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German Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes

German chocolate is like no other.  Naturally, it’s lighter in color as opposed to regular milk chocolate such as Hershey® or Nestle®.  The best way to imagine its unique color and flavor (if the photos don’t give it justice) is somewhere between a chocolate cake and pumpkin.  It’s texture is soft and smooth with a delicate moist crumb and can be described as having a “melt in your mouth” feel.

German Chocolate Cupcakes |

If that didn’t already sound good enough for you to get in your kitchen and try your own, think of the coconut-pecan frosting to fill or top your cake.  It is to die for!  Ab-so-lute-ly delicious!  Not a coconut or pecan lover – forget that.  Forget that you may not like the flavor because not until you actually try this, will you then have a change of mind.  I can tell you first hand because personally I despise coconut but guarantee I will be making this recipe again.  And if I could have my coworker write a testimonial, she would tell you that she never liked pecans in the past and yet she loved it AND ate it all which puts a huge smile on my face.

German Chocolate Cupcakes |

So for now, German chocolate has now become the second most scrumptious dessert I’ve made and tasted after my number one choice which is vegan chocolate with caramel buttercream.  With its light flavor of chocolate, you can distinctly tell the difference between German versus milk chocolate.  Its lightly sweetened flavor will leave you feeling guilt-free having a second slice.

German Chocolate Cupcakes |

Recipe directions updated April 26th 2015.  All ingredients and measurements have remained the same. 

German Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes


    For cake directions, see NOTES below
  • 1 (4 oz.) Baker's German's sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 (7 oz.) package sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake liners into pans; set aside.
  2. Microwave chocolate and water in a large microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 1 minute, stir. Continue to microwave for another 30 seconds or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large clean bowl using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  5. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.
  6. Alternating buttermilk with the flour mixture, add in 3 separate parts to the wet ingredients, mix until just combined. Gently fold in egg whites until no white streaks remain.
  7. Pour batter into cupcake liners about 1/2 to 3/4th full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature before topping with frosting.
  9. In a large saucepan, whisk egg yolks, milk and vanilla until just combined.
  10. Add sugar and butter, cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stir constantly. Remove from heat and add coconut and nuts, mix well.
  11. Allow frosting to cool before topping or filling your cupcakes.


If baking a standard 8-inch round cake, increase bake time to a total of 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut - Pecan Frosting recipe adapted from Baker's.

Recipe source:


12 Responses to German Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes

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  1. Hi Connie! What do you mean by “alternating buttermilk with the flour mixture”? Just want to make sure I do this right! Also, what kind of chocolate sauce did you use on the top?

    • Hi Jen,
      When directions state to alternate between wet and dry ingredients (ex: buttermilk as the wet and the flour mixture as the dry) what it means is to mix together equal portions in 2 to 3 parts. So if a recipe requires 1 cup of milk and there is 2 cups of flour mixture, you can mix together half the amount of each to create 2 parts (ex: 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup of flour mixture). Gently mix together and repeat for the remaining portion. Hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please let me know.
      Happy Baking!

  2. I accidentally used baking powder instead of soda. Is this a bad thing? They still came out good they just sank.

    • Hi Crystal, good question. Using baking powder in replace of baking soda is not necessarily a bad thing but I’m almost certain this is what caused your cupcakes to sink. Reason being is that baking powder is part acidic and this recipe uses buttermilk which is also acidic (and meant to pair with the baking soda). So when there’s too much acid in the recipe, it can disrupt the gluten formation that is supposed to strengthen the cake therefore, leaving it weak which causes the cake/cupcakes to sink. Hope that make sense. Give it try again and see the difference when you use baking soda.

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