Last time there was a birthday in the family, I baked a dozen Vanilla Raspberry “Surprise” Cupcakes with Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.  They were gorgeous, festive, and pink, and held a delicious raspberry surprise that sunk to the bottom of the cupcake.  To get the full story, be sure to read the entire post.  

Fast forward a week: there was another birthday to celebrate.  Anja was turning…well, it was her birthday.  My brother, being the best boyfriend that he is, informed me that Anja is a fan of German Chocolate Cake and suggested that I bake a dozen of German Chocolate cupcakes.  He then proceeded to invite the family over to my place to celebrate Anja’s birthday with the cupcakes.  Meanwhile, I went to bake the cupcakes.

Once again, I turned to the “150 Best Cupcake Recipes” cookbook by Julie Hasson.  I used Julie’s recipes for Best Chocolate Cupcakes and Coconut Pecan Frosting as guides for my own dessert creation. (Excerpted from 150 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.)

To make the cupcakes even more flavorful, I added coffee to both the cake and the frosting.  For extra depth, I toasted coconut, and used toasted walnuts instead of pecans.  For the extra-special birthday factor, I used some of the Toasted Coconut Walnut Frosting in the middle of the cupcake – you should do the same, you’ll thank me!
German Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee and Toasted Coconut Walnut Frosting

Ingredients

For the Toasted Coconut Walnut Frosting

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 cup evaporated milk
2-4 tablespoons prepared coffee, cold
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, and chopped

For the Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, high-quality cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2-4 tablespoons prepared coffee, cold
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Garnish

sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Directions.

1.  Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
2.  Whisk in evaporated milk and coffee, continue whisking until sugar dissolves.
3.  Add butter and continue to cook the frosting, whisking constantly, until it is smooth and thick.  
4.  Remove from heat and stir in  coconut and vanilla.  Cool.  Stir in toasted walnuts, and set aside.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

6.  Whisk together sugar, oil, coffee, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

7.  Combine flour mixture with  the oil and sugar mixture, and buttermilk, alternating between dry and wet ingredients.  Do not overmix.

8.  Scoop the cupcake batter halfway up each paper liner.

9.  Scoop 1-2 teaspoons of frosting and cover up with the remaining cupcake batter.

10.  Bake cupcakes in the oven for 22-25 minutes.  Remove and cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes.  Remove cupcakes and finish cooling completely on a cooling rack.

11.  Cover each cupcake with a dollop of frosting and spread evenly over the top.

12.  Sprinkle the cupcakes with toasted coconut.

The cupcakes were a sweet delight!  I really believe that adding coffee enriched the overall flavor and highlighted the chocolate.  My father, who is not a fan of coconut, said he loved the cupcakes and wasn’t bothered by the coconut.  I bet toasting coconut was a key to getting rid of the raw flavor.

Anja was one happy birthday girl and my brother took all the credit!  Why am I not surprised? 🙂

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