German Chocolate Cupcakes

EDIT: This pre-posted a few days early, originally and without a photo, that we were going to take, but unfortunately… we ate all the cupcakes before taking a good picture so despite my husbands very strong objections, I am using the photo off my iPhone, I am very sorry for the bad photo, forgive me? I really wanted to post this recipe because it was just fantastic! And the proof? We ate the cupcakes before we could take a photo, that’s how good they were!

I have the honor of making the cupcakes/cakes for my good friends boyfriends birthday. She has mentioned before that he likes German Chocolate Cake, so I knew that I had to make it for his birthday cake. Being that this even was going to be in her apartment I wanted to limit the amount of cleaning up she may have to do. Rather then making a big cake that would require plates and forks I went with cupcakes, and then a small 6″ layered version for the birthday boy.

I have never made this type of cake before. It was new for me so I followed David Lebovitz recipe nearly to the word, as most of the recipes that I found all linked back to him, I knew this had to be fantastic.  It was everything I expected it to be, and everything this cake should be.  I was very happy with the results.    The recipe ended up filling two 6″ cake rounds (300g batter in each)  and 16 cupcakes.

For the cake:

  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz Sour Cream
  • 4 oz Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

For the syrup:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum

For the chocolate ganache icing:

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

The cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare your cake pan(s)  I used two 6″ rounds sprayed with baking spray and lined the bottom with parchment and 16 cupcakes.

Melt the semi sweet and unsweetened chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of cream over a double boiler.  Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.   (place in the fridge while preparing the next step and then remove stir well and it should be perfect temperature.)

Sift together the flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – set aside.  In a small bowl mix the sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla together – set aside.

In a stand mixer, mix the sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy, slowly add the egg yolks.  Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixtutre into the butter mixture, begining and ending with the flour mixture.  Once all incoproated set a side for a moment.

In another bowl add the egg whites and whisk until soft peeks begin to form, while mixing slowly add the 1/4 c of sugar until incorporated.

Stir in 1/3 of the egg white into the cake bater to lighten it.  Fold in 1/2 of the remaining egg whites into the batter.  Once incorporated add the last of the egg whites to the mixture.  Pour into the prepared pans.  Bake for 25-35 min for cake pans and 18 minutes for cupcakes.  Check your cake at 25 minutes for doneness.  Keep in longer if needed.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely before assembling.

  • While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

To make the filling

In a medium size bowl, combine the butter, coconut, peacans, and salt – set aside.

In a small sauce pan combine the heavy cream, sugar, and egg yolks, constantly mixing until a thermometer reads 170°F-175°F

Pour the hot mixture over the coconut mixture let it sit for 1 minute.  Stir the mixture to combine and insure to melt the butter.  Once the butter is melted set aside to cool to room temperature.

To make the syrup

In a saucepan heat the sugar and water until boils, reduce to a low simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, cool to room temperature.

To make the icing

In a bowl put the chopped chocolate, butter, and corn syrup and set aside.  In a small sauce pan bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate.  Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.

To assemble the cake

For cupcakes:  With a toothpick poke 8-10 holes about half way through the cakes.  Brush the top with the Rum Syrup.  Create a nest around the cupcake with the ganache.  Then finish off by spooning a bit of the coconut mixture in the center and top with a toasted pecan.

For the cake:  Brush the top of each layer with rum generously.  Spread the coconut mixture over the top of the bottom portion of the cake almost to the edge.  Place the top layer of cake on and brush the top with syrup.  Spread more of the coconut mixture over the top of the cake almost to the edge.   The ganache will be spread around the sides and pipe a decorative border around the top of the cake.  Fill the center now with more of the coconut mixture if you wish.

Recipe: Slightly Adapted from: David Lebovitz


8 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. This makes me curious as to what “German Chocolate Cake” is now – anyone care to explain… or link me to a good recipe?

    Those cupcakes… oh my God. They look so awesome – I’m so sad there’s only an cellphone pic – I need my HD foodporn!!

    • “German Chocolate Cake is decidedly the result of good-old American ingenuity. Deep, dark chocolate cake is layered with a rich filling of toasty coconut and pecans, then glazed with a slick, bittersweet chocolate icing. It’s based on a recipe using Bakers™ Chocolate, a company which was founded by Samuel German in 1852, hence the name. The first version of German’s Chocolate Cake—of which the apostrophe is part of the original name, was created in the mid 1950′s.” – David Lebovitz

      If you click the link from the bottom “adapted” you can read his post. I made a few alterations due to what I had on hand, but it’s really quite good, not overly sweet, but rich and a great combination of flavors with the pecans, chocolate, coconut.

      • Aaaah…. so it’s not literally “German”, as in “Germany”? Haha 😀 Sounds like my kind of cake whichever country it originates from though. Coconut and chocolate… omnomnom!

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. I need to learn more on this subject. Thanks for writing this nice post.. Anyway, I’m gonna subscribe to your rss feed and I hope you post again soon.

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