Ina’s German Chocolate Cupcakes

Texas has a plethora of German towns and heritage – but it was still a huge surprise for me to discover that German Chocolate Cake originated in, not Germany, but Dallas, Texas. The specific chocolate, German Chocolate, originated in Germany, but the dessert we know and love today was first submitted by a Texas homemaker to the Dallas Morning News in 1957.

German Chocolate cake is NOT a work from home friendly recipe. It requires dedication and quite a few steps. However, it is a weekend baker’s adventure and will be sure to wow your friends and family as a special dessert treat.

I use Ina Garten’s recipe for German Chocolate Cupcakes when I get a craving for German Chocolate Cake. I love the deep, rich chocolate flavor of this cake and the over-the-top nutty coconut frosting. Be sure to let the frosting cool completely (about 1 hour) before blobbing it on to your cooled cupcakes. It’ll help not only melt the chocolate, but the cooler it becomes, the stickier it is on your cupcakes.

A few notes on my ingredients. I used a cocoa powder from one of my favorite chocolate stores, The Chocolaterie Stam. I LOVE their European chocolates and can’t wait to stock up on them with the holidays approaching. For the coffee, I used my newest favorite coffee, Homebody, by Couples Coffee. (Hi, BB Fans!)

Ina’s German Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe by The Work From Home ChefDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time


Cooling time


Total Time

2 hours, 10 minutes

This recipe makes about 14-15 good-sized cupcakes. These are great for a special treat to with family or to share with friends.


  • German Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee, cooled and at room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup sweetened cocoa powder (I used Chocolaterie Stam)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Coconut Frosting
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed

  • 4 extra-large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

  • 1 cup sliced, blanched almonds, toasted

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • German Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with 14 or 15 liners.
  • Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
  • Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time. Next, add the vanilla and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. Set aside.
  • In a third bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Don’t overmix! Fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to be sure it is mixed.
  • Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake in the center of the oven of 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and cool completely before frosting.
  • Coconut Frosting
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.
  • Whisk in the evaporated milk, brown sugar, and egg yolks and bring to a simmer over, still over medium heat.
  • Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes. The mixture should thicken slightly. If the mixture looks a bit curdled, beat vigorously with a whisk.
  • Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut, almonds, pecans, and salt.
  • Allow the frosting to cool for one hour and then frost the cooled cupcakes with a spatula or knife.


  • Although this recipe isn’t easily made up during the week, it can be made ahead about a week in advance. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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