My Best Cupcake Mistake

I wasn’t planning on posting these. The cupcake batter looked too runny, the coconut frosting too lumpy, and I didn’t even sample either before presenting them to my dad as a birthday gift. (Happy belated birthday, Daddy!) But when both my mom and dad wrote me that the treats were “awesome,” “beyond excellent,” and that they were eagerly awaiting my blog post, I saw down at the computer to write.  


Despite claiming last month that all males on Dad’s side request lemon-lemon birthday cakes, I may have stretched that truth a tiny bit. When Dad first discovered that flavor as a little kid, it quickly became his favorite. Year after year, he’d stick in the candles and blow them out in a light and lovely citrus cake.


Around high school—give or take a few years—he dug a fork into a slice of German chocolate cake for the first time. The rich chocolate cake, sweet coconut, and buttery pecans largely contrasted with his childhood favorite. But who said he had to choose?


Since I baked him a lemon-lemon cake for at least the past 3 years, this birthday cried out for a change. Enter these “German-ish” chocolate cupcakes. The cake contains no German’s chocolate, the frosting is practically caramelized, but according to my parents, it made for an irresistible twist on the classic cake.



German-ish Chocolate Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

The frosting is more caramelized than typical coconut-pecan frosting found in the grocery store, but it adds a deep richness to the supremely moist chocolate cake.

chocolate cupcakes

(from CL’s double-caramel turtle cake)

½ tbsp flour

¾ c. boiling water

¼ c. + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

¾ c. sugar

3 tbsp butter, softened

½ tsp vanilla

1 egg

½ c. + ⅓ c. flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

⅛ tsp salt


coconut-pecan frosting

(based on an eggless frosting recipe)

⅔ c. sweetened shredded coconut

½ c. diced pecans

⅓ c. sugar

2 tbsp butter

¼ c. milk

½ tsp vanilla


  1. To prepare cake, preheat oven to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners, and set aside.
  2. Whisk boiling water and cooca powder in a medium bowl, and let cool completely.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Mix in vanilla and egg.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. Evenly distribute batter between the prepared muffin cups, and bake for 24-27 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 min, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To prepare frosting, add all of the ingredients to a medium pan, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Continue cooking and stirring for 8-10 min, or until sugar begins to caramelize and turn a deep golden brown.
  7. Scoop a spoonful of hot frosting on top of each cupcake, using a second spoon to smooth it out. Do NOT use your fingers. The frosting is extremely hot and your fingers will blister! Allow frosting to cool and set for at least 5-10 min (or all the way to room temperature) before serving to avoid burning the roof of your mouth.




September 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Baked Bliss.


  1. Cyndi replied:

    Yay! Thank you! Finally. Guess what I’m bringing to work next week? I only wish my mistakes turned out so well…

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Hmm, I have no idea… What are you bringing to work? I’m sure anything you made will turn out wonderfully!

  2. Angela Lesher replied:

    Thank you! I had been looking everywhere for an eggless coconut pecan frosting mix for my husband’s birthday cake!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      You’re welcome! Even though it has such a negative stigma, adding “vegan” to your search for recipes will actually turn up some really delicious eggless alternatives. I hope your frosting turns out well!

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