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These German Chocolate Cupcakes have a light, fluffy chocolate cake, are filled with a German chocolate ganache and are topped with a generous amount of the traditional cooked coconut topping.

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

Legend has it that my Mom’s favorite cake growing up was German Chocolate Cake. The last time I was at home I snapped a photo of the recipe card for Nana’s German Chocolate Cake and decided to turn them into adorable little cupcakes for Mother’s Day!

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling
These Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a moist cinnamon cake filled with a spiced apple compote and are frosted with an easy salted caramel buttercream!
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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 EPIC.

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

The German Chocolate Ganache just took them 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; 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!

Worthy of fêting even the most outstanding of mothers!

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, but rather 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) except 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! Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling
5 from 1 ratings

German Chocolate Cupcakes

These German Chocolate Cupcakes have a light, fluffy chocolate cake, are filled with a German chocolate ganache and are topped with a generous amount of the traditional cooked coconut topping.
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes


For the Cake:

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

For the Ganache:

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


To Prepare the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 standard muffin tins with double cupcake liners.
  • 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.
  • Melt chocolate in ½ cup boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  • Sift together in a medium bowl the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time; beating well after each addition.
  • Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla; mix until incorporated.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until batter is smooth.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Let cool 5 minutes in the tins and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the frosting:

  • While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting and ganache.
  • 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!
  • 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:

  • Bring whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave.
  • Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • 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!
  • Let cool until it is easy to scoop into the cupcakes.

To assemble the cupcakes:

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


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 541IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 420
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German Chocolate Cupcakes

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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

    1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

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

  3. 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!

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

  4. 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!!!

    1. 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!