Sshhhhhhh ... don't tell my husband ... I think I have a new love.
Well, it's just a chocolate love, so maybe he'll be fine with it.
When a friend of mine made German Chocolate Cupcakes for a Cupcake Bar our teacher-team hosted a couple of weeks back, I immediately fell in love. I love, love, love German chocolate cake ... especially the ooey-gooey coconutty topping ... but I never thought of making it in cupcake form. Why not? What is wrong with me?? I'm happy to say that this lapse in thinking has been corrected.
To make these, my friend first just bakes up chocolate cupcakes. You can use any ol' chocolate cupcake recipe you'd like, or whip 'em up from a cake mix. Whatever fits your fancy. I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, which I've included below.
Then she tops the chocolate cupcakes with that ever-classic German chocolate cake coconut topping. But wait!!!! Before that, she frosts the cupcakes with chocolate frosting! So, you get a delicious mixture of chocolate cake, creamy chocolate frosting, and ooey-gooey coconut topping in each bite. G-E-N-I-U-S!!! Oh. My. Gosh. It's soooooo good.
Here again, you can use any chocolate frosting so if you've got a favorite, go with it. I don't have a favorite ... I'm still on the search. For the coconut topping, you can buy that pre-made. Personally, I think it tastes soooo much better to make it homemade ... and it's pretty easy. So, if you've never made it homemade, I strongly encourage you to give it a whirl. I used my Mom's recipe, which I've included below.
Now, I even went so far as to sprinkle some chocolate sprinkles between the chocolate frosting and coconut topping layers. Ya know, just because I could. Don't you think they look cute peaking out from under the gooey topping?
Hmmmmm. So, to tell or not to tell my husband about my new love? That is the question.
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German Chocolate Cupcakes
Source: Chocolate cupcakes adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook; Coconut topping from my Mom
Chocolate Cupcakes:3/4 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour
3 T. cocoa powder
A scant 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 T. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. whole milk (I also tried it with 2% milk, and it worked fine)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
3 egg yolks
1 c. evaporated milk
8 T. (1 stick) butter
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 c. chopped pecans
Pecan halves for tops of cupcakes (optional)
Prepare the Chocolate Cupcakes:
1. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in mixing bowl. Beat on slow speed until everything is combined and you have a crumb mixture with a sandy consistency.
2. Whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Slowly pour about the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Beat on low speed to combine. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for just a few seconds to remove any lumps.
3. With the mixer back on low speed, pour in the remaining milk mixture. Beat until all ingredients are just incorporated. Beat for about another 30 seconds to one minute until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Spoon batter into muffin pan cups lined with paper cupcake liners, filling cups 1/2 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly in the pan before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
5. Frost with chocolate frosting and, if using, sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
Prepare the Coconut Topping:
6. Combine all coconut topping ingredients, EXCEPT pecans, in a medium saucepan.
7. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped nuts. Let cool to lukewarm.
8. Top each frosted cupcake with a bit of coconut topping. Place a pecan half on top (optional).
(NOTE: This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. And it really does make 12! Fill your cups only 1/2 full, as this batter rises quite a bit. When I divided the batter between only 10 muffin cups, I had several that rose over the sides of the cups way too much. If you're like me, you'll feel like there's not enough batter to stretch to 12 cupcakes ... but there really is. Also, I know the mixing method seems a bit unconventional ... but trust me, it really works and creates a wonderful cupcake! I talk about the mixing method in my The BEST Vanilla Cupcakes post.)