These gluten free german chocolate cupcakes are decadent and soft. The moist chocolate cupcake base, against the creamy chocolate ganache and the crunchy coconut-pecan frosting, is irresistible and will make your guests ask for more!
Cupcakes are great for parties, game nights, and general get-togethers. I find them convenient, as guests can effortlessly grab a piece.
You would think that this german chocolate cupcake originated from Germany, but it didn't! It originated from the U.S and was given the name "German" because the recipe requires dark baking chocolate, which was formulated by an English-American chocolate maker named Samuel German. The person who invented this recipe was Mrs.George Clay in 1957.
So I guess we all owe her a BIG Thank you for this decadent chocolate cake!
Originally, this should be a layered cake, but we are making it into a cupcake.
The chocolate cupcake base is the same one I used in my chocolate peppermint cupcake recipe for Christmas. So if you have time, check it out!
German Chocolate Cupcakes Key Ingredients
These few ingredients mentioned below are vital to achieving soft german chocolate cupcakes:
- White Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Corn Starch, Brown Rice Flour & Xanthan Gum: This is the gluten-free flour mix used to make the chocolate cupcakes.
- Vegetable Oil: The vegetable oil makes the chocolate cupcakes moist and soft.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk hydrates the gluten-free flour and makes the cupcakes tender.
- Shredded Coconut: The coconut-pecan frosting requires shredded coconut. You can use sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Evaporated Milk: The evaporated milk is used to make the coconut-pecan frosting. It helps it thicken and makes the caramel taste so much better! Remember though, evaporated milk is not the same as condesed milk. Condensed milk won't work in this case and will make the frosting too sweet.
The trickiest part of this recipe is making the chocolate cupcake and the coconut-pecan frosting, so I will focus on those. The chocolate ganache is easy to make but if you have issues, leave me a comment below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
Chocolate Cupcake Base
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
- Melt the Chocolate: Break the chocolate in pieces with your hand and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate in 20 second intervals stirring after each until no lumps remain. The chocolate needs to slightly cool before adding it to the batter so that it doesn't cook the eggs.
- Add & Combine the Dry Ingredients: In a bowl, add and sift the gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Sifting the ingredients is important if you want a soft and moist gluten free cupcake.
- Prepare the Wet Ingredients & Make The Cupcake Batter: In a seperate bowl, add and combine the brown sugar, white sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk and melted chocolate. Then, pour the dry ingredients and mix until the cupcake batter is formed.
- Bake the cupcakes: Align a cupcake tin with cupcake liner and fill each cup ⅔ full. Do not fill the cups all the way to the top or the cupcakes will overflow in the oven.
- Prepare the Toasted Pecans: To chop the pecans, place them in a plastic bag. Then using a rolling pin crush them into little pieces. The pieces don't have to be uniform.
- Make the Caramel Sauce: In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium-low heat, add and combine the egg yolks, evaporated milk, sugars, butter, and vanilla extract. Cook the mixture until it simmers, 3-4 minutes, ocassionaly stirring.
- Finalize the frosting: Then, add the shredded coconut and pecans and stir. Set the mixture aside to cool down to room temperature before using.
- Buttermilk - use 170 ml of almond milk or coconut milk and add to it one tablespoon of white vinegar. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes until it thickens before use.
- Heavy Cream- use canned full-fat coconut milk.
- Evaporated Milk- use canned full-fat coconut milk.
- Unsalted Butter- use vegan butter or vegetable shortening.
- Pecans: If you can't use Pecans then walnuts will work. I usually use walnuts as pecans are difficult to source where I am.
- Gluten-Free Flour Mix: If you don't want to use the mix mentioned in this recipe then you can use Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain White Flour.
FAQ about Gluten Free German Chocolate Cupcakes
Yes, you can, but you will have to double the recipe. The doubled recipe will fit two 9-inch round cake pans. Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean of crumbs.
The coconut-pecan frosting will thicken as it cools down. Let it chill in the fridge for up to one hour to speed up the cooling process. If it is still not thick enough after the chilling period, add more shredded coconut until you achieve the desired consistency.
If the cupcake batter is too thick, it means that you overmixed the batter. Add water or milk until you achieve a pourable consistency that is not too runny.
Place the pecans on a baking tray aligned with parchment paper, and toast them in the oven at 180°C for 7-10 minutes. Toss the pecans halfway through the baking time to prevent them from burning.
Gluten Free German Chocolate Cupcakes
- 50 grams of 70% Dark Chocolate
- 50 grams of White Rice Flour
- 20 grams of Tapioca Flour
- 10 grams of Corn Starch
- 20 grams of Brown Rice Flour
- 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
- ½ teaspoon of Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon of Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon of Salt
- 25 grams of Cocoa Powder
- 40 grams of Brown Sugar
- 90 grams of Granulated White Sugar
- 70 ml of Vegetable Oil
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 170 ml of Buttermilk at room temperature
- 100 ml of Heavy Cream
- 200 grams of 70% Dark Chocolate (cut into pieces)
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 170 grams of Evaporated Milk
- 80 grams of Granulated White Sugar
- 100 grams of Brown Sugar
- 80 grams of Unsalted Butter
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 120 grams of Shredded Coconut
- 130 grams of Toasted Chopped Pecans
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 20-second intervals stirring after each until no lumps remain. Set the chocolate aside to cool slightly while preparing the other ingredients.
- Combine the white rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
- In a separate bowl, add and combine the brown sugar, granulated white sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk, and melted chocolate. Then add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Align a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and fill each liner ⅔ full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
- Microwave the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl until it simmers (2-3 minutes). Then add the dark chocolate pieces and let them sit in the warm heavy cream for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, stir the chocolate ganache in clockwise motion until all the chocolate is melted and the texture is smooth.
- Let the chocolate ganache cool down to room temperature before piping it.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium-low heat, add the egg yolks, evaporated milk, granulated white sugar, brown sugar, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and combine. Allow the mixture to simmer, occasionally stirring, until it slightly thickens (3-4 minutes).
- Remove the caramel mixture from heat and add the toasted chopped pecans and shredded coconut. Using a spatula, combine the ingredients. Allow the coconut-pecan frosting to reach room temperature before applying it to the cupcakes.
Assembling The Cupcakes
- Transfer the chocolate ganache to a piping bag and pipe a border around the outer edges of the cupcake.
- Then using a tablespoon, scoop a dollop of coconut-pecan frosting and add it to the middle of the cupcake. Then add a piece of pecan to the top of the blob.
- Storage & Freezing: unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Frosted cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 7 days.
- Dairy-Free Option: for substitutions, please see the substitution section in the post above.