisk together until smooth then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool and thicken. You want it to develop a pipeable consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until steaming and then pour over the chocolate chips and cocoa. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Place the butter and both sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat the mixture until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and warm water. Mix until combined.
- Now add the melted chocolate mixture and beat well.
- Stir the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until just combined.
- Add the sour cream and blend until smooth.
- Scoop about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner. You want it filled about halfway.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Coconut Pecan Topping
- While the cupcakes are baking, place the heavy cream, sugar, and eggs into a saucepan.
- Heat over the stove on medium heat, mixing every couple minutes until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Add the salt, butter, and vanilla extract to the heated mixture. Mix together until fully combined and melted.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chopped pecans and toasted shredded coconut. Stir until combined.
- Place the topping in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will help it thicken.
- Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and fill a piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip. Swirl a large base of frosting on each cooled cupcake, keeping it relatively flat. The coconut pecan topping will be added on top.
- Once the coconut pecan topping has cooled completely, place a scoop of topping on top of each ganache-covered cupcake.
- To garnish each cupcake, sprinkle the tops with shredded coconut and a pecan half.