Hi friends! Today I’m taking a break from serious science-based content to share a fun recipe: vegan German chocolate cake cupcakes. Or, more realistically, my interpretation of German chocolate cake in cupcake form.
A brief background to how this recipe came to be: when I was little, I loved to bake. I would try to recreate things that were familiar to me, or try to put my own spin on a classic treat.
When I first set out to make German chocolate cake (I was probably in middle school at that point), I decided to just make what I had remembered German chocolate cake to be: moist chocolate cake with a coconut pecan frosting.
So, I just made chocolate cake, and added shredded coconut and chopped pecans to a classic buttercream. I also added almond extract to the frosting instead, because I’ve always loved the way almond extract tastes in desserts.
Several years later, once it became more of the norm to google for recipes, I remember coming across a German chocolate cake recipe and realizing that my interpretation was very different: I didn’t add German chocolate to the cake batter, and the true German chocolate icing is not buttercream at all; rather, it is a cooked frosting.
So, my version of vegan German chocolate cake is indeed a different cake creation. That said, I can say with confidence that this version is delicious as long as you aren’t expecting classic German chocolate cake. Perhaps I should call it something else, but in the meantime, consider this my vegan German chocolate cake – inspired recipe. Enjoy!
Vegan German Chocolate Cake Cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 9 cupcakes or 1 layer cake; double if making a 2 layered cake
Ingredients – Cake:
- ⅓ cup neutral oil (canola, avocado, etc)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated or cane sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Ingredients – Frosting:
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened (I like Earth Balance baking sticks for frosting)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond milk
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (if needed)
- ¾ cup shredded coconut (I use unsweetened, but you can use sweetened if desired)
- ¾ cup pecans, finely chopped (to a pebble-like texture)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, combine non-dairy milk and vinegar and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine oil and sugars and whisk until well-combined.
- Fold in half of dry ingredients, add half of non-dairy milk, then repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Pour ~1/3 cup batter into lined cupcake pan and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cupcakes have risen and spring back to the touch, and/or a toothpick inserted in their center comes out clean upon insertion and removal.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- While cupcakes are baking and/or cooling, prepare frosting: place softened vegan butter into a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add almond extract and 1 cup powdered sugar and begin to beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes), stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down the sides occasionally, until all powdered sugar is incorporated and frosting mixture is light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick, add some non-dairy milk, ½ tablespoon at a time, until desired texture is achieved. Frosting should be fairy thick, but still malleable.
- Chop pecans to small pieces (they should be about the texture of pebbles).
- Add shredded coconut and chopped pecans to the frosting mixture. Fold in with a spatula (not the electric mixture) until evenly incorporated.
- Once cupcakes are cooled, top generously with frosting. Enjoy. Store extra cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days, preferably in the refrigerator.
If you liked “Vegan German Chocolate Cake Cupcakes” you may also like:
- Vegan Cosmic Brownies
- Vegan Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Salted Caramel Date Truffles