german chocolate cupcakes

March 24, 2010

I don’t know what it is about me and baking recently. I think it’s partly my incessant sweet tooth and partly my intrigue in baking itself, after twenty-something years of basically never doing it. These days whenever I see a delicious looking recipe, be it banana bread or some ridiculous looking cookies, I have to make them. It’s getting a little out of hand…

And so it was when I saw this delectable recipe on David Lebovitz’s blog for German Chocolate Cupcakes – I couldn’t resist.

The frosting for these was a bit of a labour of love compared to the no-frills muffins and cookies that I’m used to making, but it was defo worth it in the end.

My batch didn’t turn out as perfectly as I had imagined, whilst staring longingly at Mr. Lebovitz’s – just a touch dry and not as rich as expected – but they were still fluffy, surprisingly light and full of that gorgeous coconut/pecan flavour.

German Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from David Lebovitz
(Makes 12)

For the cupcakes

  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate (such as Ghiradelli), chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 8 tablespoons (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature (I used the dried mix kind)


1. Preheat the open to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

2. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate, and stir until melted. Set aside.

3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the egg yolks and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Then mix in the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Try not eating the mixture straight from the bowl. I failed.

5. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, then add the buttermilk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until blended (if you’re using dry buttermilk, follow packet instructions on when to add liquid).

6. In a clean, dry bowl, whip the two egg whites, then fold one-third of them in to the chocolate batter, then the rest. Fold just until there is no white remaining, but don’t over do it.

7. Divide the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 25 minutes, until the batter feels just set in the center. Remove from the oven, then let cool for a few minutes.

8. Once cool enough to handle, remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and let cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

For the German chocolate frosting

  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Whisk together the evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a medium saucepan.

2. Add the butter, then cook the mixture, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula over medium heat, like a custard, until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spatula. Do not let boil. In my fear of burning, I had the heat down really low and so this process took a lot longer than I’m sure it should. Next time I would bump that heat up to the real “medium” and not my tiny flame version of it…

3. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the chocolate, stirring gently until melted. Then stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla.

4. Let the frosting cool to room temperature, then use it to ice the cupcakes. It’s optional, but I enjoyed using some of the leftover toasted coconut to garnish the frosting. Yum.

Cute as a button.

So, since I’m obsessed, sock it to me: what are your all-time favourite recipes for baking?
So far, David Lebovitz’s Banana Bread has been my favourite thing to make and eat!

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