German Chocolate Cupcakes


Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I should have ever made these. Now I know I’m just going to be craving them ALL the time. I’m totally in love with this cupcake. I think it’s safe to say it’s a german chocolate cake lovers dream. And this chocolate frosting, I think I have a new favorite – or at least a tie (this one here is my other favorite). It is so decadent, creamy and richly chocolatey without being overbearing. It’s definitely the highlight of these cupcakes along with that amazing Coconut Pecan Topping (yeah that stuff that I seriously had a hard time restraining myself from and not eating it all by the spoonful).

German Chocolate Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

I made several batches of chocolate cupcakes for these and finally settled on going with one of my old favorites that I posted back about the time I started my blog two years ago. It is a one bowl chocolate cupcake recipe, so the cupcake portion is incredibly easy to make (so that will make up for the fact that you have to make two frostings instead of the usual one). They are light and fluffy and I felt that they paired well with the toppings that are more dense. It’s also much more of a milk chocolate cupcake which to me is more German chocolate-ish than a rich, dark chocolate. I’m telling you, you are going to love these :). Oh and if you are like me and you’re hooked on the whole salty caramel chocolate thing, then definitely sprinkle the tops of these with a pinch of flaky or coarse sea salt. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyGerman Chocolate Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


German Chocolate Cupcakes

4.67 from 3 votes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes


One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup sour cream

Coconut Pecan Topping

  • 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 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Chocolate Frosting

  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate , chopped
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter , softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 - 4 tsp heavy cream , as needed


  1. For the cupcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Add in vegetable oil, milk, egg and vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour in hot water and stir until well combined. Add in sour cream and mix until combined. Fill paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 16 – 19 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs). Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes in muffin pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, top each cupcake with 1 Tbsp of the Coconut Pecan Topping (in a mound in the center) then pipe the Chocolate Frosting around cupcakes. Store in an airtight container.
  3. For the Coconut Pecan Topping:
  4. In a 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 a light boil, and when you run a rubber spatula along the bottom you should see the bottom of the pan for a moment). Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla then mix in shredded coconut and chopped pecans and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  5. For the Chocolate Frosting:
  6. Place semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, then heat in microwave on 50% power in 20 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth, set aside and allow to cool slightly. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (an electric hand mixer would work fine too), whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Blend in cocoa powdered on low speed, then blend in powdered sugar. With mixer running, slowly power in melted chocolate and blend until combined. Add in cream 1 tsp at a time, as needed to reach desired consistency.
  7. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.: Your cupcakes are always so gorgeous! October 25, 2013 at 10:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Stephanie! October 26, 2013 at 5:24am Reply

      • Linda: The cupcakes look awesome and I cannot wait to make them for my family. Which tip did you use to pipe the frosting? October 28, 2013 at 9:40am Reply

        • Jaclyn: I used the Wilton 4B for the chocolate frosting. I hope you and your family love them Linda! October 30, 2013 at 3:34pm Reply

      • Nicole: Just baked these… these are the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever eaten! I added a half bar of baker’s German chocolate (finely cut) and I can’t stop eating. Oh my thank you for such a great recipe! June 17, 2017 at 4:27pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Nicole!! June 17, 2017 at 9:22pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Love that they’re a one bowl cupcake – and I would have been going nuts for the frosting or the topping. Hide the spoons :) They look incredible! Pinned! October 25, 2013 at 10:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Averie! October 26, 2013 at 5:24am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: German chocolate cake in cupcake form? You are a genius! And kind of evil – now I need to run like 10 miles once I make these! Pinned! October 26, 2013 at 1:00am Reply

  • Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent: These look amazing! I love German chocolate :) October 26, 2013 at 5:36am Reply

  • Katrina @ WVS: German chocolate cake is one of my absolute FAVS! This cupcake version is super fab too :) October 26, 2013 at 5:47am Reply

  • Maria: Love everything about these! October 26, 2013 at 6:36am Reply

  • Shawn @ I Wash You Dry: I seriously want to live inside your blog. All your recipes look amazing, and the ones I have made… they TASTE amazing! These cupcakes look to die for! :) October 26, 2013 at 7:04am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Shawn, I’m so glad you’ve liked the recipes :)!! October 26, 2013 at 7:36am Reply

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: My fiance loves German Chocolate Cake and I’ve yet to make him a homemade version. Cupcakes seem much better in my mind. These are stunning Jaclyn! October 26, 2013 at 7:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sally! October 26, 2013 at 7:36am Reply

  • mays: definitely gonna try them , but is it OK if I don’t use the pecans ( which I absolutely LOVE) as my 8 yr old son has the dreadful but allergy :( I if I make I want him to be able to try and enjoy them too .. thanks a lot October 26, 2013 at 7:20am Reply

    • mays: sorry I meant nut allergy , I hate corrective typing :)) October 26, 2013 at 7:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yeah they should be okay without pecans, you may want to mix in a little more coconut though. I hope your family loves them! October 29, 2013 at 7:48pm Reply

  • Renee@ Two in the Kitchen: I love German Chocolate and these are beautiful! They look so delicious. I am a big fan of your site. You always make such pretty creations! October 26, 2013 at 7:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Renee :)!! October 26, 2013 at 8:10am Reply

  • Shari Kelley: These look incredible, Jaclyn! I can’t wait to try them. I can’t believe you have only been blogging for 2 years. You have so many wonderful recipes on your blog. October 26, 2013 at 6:37pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Shari, I’m so glad you think so :)! October 26, 2013 at 6:52pm Reply

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen: Just beautiful, Jaclyn! German Chocolate Cake is my favorite type of chocolate cake. Love it as cupcakes, too. You do such gorgeous work, my friend. Your styling and photography always inspires me. Thank you for sharing, girl. Pinning! xo October 27, 2013 at 4:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Stacy :)! October 27, 2013 at 7:45am Reply

  • marla: These cupcakes look oh so tempting!! October 27, 2013 at 5:44am Reply

  • Becca @ Crumbs: Mmm these look wonderfully decadent! I could eat a spoonful of that frosting on its own! October 27, 2013 at 9:59am Reply

  • Monica: I just printed this recipe!! My dad is a huge German Chocolate Cake lover but i find it hard to make a whole cake when so many little ones have not acquired the coconut texture into their desired pallet. This recipe will allow me to make half GCC and half just Chocolate iced cakes. I cannot believe I never thought of doing it way. Thank you for blogging!! October 27, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, one more reason I love cupcakes the same cake can be frosted different ways. I hope your family loves them Monica! October 30, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

  • Betty: Love your recipes. Can’t wait to make these
    G.C. Cup cakes.
    Thanks! October 27, 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Megan {Country Cleaver}: I want to plunge face first into one of these! I’m not ashamed! October 28, 2013 at 8:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Haha that’s how I feel about anything that has chocolate on it :). Thanks for stopping by Megan! October 28, 2013 at 9:44am Reply

  • Shashi @ Gorgeously decorated cupcakes! October 28, 2013 at 10:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Shashi! October 28, 2013 at 3:11pm Reply

  • German Chocolate Cupcakes | A Foodie AffairA Foodie Affair: […] pinned these great German Chocolate Cupcakes from Cooking Classy, and decided to try them today. One word…UNBELIEVABLE! And fairly easy to […] November 17, 2013 at 12:26pm Reply

  • Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden: Your cupcakes are gorgeous as always. I’ve featured these German chocolate cupcakes on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best. November 22, 2013 at 7:31am Reply

  • Baking Bonanza | The Parti-Colored Fleur: […] a get-together with friends over the weekend, I made these German Chocolate Cupcakes from Cooking Classy.  We were having a kind of German-themed dinner with sauerbraten and red […] March 10, 2014 at 12:18pm Reply

  • Karen G: I find it difficult to make German chocolate cupcakes look pretty, and you did it. Awesome. March 30, 2014 at 9:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Karen :)! March 30, 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Bob F: I made these cupcakes and they were awesome. A question, could this recipe be adapted to make it a cake? April 3, 2014 at 8:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Probably, I haven’t tried but I’d imagine it could be. April 10, 2014 at 8:53pm Reply

  • Sarah: Hi! Was just wondering how to store these (on the off chance that any are left over)? April 30, 2014 at 9:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would store them in the fridge in an airtight container, then let them rest at room temp a while before serving so they aren’t cold. May 9, 2014 at 10:55pm Reply

  • Rebecca: These are amazing. I was sceptical the whole way through. The cupcake seemed too thin, straining the caramel sauce seemed odd and the icing seemed too stiff, but it all worked out perfectly and I’m proud to be bringing these to my dinner date. Will be scouting your site for more wonderful treats. May 3, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad they turned out for your Rebecca :)! Thanks for your feedback! May 19, 2014 at 10:20pm Reply

  • Brandon: Do you have the nutritional facts for this recipe? May 13, 2014 at 6:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t but you should be able to find it on a site such as May 13, 2014 at 8:30am Reply

  • Brandon: How long will this product last? May 13, 2014 at 6:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d say probably two or three days in the fridge but the fresher the better. May 13, 2014 at 8:29am Reply

  • Barbara: Up until now the German chocolate cupcakes I’ve seen look “messy” so I haven’t been the least bit tempted to make them. Now THESE are beautiful and I will be making them soon! One question, I see you have “evaporated” milk for the coconut/pecan topping but I’ve always seen “sweetened condensed” milk in the recipe. Do your ingredients result in a topping that’s usually the end product of using sweetened condensed milk? June 2, 2014 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Barbara: My apologies (should have been more thorough in my reading of the recipe). I realize that the “cooking” until thickened takes care of the “sweetened condensed” milk question – gah! Can’t wait to make them!!!! June 2, 2014 at 6:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: No problem :), I hope you love them Barbara! June 2, 2014 at 10:06pm Reply

  • Paula: These cupcakes are awesome! I made them for my husbands birthday and he loved them! The recipe for the one bowl case is great. Everything was easy to follow. Thank you! July 21, 2014 at 3:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your husband loved these cupcakes! Happy Birthday to him :). July 21, 2014 at 11:26pm Reply

  • Blakeley: These were amazing! I ended up having enough batter for only 10 cupcakes, which was fine as I prefer larger cupcakes. After the cupcakes and coconut pecan topping were cooled, I filled the cupcakes with it, then frosted them with the frosting, and topped each one with a tablespoon of the topping in the middle of the frosting. They looked so gorgeous and just like bakery cupcakes. I made these for my dads 51st birthday, everybody enjoyed them, and my 2 year old daughters favorite part was eating all the frosting off the top of her cupcake. Thanks for the recipe! September 26, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

  • Jamie Kralik-Zellweger: I was wondering how many cupcakes this makes? Do you think it would be ok to bake in a 9×13 instead of cupcakes?
    Thanks!! =D November 3, 2014 at 8:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It makes 1 dozen, and I think I’d maybe try a 9 by 9 or 8 by 8 instead? December 8, 2014 at 9:57pm Reply

  • Karis: Are you supposed to use sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder?

    Thanks in advance November 5, 2014 at 9:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Unsweetened sorry I should have listed that. November 6, 2014 at 9:17am Reply

  • Delfina: I love the idea of cupcakes,i do not have three cake pans for a three layer cake;), but these look as impressive! May i feture your recipe on my food blog? November 24, 2014 at 11:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: If you have made it and have your own photos. thanks for asking! November 26, 2014 at 10:04am Reply

  • kayla: I loved this recipe so yummy. How can I use this recipe for a cake version? January 21, 2015 at 3:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I imagine that should work okay, I haven’t tried yet though. January 24, 2015 at 10:58pm Reply

  • Maleeha: Would these taste good without the frosting, too? I am looking for chocolate muffins and I find your recipe quite tempting. :) Please reply asap. January 26, 2015 at 4:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I prefer these with frosting but I have a chocolate muffin recipe, just type chocolate muffin in the search box on the upper right corner of this site and they’ll come up. January 26, 2015 at 1:37pm Reply

  • Minnette: Could I make mini cupcakes out of this & if so would the baking time be the same? February 6, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Mini’s should be just fine but the baking time would probably be about half. February 6, 2015 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Martha: These are great – I’ve made them twice – though the frosting comes out very thick, even with the butter & cream cheese at room temperature. I have to add and extra 1-2 T milk to get it to piping consistency. March 23, 2015 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked the recipe Martha! Thanks for your feedback! March 23, 2015 at 7:52pm Reply

  • jennifer: Yum! Does this recipe double ok? thanks June 7, 2015 at 1:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried but I believe it should just fine. July 2, 2015 at 11:43pm Reply

  • Katy: I made these last night…AMAZING. Took them to a company BBQ tonight and everyone raved! Will definitely make again. My frosting wasn’t thick, I didn’t have to use any cream. They smelled absolutely delicious…words cannot explain. Thank you for sharing. July 16, 2015 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Janvi: I can’t thank you enough for this recipe!! Hubby and I loved it, so delicious. Since I started baking at home, I don’t crave any of the cakes at bakeries. Blogs such as these are god-sent! I will be sure to subscribe July 22, 2015 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Alicia: I tried this recipe a while ago, using it for cake instead of cupcakes, and it turned out amazing! This is so delicious and everyone loved it! I think my favorite part is the coconut pecan topping, i COULD NOT stop eating it. My family and I actually loved the topping so much, i made a batch of just the topping and we ate them as little dessert balls! Once again, thank you so much for the incredible recipe! August 29, 2015 at 6:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family enjoyed the cupcakes Alicia! Thanks for your review :)! August 30, 2015 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Alex: This is one of the easiest coconut pecan toppings that I’ve found – clear directions and came together very nicely. These cupcakes were enjoyed by all at an office celebration! September 1, 2015 at 7:55pm Reply

  • Kat: how did you pipe the frosting whenever I try My tips fall And Break the bag! October 5, 2015 at 11:13pm Reply

  • Teri: These look amazing and I will be making them for Thanksgiving this year. This recipe reminds me of the one my grandmother had.
    Cannot wait to have them. November 13, 2015 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Ashley: I made these for my husband’s 30th b day he loved them I reduced the coconut mixture a bit too much 12 miss was too long oh well he still loved them!!

    Thanks!! March 9, 2016 at 6:18pm Reply

  • Stephanie Altemburger: Do I have to use salted butter for the coconut pecan topping? July 12, 2016 at 1:35pm Reply

    • Katy: I don’t think it will matter much. Delicious either way! August 5, 2016 at 7:56pm Reply

  • Sara: I made these cupcakes last year for my mom’s birthday and they were great! Have you ever made this into a cake? Do you think that doubling the recipe would work for making a 9×13 cake?
    Thanks! October 9, 2016 at 7:47pm Reply

  • Taylor: Do you know how I could turn these into a 2 layer cake? Should I double the mixture? I love them and do not want to change the recipe. October 11, 2016 at 4:41pm Reply

  • Tiffany: I made these for a birthday party and they were sooooo good!!! I test tasted one after they were finished and just thought they were good but then I refrigerated them for a couple hours and to my surprise they tasted awesome!! I love the chocolate frosting, it has an almost fudge taste and consistency after being chilled in the fridge. Will definitely be keeping this recipe!! October 12, 2016 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Tiffany! October 18, 2016 at 11:08am Reply

  • Evelyn: Omg I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious!!!! I got great reviews at work. I wish I can post a pic November 3, 2016 at 1:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it Evelyn! November 4, 2016 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Becky Giebel: Did you toast the coconut and pecans? November 16, 2016 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Berni: My husband’s favorite of all is german chocolate cake. I made this today and he said it was scrumptious. I agree. I made this just as described, no alterations. January 8, 2017 at 8:10pm Reply

  • Vivianna Helwig: Hi Jaclyn, I was wondering if I can bake the cupcakes the night before the big party and then prepare the topping and frosting the day of the party? I just want to make sure the cupcakes cool before I put the frosting on them. Or do you know about how long they need to cool? February 15, 2017 at 7:47am Reply

  • Vivianna Helwig: Hi Jaclyn, I was wondering I would be able to bake these cupcakes the night before the birthday party, I am just afraid they won’t cool off in time for me to put the frosting on. I would store them in an air tight container February 17, 2017 at 7:25am Reply

  • Cherie C: These were GREAT! And they worked at high altitude! Family LOVED them. That chocolate frosting is a keeper. October 9, 2017 at 9:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad they were enjoyed Cherie! October 10, 2017 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Of: These cupcakes were delicious, but the cake portion had issues for me. The batter spread really thin on the top of the cupcake. It didn’t mound like a cupcake should. I just crumbled the thin, spread out parts, put the crumbles on top and iced them anyway. Any clue what would make this happen? Maybe I just messed up the recipe. March 31, 2018 at 9:04am Reply

  • Maddi: These cupcakes were delicious! The frosting came out great and the cupcakes were amazing and moist. Only critique I have is I like my chocolate cake to taste strongly of chocolate so next time I might increase the cocoa powder. Best cupcakes I have made! June 2, 2018 at 8:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the feedback Maddi! June 4, 2018 at 10:44am Reply

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