German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

Legend has it that my Mom’s favorite cake growing up was German Chocolate Cake. Nana (you remember Nana, right?) would make it for her birthday every year! 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

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!

German Chocolate Cupcakes

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

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes with German Chocolate Ganache Filling

My Grandmother's German Chocolate Cake recipe turned into phenomenal cupcakes! 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!


    For the Cake:
  • 1 package (4 oz) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, unbeaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites
  • For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • For the Ganache:
  • 4 oz Baker’s German’s Chocolate, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


    To Prepare the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 standard muffin tins with double cupcake liners.
  2. 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.
  3. Melt chocolate in ½ cup boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  4. Sift together in a medium bowl the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time; beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla; mix until incorporated.
  7. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until batter is smooth.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. Let cool 5 minutes in the tins and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. To prepare the frosting:
  12. While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting and ganache.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. To prepare the ganache:
  16. Bring whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave.
  17. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  18. 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!
  19. Let cool until it is easy to scoop into the cupcakes.
  20. To assemble the cupcakes:
  21. Cut a hole in the center of each cupcake, not too deep because you want to preserve as much cake as possible!
  22. Fill each hole with ganache. I used a spoon but you could also put it into a piping bag to easily fill.
  23. Spread some frosting on each cupcake. It is sweet, so you don’t want to overpower the cake and ganache with too much topping!


The recipe for the cake and coconut pecan topping are my Grandmother's, and the recipe for the German Chocolate Ganache is my own creation.

Freezing: I have successfully frozen the final cupcake product, wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then packaged in groups of 6 in wax paper all delicately placed into a zip-top freezer bag. Thaw cupcakes on the counter or zap in the microwave for 20 seconds on 50% power. The frosting will remain very thick even when fully thawed but they still tasted delicious! If you are planning on freezing them, then you should definitely double up on the cupcake wrapper.

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    • AmericanCooking22 says

      LMAO! I cannot even begin to explain how phenomenal that ganache was! I’ve contemplated making some more just because but I’ve resisted for my waistline’s sake! Self-restraint, Lindsey, self-restraint!

  1. says

    What a sweet post for Mother’s Day! Must have made your mom so happy 🙂
    You have no idea how much I love these cupcakes! I’ve been wanting to make German Chocolate Cupcakes. The ganache filling makes me want to make them even more. And that frosting! I don’t think I’d reduce the amount of it at all.
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    • AmericanCooking22 says

      LOL!!! You should definitely make them and the ganache IS NOT OPTIONAL!!! 🙂 If you don’t reduce the amount of the icing then you will need to double or make 1.5 times the recipe because I didn’t actually have enough to frost all the cupcakes, almost, but not quite. Oh the ganache.

      My mom said she cried, and I thought, “Geez wait till you read the card I sent…” 🙂

  2. says

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I vote for giving in! The frosting is so yummy as long as it’s homemade. The stuff you buy is awful

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I hope you do make them for him! It’s all about the buttermilk. I don’t know how the one printed on the box doesn’t have it!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      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!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

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

    • AmericanCooking22 says

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

  3. my sister's keeper says

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

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      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!!!


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