German Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

I saw a gorgeous cake in the bakery this morning and immediately came home and made this German chocolate cupcake recipe. This decadent delight is one of my husband’s favorite birthday cakes, so I figured why not?

The delightful flavor of chocolate and sweetened shredded coconut is combined with a few pantry staples in this easy cupcake recipe. And let’s just face it – they’re fun to eat with the added crunch of that coconut!

A horizontal image with a close up of 8 German chocolate cupcakes against a white surface.
Our German chocolate cupcake recipe is perfect to bring to your next meal or gathering.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I’m a fan of the humble cupcake. It’s small, portable, and it’s just “enough” sweet. And because I’m busy, I love that I can prepare the cupcakes in advance while I whip up the topping or frosting.

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This family favorite is desired more by the adults than the kids. I like to keep a few cupcakes aside without the German topping so they can taste it.

If you need to run to the store to pick up supplies, bookmark this page to make it easy to come back to when you are ready to create these German chocolate cupcakes.

A German cupcake with a bite taken out of it with a wooden cutting board filled with more cupcakes against a white surface.
Our latest cupcake recipe will just melt in your mouth.

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Why These Cupcakes Are The Perfect Recipe

These coconut delights are packed with layers of flavor. It seems with each bite you take, you get a new flavor profile exploding in your mouth.

This is a from-scratch recipe that is quite easy to make. I would wager you have virtually all, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge.

It has a fun history behind it. Did you know German chocolate cake did not come from Europe? Instead, the recipe is said to have originated from Dallas, Texas back in the late 1950s!

Eight German chocolate cupcakes on a wooden cutting board against a white surface.
Our German chocolate cupcakes are topped with crunchy pecans and sweetened toasted coconut.

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Tips For Making German Chocolate Cupcakes

  • We used a chocolate ganache for the frosting part of this recipe. If you prefer to make a buttercream frosting, we recommend our easy chocolate buttercream frosting. It tastes just like the bakery version and is incredibly easy to whip up.
  • To toast coconut, spread it out on a parchment or silicone mat-covered baking sheet. Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake until most pieces are golden brown (about 12-15 minutes).
  • If you would like to toast the pecans for this recipe, it is easy. Spread the pecans out on a parchment or silicone mat-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes or until the aroma of the pecans comes out from the oven.
  • Don’t skip the sour cream, but if you need to, replace it with equal parts vegetable oil and buttermilk. This will keep the consistency of the cupcakes similar, offering a uniform bake.
8 German chocolate cupcakes against a white surface with pecans in the background with a plate with a cupcake on it.
This cupcake recipe is topped with a creamy, rich chocolate ganache and a German chocolate topping.

Ingredients For The German Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Below are the ingredients we used for our German chocolate cupcakes. For information about toasting the coconut, read the tips section above.

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder
  • Unsalted butter
  • White granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Sour cream
  • Pecans
  • Shredded coconut

How To Make German Chocolate Cupcakes

Each step for this recipe is detailed below to make it easy to follow. Keep this page open while you are creating your cupcakes. If you would rather have a printable recipe, scroll down and select the print button.

The ingredients for the chocolate ganache in a glass bowl against a white surface.

Add the chocolate chips, salt, and vanilla extract in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream until steaming. Do Not Boil. Pour the hot cream over the bowl with chocolate chips and sit for 5 minutes.

The chocolate ganache in a round glass bowl against a white surface.

Whisk together until a smooth ganache is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool and thicken to a pipeable consistency for later.

A large glass bowl filled with cocoa powder and chocolate chips against a white surface.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.

In a small mixing bowl add 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.

Brown sugar, white sugar and butter in a large glass bowl against a white surface.

In a separate, larger bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until fluffy.

A large glass bowl with the ingredients for German chocolate cupcakes including eggs against a white surface.

Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and warm water. Mix again until combined.

The wet ingredients for German chocolate cupcakes with the dry ingredients on top against a white surface.

Now add in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.

A bowl of cupcake batter with sour cream added against a white surface.

Add the sour cream and blend one last time, until smooth.

The batter for German chocolate cupcakes in a metal pan against a white surface.

Scoop batter into each cupcake liner, filling each about halfway.

12 cooked cupcakes in a muffin pan against a white surface.

Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

A saucepan with cream, sugar and eggs against a white surface.

While the cupcakes are baking and then cooling, add the heavy cream, sugar, and eggs to a saucepan. Heat on the stove on medium and mix consistently until it begins to simmer.

A saucepan with cream and melted butter against a white surface.

Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened.

A saucepan with cream, butter and vanilla extract against a white surface.

Add salt, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until fully combined and melted.

The topping ingredients for the German chocolate cupcakes against a white surface.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped pecans and toasted shredded coconut (see tips section above for information on toasting the coconut) to the thickened mixture and stir until combined.

The topping for the German chocolate cupcakes mixed in a saucepan against a white surface.

Let the mixture cool completely by placing it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

A German chocolate cupcake topped with a chocolate ganache against a white surface.

Remove the ganache from the fridge and add it to a piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip. Swirl a large base, or rosette, keeping the layer of frosting flat on each cooled cupcake.

Coconut and pecan mixture added to the top of a frosted German chocolate cupcake against a white surface.

Once the coconut pecan topping has cooled completely, use a large ice cream scoop to place the topping onto each ganache-covered cupcake.

A German chocolate cupcake topped with fresh pecans and coconut and chocolate ganache against a white surface.

Sprinkle the tops of each cupcake with extra toasted shredded coconut and a single pecan for garnish.

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Several German chocolate cupcakes on a wooden cutting board against a white surface.
This German chocolate cupcake recipe will become your newest obsession.
Yield: 12 cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

8 German chocolate cupcakes against a white surface with pecans in the background with a plate with a cupcake on it.

Made with crunchy pecans and toasted coconut, these delicious German chocolate cupcakes are going to be your next new obsession. There are so many layers of flavors in this recipe that it will blow your mind. We started with a made-from-scratch recipe for the cupcakes, then topped them with a rich chocolate ganache and then we piled on the German chocolate topping. This dessert will soon become a must-have recipe for any meal or event you go to.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

For The Chocolate Ganache

  • 16 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For The German Chocolate Cupcakes

  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 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

For The 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

For The Garnish

  • Extra pecan halves
  • Extra shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Add the chocolate chips, salt, and vanilla extract in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream until steaming. Do Not Boil. Pour the hot cream over the bowl with chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together until a smooth ganache is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool and thicken to a pipeable consistency for later.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. In a small mixing bowl add 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.
  4. In a separate, larger bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and warm water. Mix again until combined.
  6. Now add in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Use an electric hand or stand mixer to blend the dry ingredients into the wet just until combined.
  7. Add the sour cream and blend one last time, until smooth.
  8. Scoop batter into each cupcake liner, filling each about halfway.
  9. Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  10. While the cupcakes are baking and then cooling, add the heavy cream, sugar, and eggs to a saucepan. Heat on the stove on medium and mix consistently until it begins to simmer.
  11. Turn heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened.
  12. Add salt, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until fully combined and melted.
  13. Remove from the heat and add the chopped pecans and toasted shredded coconut to the thickened mixture and stir until combined.
  14. Let the mixture cool completely by placing it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove the ganache from the fridge and add it to a piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip. Swirl a large base, or rosette, keeping the layer flat, of frosting on each cooled cupcake.
  16. Once the coconut pecan topping has cooled completely, use a large ice cream scoop to place the topping onto each ganache-covered cupcake.
  17. Sprinkle the tops of each cupcake with extra toasted shredded coconut and pecan for garnish. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 863Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 8gSugar: 59gProtein: 10g

All nutrition information is estimated. For accuracy, please calculate your exact brands and ingredients if accuracy is desired.

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