Decadent frosted cupcakes stuffed with a coconut pecan filling and topped with a whipped chocolate frosting, chopped pecans, chocolate syrup and flaked coconut.
These German Chocolate Cupcakes aren’t just pretty to look at, but they taste amazing! The ingredient list looks long, but don’t be intimidated, most of the ingredients are kitchen staples and reused in each layer.
German Chocolate cakes are one of my all time favorites. I think it is the coconut pecan filling that gets me.
I find that these cupcakes are a lot easier to quickly throw together for a special occasion instead of baking a full cake. They are more convenient and I have to say, they look amazing. So let’s get started on how to make German Chocolate Cupcakes.
How did German Chocolate Cupcakes get their name? Well, it isn’t because they came from Germany. The unique flavor combination was developed by an American by the name of Sam German.
German worked for the Baker’s Chocolate Company and made the iconic cake with whipped frosting, chocolate syrup and flaked coconut. It gained popularity when it was published in the Dallas Morning Star in the 1950’s.
“German chocolate” is made into cakes, cupcakes and even brownies!
Coconut Pecan Filling
To start this recipe, I like to make the coconut pecan filling. This gives the filling enough time to firm up and makes it easier to work with.
Combine brown sugar, evaporated milk, egg yolks, and butter into a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until a soft boil.
Once the mixture starts to boil and all the ingredients are melted and smooth, remove from heat and add in vanilla extract, pecan pieces, and shredded coconut. I use sweetened coconut for this recipe but unsweetened would work just fine.
PRO TIP: It is important to whisk the mixture the entire time to make sure you don’t get little pieces of scrambled egg in your mixture. If you do happen to have this issue (we are all human right??) run the mixture through a sieve and you should be able to get all the egg pieces out.
Place the filling in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool while you make the cupcakes.
If you are in a hurry, use a boxed chocolate cake mix and focus your time on the filling and frosting, HOWEVER this homemade cake recipe is so simple to throw together and tastes SO much better than the boxed stuff, trust me on this one.
To start making your chocolate cupcake recipe, add flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment.
PRO TIP: Make sure you use a good quality cocoa powder, it does make a difference. I prefer Hershey’s cocoa powder. The espresso powder is optional, but I have found that it enhances the chocolate flavor and just takes it over the top.
Whisk all dry ingredients until they are all combined. Next, add in the milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Last, carefully add in boiling water and start mixing on low speed and slowly increase speed to high and mix for 1 minute.
Divide the batter evenly between 18 cupcake liners. I used a 4 tablespoon cookie scoop and that worked perfectly.
Bake at 350°F for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Every good cupcake has to have an amazing frosting! For this recipe I chose to do a whipped chocolate frosting which is one of my all time favorites because it is so light and fluffy.
Start by adding room temperature butter into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment and cream for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add cocoa powder and mix on low speed until there are no dry spots remaining.
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and fully combine after each addition. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
Last, add in heavy whipping cream and start mixing on low speed. Increase speed to high for an additional 2-3 minutes or until you get a nice “whipped” consistency.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and give one last mix if needed. Add the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (I used the Wilton 1M tip).
Assembling German Chocolate Cupcakes
Remove the center of each cupcake by using a large piping tip or you can also just use a butter knife to cut out the center. Remove the center piece of cake and set aside.
Fill the center of the cupcake with coconut pecan filling and place the top of the cake piece that you removed back onto the filling.
Pipe a generous amount of frosting in swirl on top of the cupcake. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with pecan pieces and shredded coconut. Continue with all cupcakes.
Storage & Make Ahead
To store your cupcakes, put them into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Be sure to remove the cupcakes from the refrigerator about 45 minutes to an hour before you plan on eating them so they can come to room temperature.
You can make the filling ahead of time if you’d like to. Just make it according to the directions and just store in the refrigerator covered until you are ready to use.
If you do not have a piping bag, that’s ok! Just use a large Ziplock bag and cut off the corner and use that to pipe your frosting onto your German chocolate cupcakes.
More Dessert Recipes
Stuffed German Chocolate Cupcakes
Coconut Pecan Filling:
Coconut Pecan Filling:
- Add the brown sugar, evaporated milk, egg yolks, and butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly. Bring to a soft boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, pecans, and shredded coconut.
- Cover and cool in the refrigerator.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment. Whisk until all ingredients are combined.
- Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and mix until there are no dry spots. Do not overmix.
- Carefully pour in the boiling water and start mixing on low speed. Slowly increase the speed to high and continue mixing for 1 minute.
- Evenly divide the batter between 18 cupcake liners and bake at 350°F for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Add the softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment and cream for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add in vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add in cocoa powder and mix until there are no dry spots.
- Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and fully combine after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until well combined.
- Pour in the heavy cream and start mixing on low speed and increase to high for 2-3 minutes or until you get a “whipped” consistency.
- Add to a piping bag with a large star tip (I used a Wilton 1M).
- Use a large piping tip or a butter knife to remove the centers of each cupcake. Fill with the coconut pecan filling and replace the top of the cupcake that you removed.
- Pipe a generous swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake.
- Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with chopped pecans and shredded coconut.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.