German Chocolate Cupcakes

Published October 25, 2013. Updated March 11, 2020

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All the flavors of the classic German chocolate cake in perfect individual cupcake servings! These are incredibly delicious and perfect for birthdays and holidays. You get a soft and tender chocolate cupcake topped with an ooey gooey coconuty topping and its finished with a border of creamy chocolate frosting!

German Chocolate Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

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 Classy

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4.96 from 45 votes

German Chocolate Cupcakes

All the flavors of the classic German chocolate cake in perfect individual cupcake servings! These are incredibly delicious and perfect for birthdays and holidays. You get a soft and tender chocolate cupcake topped with an ooey gooey coconuty topping and its finished with a border of creamy chocolate frosting!
Servings: 12
Prep40 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour


One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Coconut Pecan Topping

Chocolate Frosting


  • FOR THE CUPCAKES: 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.
  • FOR THE COCONUT PECAN TOPPING: 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.
  • FOR THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING: 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.
Nutrition Facts
German Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 538 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 20g125%
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 310mg13%
Potassium 305mg9%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 564IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • Lisa

    Is it possible to make the frosting in advance and if so how many days in advance would be okay.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’ve listed it as American at the bottom of the recipe, not sure what you’re referring to?


    I have just finished baking these cupcakes for tomorrow. I’m wondering what tip you used to pipe the chocolate onto the cupcakes. I haven’t baked for a long time and I did fill the liners too much but they are salvageable.
    Thank you so much for these gorgeous desserts.

  • F

    I’ve always thought of these as an American dessert not a German one. My mom and I never heard or ate this when we grew up in Germany. First ate this in the US and was surprised that it didn’t taste like any German cake we’d ever eaten. Nevertheless it’s good though usually too sweet and salty.

    • Krystal

      “German’s Sweet Chocolate” is a special variety of a dark baking chocolate developed by Samuel German in the 1850s for the Bakers Chocolate Company. The creation of “German’s Chocolate Cake” featuring this special ingredient is attributed to Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker in Texas, whose recipe was picked up by General Foods (owners of Bakers Chocolate) and spread around the country in various newspapers, where it gained popularity, eventually losing the possessive “German’s” and becoming the familiar favorite we all now know. :)

  • Melissa Crytzer Fry

    I made these DELICIOUS cupcakes for my husband’s 50th two years ago (THANK YOU). And, ahem… now it’s my turn for 50th b-day cupcakes. But we are camping (i.e. bumpy quad ride), and I am wondering if a whole sheet cake might travel better — using your coconut frosting recipe and then piping holes into the cake with the cream-cheese frosting, and adding dollops to the top. Do you have any recommendations on how to adjust the cake recipe if I do this — ingredient qualities, how long to bake, etc. Thank you SO much.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It would probably be double the recipe for a sheet cake. Then bake times for a 13 by 9 would probably be around 35 mins as a guess. An 18 by 13 sheet pan would be less, like 20.
      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed these!

      • Melissa Fry

        Thank you! You are SO good. I can’t wait to see how this turns out :-). I’ll double and use a 13 x 9 pan! Thank you, again!

  • Pat

    Can these cupcakes be made ahead and frozen? Also, can the same recipe be made in a 9×13 cake pan? Thank you!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I think the batter amount would probably be more fitting for an 8 by 8 pan. And yes they can be made ahead and frozen, I’d just wait to add the frostings.

  • Paula

    How many cups of chocolate frosting does this recipe make? I’m looking to use this frosting for a 3 layer 8” inch round cake which I think would take about 5 cups of frosting. What are your thoughts?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I don’t know in cups but I would at least double if not triple the recipe.