German Chocolate Cupcakes


I blame it on a partially opened bag of shredded coconut but I’ve been on a coconut kick these past few weeks. Actually, maybe it is my love of coconut that has me using it in everything from sweet treats to savory dinner dishes. Regardless of why, I think that coconut, whether in shredded or milk form, is one of the easiest ways to add flavor, texture and moisture to whatever I make. Plus it simply tastes delicious. So what other reason do you really need?

So when I needed to make treats to share at a recent gathering I naturally found myself searching for coconut based recipes. And bite-sized cupcakes were exactly what I was looking for. I adapted this recipe from and these morsels of chocolatey-coconut goodness are sure to please your crowd as much as they pleased mine. And from a baker’s perspective, they are incredibly easy and quick to make. All in all that sounds like the perfect recipe for a winning dessert.


For the cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg

1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons water

3/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

To make the caramel:
  • Heat the cream, butter, vanilla, and salt gently, in a small pot, until the butter is melted and the salt is dissolved.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the sugar, corn syrup, and water swirling occasionally, until bubbling and amber-colored.
  • Remove both pans from the heat and whisk in the cream mixture until well combined.
  • Transfer to a heat-safe container and cool completely.
To make the cupcakes:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Combine the egg, coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a separate small bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Line a miniature cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake papers, filling until they are 3/4 full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the topping.

To assemble the cupcakes:

  • Combine the toasted coconut and the chopped pecans in a shallow rimmed dish.
  • Using a small knife or spatula, spread the top of each cupcake with the cooled caramel.
  • Sprinkle the top of each iced cupcake with the coconut-pecan mixture.

Yields 48 miniature cupcakes

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