German Chocolate Cupcakes

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who loved and shared my Teemo cake! I’ve had over 10,000 views since then!!! I’m so glad you all liked it, and I’ll try to design more nerdy cakes and desserts soon. Until then, here are the cupcakes I made to accompany us to a football tailgate during The Mr.’s birthday weekend. Although Teemo is cute and delicious, I can get more flavor into cupcakes and they are much easier to serve at an informal gathering.

The Mr specifically requested German Chocolate cupcakes, so I found a recipe from the legendary David Lebovitz to guide me. The ganache filling and the coconut pecan frosting are incredibly rich and delicious, but the cake disappointed me. I’m a fairly experienced baker, but the cake was a bit dry. To have enough cupcakes for the party, I’m ready to admit that I broke out a box of devil’s food cake mix, and a little sad to admit that it tasted better than the scratch cake.

Lesson of the day: cake mix is magic, and a $1 box that can be mixed in one bowl was better than the cake that took four bowls and required me to buy a $10 box of unsweetened chocolate. Live and learn, and always have cake mix in case of baking emergencies!

Now, don’t even think about buying a can of coconut pecan frosting. Don’t do it. This frosting (it’s actually used as filling in the cake, but it’s the unique part of German Chocolate cake, so I used it as frosting here) is the most delicious thing I have ever put on top of a cupcake. It’s loaded with toasted pecans and toasted coconut and held together by a simple custard base. You need a candy thermometer for this, but I bought a basic one at the drugstore for about $3, they’re not as scary as they look. If you’re planning on making these, please make the filling and the frosting the day before you want to serve the cupcakes, because I found that they needed to chill in the fridge overnight to set properly.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces butter, cut into small pieces (by weight, or about a stick and a half)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

Put the toasted coconut, toasted pecans and butter in a big mixing bowl. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, sugar and egg yolks. Heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the spoon (or reaches 170F). Pour the custard over the coconut and pecan mixture, and stir until the butter is melted. Refrigerate overnight, the frosting will thicken.

Ganache Filling

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a mixing bowl. Bring the cream to just under a boil, then pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate overnight, it will thicken.


As a final note, I want to share that The Mr’s birthday is September 11th.  10 years ago this date took on a new and somber meaning for everyone. It’s difficult to share your birthday with a day of mourning, and he’s often felt guilty to celebrate his day because of this. I am in no way suggesting that anyone forget that day, or the sacrifice of servicemen and women across the country. I do believe that part of surviving that horrible crime, is to live your life and not be crippled by fear or shame. Never forget, but also continue to live. For our family, part of living includes celebrations. As we have learned, life is short, so celebrate the milestones of your own loved ones, no matter the history of the day they occur on. It is important to honor the past, but we must also live in the present, and take all the joy each day can bring.


  1. These are profound words, Miss Jillian. Thank you for sharing them with us. Septemberber 11th has always been and will always be one of the most special days of my life because that is the day that God gave me Nathan.

  2. midwestdispatch says:

    this recipe looks awesome and I’d like to try it next wknd but I’m confused abt the ganache. so bake the cupcakes, make the frosting, refrigerate.. but is the ganache piped into the center? how does that fit into the process?? Thanks.

    • Hi midwestdispatch!
      You’re right, there are 3 things to make here: cupcake, ganache, and coconut pecan frosting. You’ll want to refrigerate the ganache for a little while so it firms up enough to pipe into the center of the cupcake. Just use a medium sized plain round piping tip and press it right into the middle of the cupcake and pipe in some chocolate!
      I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s