Moist, fabulous, german-chocolate-y, from-scratch cupcake goodness piled with coconut-pecan caramel perfection. These are the cupcakes you wish for with no box needed — just easy pantry ingredients!
I hate chocolate cake. I know, I know. It’s positively un-American or something. Give me a brownie and I’m tickled pink. Cake? Bleh. And I married a man who loves German chocolate cake way too much for my liking. So, I set out to make some of his favorites for him that I could also enjoy. Done. This frosting, friends. It is where it’s at. You can whip these babies up in no time flat and be eating CAKE to make your day so much better.
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Get 24 pretty, little cupcake liners all set into cupcake pans.
Now, you’re going to boil 1 1/4 cups of water and to it add 3/4 cup cocoa powder.
Whisk the cocoa into the water until it’s blended and then let it cool for around 20 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, add 2 c. sugar, 2 c. flour, 2 T. cornstarch, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt.
Now mix in 3/4 c. oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 4 eggs, one at a time.
I have been cooking and baking with only butter and coconut oil for some time now in an effort to get away from other oils. For this recipe I used coconut oil melted to liquid form, and it was perfect.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the cocoa mixture in three additions, scraping the bowl after each addition.
Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with the batter, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack while you make the only part that makes this whole thing worth it. The frosting.
To prepare for the frosting, you need to toast up some coconut and some pecans. I promise. It’s worth it.
Just put some coconut (sweetened or unsweetened — your choice — I’ve used both successfully) into a skillet and stir constantly over medium-low heat until golden and toasted. Watch it closely! It burns quickly.
Next, break 1 1/2 c. pecans or walnuts into somewhat smaller pieces into the same skillet and toast until you start to see them get some color and release their yummy fragrance.
Mix together 1 c. brown sugar, 1 T. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Melt 5 T. butter in a saucepan and stir in 3/4 c. milk, the above mentioned sugar mixture and 2 T. corn syrup.
Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring all the while, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens a bit. I was waiting for THICK frosting and kept cooking and cooking, but it never got thicker. No need. After 1-2 minutes, it’s just the way you want it. Trust me.
Because after you remove it from the heat and add in 1 tsp. vanilla, your 1 1/2 c. toasted, shredded coconut and your 1 1/2 c. toasted, chopped pecans/walnuts, it will be perfection. You shall see.
Spoon the goodness over the top of the cupcakes and let them all just relax on the counter for an hour or so until the goodness sets.
These will keep several days quite nicely in the fridge.
- 1¼ c. water
- ¾ c. Dutch-process cocoa
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 c. flour
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¾ c. oil (I love my coconut oil!)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 T. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 5 T. butter
- ¾ c. milk
- 2 T. corn syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1½ c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1½ c. pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil the water and to it, add the cocoa. Whisk the cocoa in until blended and then let it cool for 20 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix in the melted coconut oil, vanilla,and eggs (one at a time).
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the cocoa mixture in three additions, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- Fill each liner ¾ full with the batter, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a cooling rack.
- For the frosting, toast some coconut by spreading it onto a cookie sheet and bake it for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Watch it closely and stir occasionally. Remove as soon as its golden brown.
- Break pecans into smaller pieces onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or so. You should be able to smell them toasting. Let cool.
- Mix the brown sugar and cornstarch, and salt.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir the milk, the sugar mixture and corn syrup in.
- Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thickened a bit. It does not thicken fully, It is as thick as it will get within a minute or two. To the hot mixture, add vanilla, the toasted coconut, and the toasted pecans.
- Spoon the coconut/pecan gooziness over the top of the cupcakes and let them cool a bit at room temperature to set.
- Refrigerate to store.