German chocolate cupcakes

Your new favorite chocolate cupcake recipe is right here! These German chocolate cupcakes are moist and tender, with a luscious chocolate frosting crowned by a sweet coconut pecan topping.

They’re so easy to make, too — just whip them up in a single bowl. Add the ingredients, and let the electric mixer do the work! Fill your muffin pan with this five-minute batter and slide your pan into the oven.

While your cupcakes are baking to confection perfection, start your two different and utterly delectable layers of frosting.

Cooking the custard base for the coconut pecan topping takes about 15 minutes. Then, you’ll just swirl in the coconut and pecans.

While that’s cooling, you can make the chocolate frosting. It’s a rich one, with semisweet chocolate, butter, cream cheese, cocoa powder and sugar. (As swoon-worthy as it tastes and as easily as it pipes onto the cupcakes, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare.) Then, just transfer it to a pastry bag fitted with a round or star tip.

When your cooled cupcakes are ready for frosting, mound a tablespoon of the yummy coconut-pecan mixture on top of each cupcake. Pipe the chocolate frosting around the mound of coconut-pecan topping to hold it in place. Serve immediately (yes, please!) or store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to three days.

A little German chocolate cake history

German chocolate cake doesn’t actually come from Germany. The iconic cake actually got its name from American baker Samuel German, who developed a type of dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. The company named it Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate in honor of its creator.

In 1957, a recipe for German’s chocolate cake appeared in the Dallas Morning News. The recipe was credited to Mrs. George Clay, a Dallas homemaker who used the Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate in the cake. “German’s chocolate cake” gained wild popularity throughout the United States and, eventually, the name was changed simplified to German chocolate cake.

Cupcakes are for celebrating

National German Chocolate Cake Day is June 11, which is just one more reason to enjoy the treats! Make a few batches of these for family and friends, who will love the mini-versions of the beloved German chocolate cake.

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Whisk dry ingredients together in mixing bowl

Add wet ingredients and continue to mix

Add sour cream to mixture

Fill muffin cups with batter

While cupcakes bake, combine topping ingredients in saucepan

Strain topping into mixing bowl

Add in coconut

German chocolate cupcakes

Mix in chopped pecans

Combine all topping ingredients together

Melt chocolate for frosting

German chocolate cupcakes

Stir chocolate between heating until smooth

Transfer chocolate to mixing bowl with butter and cream cheese

German chocolate cupcakes

Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool

Place a tablespoon of coconut topping in center of each cupcake

German chocolate cupcakes

Pipe frosting around edges

Beautifully done!

Looks too good to eat.

German chocolate cupcakes

Perfect for serving at home or baking for a party!

German chocolate cupcakes

Recipe inspired by Cooking Classy

German chocolate cupcakes

Yield 12 cupcakes


One-bowl German chocolate cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (regular fat)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, diced into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans


  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons heavy cream, as needed



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds.
  3. Add in vegetable oil, milk, egg and vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for two minutes.
  4. Add hot water to the mixture and stir until well-combined.
  5. Add sour cream and mix well.
  6. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15–19 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes in muffin pan. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


  1. In medium saucepan, combine evaporated milk, egg yolks, brown sugar and butter. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 10–15 minutes (mixture should come to light boil, and when you run a rubber spatula along the bottom, you should see the bottom of the pan for a moment).
  2. Remove from heat and strain through fine-mesh strainer into mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in vanilla, then shredded coconut and chopped pecans.
  4. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.


  1. Place semisweet chocolate in microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Heat in microwave on 50% power in 20-second intervals, stirring after each interval until chocolate is melted and smooth. (Alternatively, melt chocolate in double-boiler.) Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. (You also can use an electric hand mixer.)
  4. Blend in cocoa powder on low speed, then blend in powdered sugar.
  5. With mixer running, slowly pour in melted chocolate and blend until combined.
  6. Add cream 1 teaspoon at a time as needed to reach desired consistency.

To complete:

  1. Top center of each cooled cupcake with 1 tablespoon coconut-pecan topping.
  2. Pipe chocolate frosting around edges of cupcakes.
  3. Store in airtight container.

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German chocolate cupcakes