German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

Legend has it that my Mom’s favorite cake growing up was German Chocolate Cake. Nana (you remember Nana, right?) would make it specifically for her birthday every year! The last time I was at home I snapped a photo of the recipe card for Nana’s German Chocolate Cake. I then decided to turn them into adorable little cupcakes for Mother’s Day!

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

I was prepared for a tasty cake, but I was not prepared for one of the best chocolate cupcakes that I have ever had! These were indeed EPIC.

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

The German Chocolate Ganache just took them significantly over the edge of bliss! I actually ate so much of the ganache (on a spoon) that I almost didn’t have enough to fill all the cupcakes! For shame!

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

The cake is perfectly moist and light; in detail, the ganache filling is not too sweet, and the pecan, coconut topping is sweet, creamy and flavorful! Not to mention, all the flavors perfectly blend into one sensational German chocolate cupcake!

Worthy of fêting on this occasion even the most outstanding of mothers!

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Indulge me in a small simile. These cupcakes are like my mother: beautiful and sweet on the outside but with even more to discover on the inside!

I feel compelled to tell you that German Chocolate is not actually chocolate from Germany. Point often overlooked, it’s actually the semisweet, dark chocolate creation of an American named Sam German! He developed the chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate Company, which was used by a Texan to create the original recipe for German Chocolate Cake in 1957.

Nana’s recipe is nearly identical to the original (on the box of Baker’s chocolate), in contrast, hers calls for cake flour and she adds buttermilk. I have a feeling that this buttermilk is the secret to a tender, moist German Chocolate Cupcake, because every other one I have ever tried has been tragically dry.

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

I have only one recommendation other than to make these tomorrow: if you aren’t going to photograph your cupcakes, I would use half the amount of topping you see pictured. It was really too much, but I wanted them to be pretty!

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

And let’s be honest, a mound of frosting is just so more beautiful than a shmear.

So these German Chocolate Cupcakes are for you, Mom! What’s more, Happy Mother’s Day!!!

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the other lovely mothers out there {including you Nana!}!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • Author: Lindsey’s Grandma & Lindsey
  • Yield: 24 Cupcakes 1x


My Grandmother’s German Chocolate Cake recipe turned into phenomenal cupcakes! The cake is perfectly moist and light; the ganache filling is not too sweet, and the pecan, coconut topping is sweet, creamy and flavorful! All the flavors perfectly blend into one sensational German chocolate cupcake!



For the Cake:

  • 1 package (4 oz) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the Ganache:

  • 4 oz Baker’s German’s Chocolate, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


To Prepare the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 standard muffin tins with double cupcake liners.
  2. Separate your egg yolks from your egg whites. It is easiest to separate them when they are cold, but egg whites beat up better when they are room temperature, so I like to separate them immediately and then let them sit out to warm up.
  3. Melt chocolate in ½ cup boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  4. Sift together in a medium bowl the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time; beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla; mix until incorporated.
  7. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until batter is smooth.
  8. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into batter just until incorporated. Scoop into prepared muffin tins. Each cup should be about ¾ full.
  9. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few clinging crumbs; 20-30 minutes. I would start checking about 15 because you do not want to overbake them!
  10. Let cool 5 minutes in the tins and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the frosting:

  1. While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting and ganache.
  2. Combine evaporated milk, sugar, yolks, butter and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 12 minutes. Stir continuously!
  3. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl and then stir in the pecans and coconut. Beat until frosting is cool and thick enough to spread. Makes about 2 2/3 cups.

To prepare the ganache:

  1. Bring whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave.
  2. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the butter and continue to whisk until smooth and glossy. You don’t want to whisk too much or too vigorously because it will actually whip air into the ganache and we want a nice, thick filling!
  4. Let cool until it is easy to scoop into the cupcakes.

To assemble the cupcakes:

  1. Cut a hole in the center of each cupcake, not too deep because you want to preserve as much cake as possible!
  2. Fill each hole with ganache. I used a spoon but you could also put it into a piping bag to easily fill.
  3. Spread some frosting on each cupcake. It is sweet, so you don’t want to overpower the cake and ganache with too much topping!


The recipe for the cake and coconut pecan topping are my Grandmother’s, and the recipe for the German Chocolate Ganache is my own creation.

Freezing: I have successfully frozen the final cupcake product, wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then packaged in groups of 6 in wax paper all delicately placed into a zip-top freezer bag. Thaw cupcakes on the counter or zap in the microwave for 20 seconds on 50% power. The frosting will remain very thick even when fully thawed but they still tasted delicious! If you are planning on freezing them, then you should definitely double up on the cupcake wrapper.









You may also like:

Copycat Sprinkles Triple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Copycat Sprinkles Triple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Copycat Sprinkles Vanilla Cupcakes

Sprinkles Copycat Vanilla Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Stuffed Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes!

Peanut Butter Stuffed Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Easter Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream and Salted Caramel Filling


  • How to Philosophize with Cake
    May 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Oh my gosh those look amazing! Wish I had one right here. 🙂 Loving that rich chocolate filling.

    • Lindsey
      May 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you! Oh the ganache! It was my favorite ganache ever!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    May 11, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    HOW SWEET-that is a brilliant idea! Taking one of your mom’s fave recipes and turning them into cupcakes for her, ridiculously adorable: and that german chocolate ganache? OH YESSS GIRRRRRL

    • Lindsey
      May 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      LMAO! I cannot even begin to explain how phenomenal that ganache was! I’ve contemplated making some more just because but I’ve resisted for my waistline’s sake! Self-restraint, Lindsey, self-restraint!

  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen
    May 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    What a sweet post for Mother’s Day! Must have made your mom so happy 🙂
    You have no idea how much I love these cupcakes! I’ve been wanting to make German Chocolate Cupcakes. The ganache filling makes me want to make them even more. And that frosting! I don’t think I’d reduce the amount of it at all.

    • Lindsey
      May 11, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      LOL!!! You should definitely make them and the ganache IS NOT OPTIONAL!!! 🙂 If you don’t reduce the amount of the icing then you will need to double or make 1.5 times the recipe because I didn’t actually have enough to frost all the cupcakes, almost, but not quite. Oh the ganache.

      My mom said she cried, and I thought, “Geez wait till you read the card I sent…” 🙂

  • Monet
    May 11, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    This was too sweet. What a great idea to celebrate your mama. And these cupcakes look just too good. Wish I had one!

    • Lindsey
      May 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Thanks, Monet! They are crazy good!

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure
    May 12, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Oh my, now that is an amazing cupcake, love how they look on the inside and the coconut frosting is one of my favorite. Hopefully I will be able to try this recipe as soon as I have the chance.

    • Lindsey
      May 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Thanks, Ella! I hope you do try it! Nothing beats homemade german chocolate cake!

  • Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    May 12, 2014 at 9:47 am

    How sweet that this is your Grandmother’s recipe and you shared it on Mother’s Day. I bet it is the buttermilk that made all the difference, and how good does that ganache center look?!

    • Lindsey
      May 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Thanks, Kristine! The cake was so moist even after thawed from frozen!

    May 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

    German chocolate cake has always been one of my favorite cakes, if not my favorite. There’s just something about that pecan frosting that I just can’t stop eating. I guess I have no other choice but to make these. 🙂

    • Lindsey
      May 12, 2014 at 9:58 am

      I vote for giving in! The frosting is so yummy as long as it’s homemade. The stuff you buy is awful

  • Phillip
    May 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Michael’s favorite cake is German Chocolate so I will have to try these. I use buttermilk in the cake too.

    • Lindsey
      May 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

      I hope you do make them for him! It’s all about the buttermilk. I don’t know how the one printed on the box doesn’t have it!

  • Liz
    May 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    These look amazing!!! I may have to make a half batch for me with the coconut topping, and the rest with chocolate frosting for the crazy family that doesn’t appreciate GC cake. Pinned!!!

    • Lindsey
      May 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for the pin, Liz! I can’t believe the rest of your family doesn’t like GC frosting?! Homemade is soooo much better, so maybe they can be saved yet! I hope you do try it out even if only for yourself! You could always pipe the ganache thickened up for the frosting on the others…it was that good!

  • dina
    May 13, 2014 at 9:49 am

    what a great idea to reimagine your grandma’s recipe. they look delish!

    • Lindsey
      May 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Dina! They were so delicious!

  • Annie @Maebells
    May 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Oh I love this! My grandmother had a legendary German Chocolate Cake too, we lovely dubbed it the “Shirley Special.” Love this version, beautiful photos!

    • Lindsey
      May 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Oooo! I’d love to try your grandmother’s version! Any dessert special named after someone must be delicious!

  • Miss Kim @ behgopa
    May 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Oh what a wonderful and thoughtful daughter you are! Love the simile you made of the cupcakes with your mom. Brilliant! I like your nana stories. Maybe since there are no more wedding fairy stories (who we miss), we can hear more about your nana stories?! They sound precious.

    • Lindsey
      May 16, 2014 at 9:13 am

      I do miss the Wedding Fairy! I will have to share more Nana stories! These cupcakes were so delicious!

  • my sister's keeper
    May 26, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I made these tonight for my friend’s 50th birthday. They are amazing. The frosting is the best thing I have ever tasted!

    • Lindsey
      May 27, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I am so glad to hear that you liked them as much as we did! I kept “taste=testing” the frosting as I frosted my cupcakes and I almost didn’t have enough!!!

  • […] German Chocolate Cupcakes […]

  • Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes
    July 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    […] German Chocolate Cupcakes […]

  • […] German Chocolate Cupcakes […]

  • […] German Chocolate Cupcakes […]

  • […] quite a few of you shouting “me!” at the computer screen right now. If so, then these German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling by American Heritage Cooking are for […]

  • 20 Fabulous Cupcake Recipes - Cupcake Diaries
    October 16, 2014 at 2:25 am

    […] German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling from American Heritage Cooking […]

  • […] German Chocolate Cupcakes […]


Leave a Reply

Recipe rating

Send this to a friend