German Chocolate Cupcakes

The Story:
         Last weekend, I baked 100 cupcakes at my family reunion for my father’s 60th birthday.  Along with Cookies & Cream, Blueberry Lemon and Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes, I made his all-time favorite: German Chocolate. [end-story]
German Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Cake:
1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
3 eggs
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
German Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cup flaked coconut
Chocolate Buttercream:
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk or cream (if needed)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 20-24 cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, gently combine oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
3. Sift (for easy mixing) in about 1/3 of the cake mix and stir until combined.
4. Add Buttermilk and stir until combined.
5. Add another third of the cake mix (again, sifting for easy stirring).
6. Add sour cream, then final third of cake mix.
7. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 18-22 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
8. German Chocolate Frosting: On medium heat in a sauce pan, constantly stir evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter until thickened. (Basically, until it boils and it will take approximately 15 minutes.) Stir in vanilla extract, pecans and coconut. Let cool.
9. Chocolate Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes. Add cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Let beat for 3 minutes. If it is too thick, add milk. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar. Or if it is not dark enough, add more cocoa.
10. Pipe Chocolate Buttercream around the edge of the cupcakes tocreate a barrier, and scoop a small amount of cooled German Chocolate Frosting into the center.

100 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. 1
    Jess says:

    I asbolutely love your cupcakes, I think they are always so beautifully decorated! I remember reading one of your posts about a wedding that you made cupcakes for…my good friends have asked me to do the same and while I'm completely honored, I'm so nervous about it! Any tips for me?!

    • 1.1
      Megan says:

      Plan ahead. When I made cupcakes for my best friends wedding I was able to made my decorations ahead of time.
      Also do not!!! decorate until you get there. I would have been a nervous wreck if I had been trying to transport 300 frosted cupcakes.
      Another thing, bring a helper but be very clear about what you need/want them to do. I piped all the cupcakes and she added the decorations, sprinkles and drizzle. (but not until I had showed her exactly how I wanted it).
      Over prepare, what a bummer it would be if you didn’t have enough frosting.

  2. 2
    Tina says:

    How dedicated, making 100 cupcakes for his birthday! I guess we both have the same great tastes in cupcakes-my pick would have been the german chocolate also. These look simply delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    Erin says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous!

  4. 4
    Carrie Rollins says:

    Is there any way to have a Tiramisu cup cake on the roster? 🙂

  5. 5
    Dee at Deelicious Sweets says:

    Such a pretty cupcake! My dad would go nuts over these!

  6. 6
    Sarah Catherine says:

    These look so delicious with the scoop of german chocolate frosting on top and the border of chocolate frosting. I'm so making these, thanks 🙂

  7. 7
    Digital Printing says:

    Hey my seven little kids went nuts after these. After making 8 pieces, they even want me to bake more! Especially my 4 year old son,he keeps on shouting "Hey mom I want more! Please!" I tasted it, and wow it's really yummy.!

  8. 8
    Patti says:

    Gorgeous, as usual! But the thing about your cupcakes is not only are they beautiful, they are also easy and best of all, delicious!!! You are a genius 🙂

  9. 9
    Peggy says:

    Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!! Looks like a new favorite of mine! Beautiful!

  10. 10
    Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    Those look so beautiful. The coconut part is always my favorite – it looks so good. Mmmm 😀

  11. 11
    The Procrastobaker says:

    My goodness, post me some please?? haha 🙂 These look absolutely fabulous! Your father is one lucky man and im sure was absolutely elated. These are beautiful 🙂

  12. 12
    Julia says:

    GORGEOUS!!!!! All of the flavors you baked sound wonderful, I would have a hard time choosing which one, so I'd just take one of each 😉

  13. 13
    lorene says:

    yum, yum, yum! made these over the weekend. sooooo good. german chocolate is my hubby's fav! can these be frozen? or just the cupcake frozen and frosted later? can the frosting be frozen?

    thanks and keep them coming!

  14. 14
    therealkc says:

    I'm curious. I'll be making 100 cupcakes for a teacher luncheon. Did you make in batches or mix dough in double or triple batches? Did you rotate your baking tins? Inquiring minds want to know how to pull this off. I'm thinking I will need to make the cupcakes this weekend, freeze them, then frost them the night before the event. Any thoughts on that?

  15. 15
    Lizzy Mae says:

    I always bake the day of an event, even if it's 300 for a wedding. For this event, I made double batches and I usually have 4 pans, two in the oven at a time. 100 cupcakes really is not too stressful, you will do great! Email if you have more questions!

  16. 16
    Vicki @ CurlyWillow says:

    Hi Lizzy, found your blog through Pinterest. I know the feeling of baking for large groups. I make almost 100 cupcakes for my daughter's bridal shower last spring. It's too fun and the joy of seeing everyone eating the cupcakes and smiling, is the best!

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    I just made these last night and they were a hug hit!!! I love baking all your cupcakes!! I was wondering where do you buy you cupcake liners? Mine always look greasy and lose color..

  18. 18
    Lizzy Mae says:

    I usually use white (because they are cheeper), but when I want to get fancy I will get some off, Amazon, or head out to Michaels or another decorating store. There are grease proof liners you can look for, more expensive, but they look very professional.

  19. 19
    Susan says:

    I made these for an Oktoberfest type dinner last Saturday night. They were just wonderful and got great reviews! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!

  20. 20
    Anonymous says:

    Those are so beautiful. What tip did you use for the Chocolate Buttercream? Thank you!

  21. 21
    Suburbsmama says:

    I made these and am so happy I tried this recipe. They are amazing!

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    how would you be able to make vanila frosting?i'm not that much of a sweet tooth.

  23. 23
    Lizzy Mae says:

    Just omit the cocoa powder and add a little extra powdered sugar to keep the frosting thick enough. Good luck!

  24. 24

    […] asked me what bakery I got these from (and he doesn’t like cupcakes) I found the recipe on Your Cup of Cake, there are a few things I did differently Chocolate Cake: 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix 3 eggs […]

  25. 25

    […] favorite German Chocolate Cupcakes are perfect for any chocolate lover. This recipe from Your Cup Of Cake spruces up a chocolate cake […]

  26. 26 says:

    Found this after searching for best German Chocolate cakes. My sweetheart has loved this as his birthday cake for many many years. On his 51st, he said this was THE BEST homemade German Chocolate cake he’s ever eaten–Thank You! Next time I’m going for the cupcake style since they look soooo perfect and I know the taste is beyond amazing!

  27. 27

    […] Holy smokes – I practically poured the frosting directly in my mouth!  It was phenomenal and Your Cup of Cake is to thank for the frosting.  I used my chocolate cake recipe and pair those two together and we […]

  28. 28
    Sarah says:

    Oh gosh! Thank you for posting this!
    I unwittingly started a tradition of making homemade German Chocolate cakes for people on their last days of work, but I hated watching people being so messy cutting a layer cake. I just couldn’t figure out a way to include the classic frosting, but present it in a cupcake. But this is FANTASTIC! It looks as elegant as the full sized cake!
    You’re an inspiration. I plan on using the recipe straight off the German chocolate bar, but I’ll be using that chocolate buttercream one from you!
    Thank you so much, from someone who usually sticks to cookies. 😉

  29. 29
    Amber says:

    Hello! I am actually making these beautiful creations as I type! I was wondering if you could tell me what you scooped your frosting with… I was thinking of using a cookie scooper… but I’m afraid that will be too big and I’m sure I will mess up the barrier… do you think those of us who are less professional should scoop first… then do the chocolate frosting? Hope to hear back soon… thanks!

    • 29.1
      Lizzy Mae says:

      Pipe the barrier, then use a spoon to place the coconut pecan frosting in the center. You won’t get a perfect round top, but it will keep you from making a mess. I used a mini cookie scoop.

  30. 30
    aubrey says:

    hi lizzy, i wana try to cut this recipe in half coz it makes too much cupcakes. so should i use 1/2 box of the devils food cake mix????

  31. 31
    Brandi says:

    I made these for a co worker’s birthday. They all accused me of buying them and putting them in my own container and pretending I made them. lol. They were soooo awesome. Love the chocolate frosting.

  32. 32
    Brittany K says:

    Hey! These look AMAZING! I am going to make some in a couple of weeks and was wondering what decorating tip you used to pipe the chocolate frosting on the cupcakes with. Thanks!

  33. 33
    Serene says:

    I tried these today for one of my husband’s co-worker’s birthday and they turned out awesome! So cute and very delicious!

  34. 34
    Lisa Darling says:

    Do you recall what tip you used to pipe the frosting? I would like to copy these for a German festival coming up.

  35. 35

    I made these for my Daddy for Father’s Day and they were AMAZING! I used a German Chocolate Cake mix instead and spruced it up, but the frosting was to die for.

  36. 36

    […] Your Cup of Cake Share this:PrintEmailFacebook This entry was posted in Uncategorized by hotp0837. Bookmark the […]

  37. 37
    Dustin says:

    I made these cupcakes yesterday, and I have to say these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life! The batter was like chocolate pudding lol, and the frosting was so amazing people said if I gave them a bowl of just the icing they would be happy. =D Amazing recipe! 5 Stars!

  38. 38
    Lisa Polkow says:

    I made 6 dozen of these for an office birthday party, and they were a huge hit. Before finding this recipe, I was unsure how to translate a normal German Chocolate recipe into cupcakes without covering all of my coworkers in Butter Pecan Frosting. The Chocolate Buttercream served as a delicous barrier to keep all of gooey goodness in place. This recipe is totally worth the extra work. I was told by more than one person that it was the best German Chocolate cake they had ever tasted. Thanks for sharing, I now have one more staple recipe in my cupcake repertoire!

  39. 39
    Tara P says:

    Made these today, but instead of piping buttercream frosting around the edge, I just traditionally frosted them with the German Chocolate frosting (and I had extra to boot!). They were delicious! The cupcake recipe was great because they came out of the oven looking perfectly round and tasted moist and fluffy.

  40. 40
    Randi says:

    I was wondering if I could use the German chocolate cake mix instead of the devils food?

  41. 41
    Leo says:

    Wow! They look so beautyful!!!

  42. 42
    Sarah Younker says:

    My Dad’s 65 birthday is this weekend. I asked him if he would like me to make him some German Chocolate cupcakes, he said YES. He loves German Chocolate. I can’t wait to make these for him.

  43. 43
    Tami says:

    I don’t even LIKE german chocolate cake, but I had an order for birthday cuppies and tried out several recipes that looked promising. I used a german cake mix, but otherwise stuck fafithfully to your recipe, and HOLY HECK! woman, these are amazing! Thank you for posting – these will become a new addition to my repertoire. 🙂

  44. 44
    Jane says:

    I made these for my husband’s birthday. They were beautiful, and absolutely wonderful. I’ll definitely be making these again. Thanks for sharing.

  45. 45
    Heather says:

    I have watched ur website for over a year now. Last night I finally baked my first batch of ur cupcakes. Omg! Absolutely delicious! I’m on a search for my wedding cupcakes, and I found my first winning recipe. Thank u!

  46. 46

    […] recipe, every photo, and has read every silly story I put for each one.  My father inspired my German Chocolate Cupcakes which is one of the three recipes that has really made my website […]

  47. 47
    Delia Curtis says:

    I would make the German chocolate cupcakes first. Then I wouldn’t be able to decide what to do next! I am so glad I found your website. Thanks so much!

  48. 48
    Kennedy says:

    I was just curious, i love the cupcakes, but want to make it in an actual cake version, any degree differences? cook time differences?

  49. 49
    Farhiin says:

    Is it necessary to use devil cake mix.? Can we use other chocolate cake recipe? Or else pls suggest the recipe for the devil cake mix

  50. 50
    keiana Edwards says:

    I made these for Christmas they were a big hit,I don’t like german chocolate
    But these were the best Thanks!!!!!

  51. 51
    Zahara says:

    Thanks for the recipe, will try it one day. Been looking for the German chocolate cake ‘recipe for so long, now I got it, so nice of you,

  52. 52
    Cathryn says:

    Hey Lizzie, Do you have a recipe for your Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes that you mention in the story? I couldn’t find them on here sorry!

  53. 53
    Linda says:

    You have a wonderful site and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes. All of them look simply delicious Thank you for sharing with everyone. I found you via Pinterest.

  54. 54
    Kristina says:

    Can you use the same recipe and make it into a two-layer cake? I made these last year for my mom’s birthday as cupcakes and I’m thinking this year we’ll go for a cake. She LOVED it – it tastes amazing!

  55. 55

    […] the back with the TA’s and chit-chat the whole class (and write blog posts, like the one for German chocolate cupcakes, for all of you lovely readers).  I think the Professor thinks I’m a TA at this […]

  56. 56
    Camille S. says:

    This recipe is delicious and I just pinned it to Pinterest. The batter is moist and fluffy. I loved the buttercream. And the topping is rich and delicious; I toasted the coconut and pecans as well. Thank you for this excellent recipe!

  57. 57
    Camille S. says:

    Thank you for this amazing recipe. I made them for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day and he loved them. Now I am making them for my friend’s birthday. The cake turns out so moist and fluffy. The buttercream is delicious and the topping is perfect.

  58. 58
    Shay says:

    I LOVE these cupcakes! I have made these before and want to make them again but I can’t remember what size box of devils food cake mix I used! What size does this call for?? And I am pinning to my pinterest so I can find it easily next time 🙂

  59. 59
    Maria Aguiar says:

    lizzy. You cupcake looks very good. I would love to make these cupcakes for my daughter graduation party. I have a question and Please I hope you can answer it. Can I keep the cupcakes with the chocolate buttercream frosting at the room temperature? I am always concerned of making some frosting that has cream cheese because once I red Martha Stewart saying that the cupcakes should be kept in the refrigerated. For how long can I keep them outside a fridge? Thanks and you have great talent and I loved your site. All the best. Maria.

  60. 60
    Amy says:

    I am aking these right now! Do these need to be refrigerated ? The frosting ingredients tell me yes?

  61. 61
    emma says:

    Lizzy! I was looking for some info on German chocolate frosting and came across your blog. I’m so excited that you’ve turned it into something so successful. You’re so adorable. And Sophie still talks about you when she talks about Free for All. Clay was great last summer but it just wasn’t the same without you 🙂

  62. 62
    Crissy says:

    Can I make the german chocolate frosting without the coconut? My husband loves german chocolate cske but not the coconut.

  63. 63
    Sunshine C says:

    I just made these and they are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe – it was simple and delicious. My mom (who is a fantastic cook herself) said the coconut pecan filling is probably the best she’s ever tasted. And they’re so cute! I made them for my new coworker who said German chocolate is her fave and I’m sure she will be impressed! Thanks again.

  64. 64
    Katie Kay says:

    I’ve never liked the store-bought Coconut Pecan frosting, but this homemade recipe was not only easy, but it was DELICIOUS. I had some leftover and ate it with a spoon. So fantastic, thanks for a delicious recipe! I loved it so much I made a variation and shared it on my blog, too!

  65. 65
    Tiffany Ruben says:

    I just made these and they were wonderful! They look just like yours! I just started to follow your blog and am so excited! You are amazing.

  66. 66
    Sarah says:

    Hi Lizzie! I made these a couple weeks ago with the new 15 oz boxes and got 22, do you think if I measured out a little extra to make it 18 oz I would get 24? Is that the size box you used when you originally did this recipe? Just want to be sure, I was requested to do 2 dozen for a bridal shower next weekend!

    • 66.1

      Yeah, the new box mixes give you a few less cupcakes. You can just add a little extra dry cake mix or try using a “cake mix extender” people use those recipes to get a few extra cupcakes! Google it!

  67. 67
    Brooke says:

    This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe but the last two times I have made it, it has been super light. Very delicious but it sticks to the liner instead of coming off in the normal, pretty cupcake. I think I may be mixing the batter too much. What do you think?

  68. 68
    katie says:


  69. 69
    Elinor says:

    How long can you keep the german chocolate frosting?

  70. 70
    Natalia Marcus says:

    I made these for my dads birthday and everyone LOVED them! Not only are they beautiful but they tasted wonderful! I LOVE your site and your books!! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with us!!

  71. 71
    Darlene says:

    I made these German Chocolate cupcakes for my husband’s birthday yesterday, and took them to him at work. Everyone loved them! I did make one change to them. The coconut pecan frosting tastes great as written but I decided to add some bourbon to it (maybe about 1/2 cup) and that made it over-the-top amazing! Thank you for the recipe.

  72. 72
    Anne says:

    I know this is a strange question since cake with frosting is pretty forbidden for someone with several heart disease and super-high cholesterol. I always used boxed cake mix, substituting applesauce for the oil, and notice no difference. I’m wondering if I can use low-fat buttermilk and fat free sour cream in the cake, and fat free evaporated milk in the frosting? – saves SO many fat grams for someone who won’t stop with 1 or 2 cupcakes on his 60th BD. If not, how about just lower fat rather than fat-free products? Thanks!

  73. 73

    It looks delicious. I’m going to try this recipe. I tried this recipe before from other blogs. The recipes are either dry or too sweet. Hopefully this one is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  74. 74
    Jodi says:

    Does this pecan coconut frosting thicken upon standing? Or, did I not let it thicken enough? I let it boil for a few minutes before adding the coconut & pecans.

  75. 75
    emma says:

    for the box of cake mis do you dad the ingredientes in the box as well or just the others that follow ?

  76. 76
    Malissa says:

    I made these twice, both times my frosting was still so runny in the pan it never would have stayed on top of the cupcake & I had to add cornstarch to save it. I let it boil & stirred it constantly, what am I doing wrong?? Very frustrating, I’m experienced & follow the recipe yet it isn’t turning out at all how it looks in your picture.

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