I hate coconut. There. I said it. It’s not the flavor, but the texture that I despise. And what I’ve found is that there are two camps when it comes to coconut and most people have their feet planted firmly in one or the other. For me, it’s a texture thing I can’t get past, but I know plenty of people (Remington included) who LOVE coconut. Pretty sure he would take a bath in coconut if he could. So when it’s someone’s birthday or a special occassion and that someone happens to love coconut or cake with coconut like German Chocolate, I begrudgingly oblige. I might even have one or two because it’s so hard for me to pass on sweets even when they include the devil’s food – raw coconut.
Shockingly this was my first ever attempt at making German Chocolate cake (maybe see note above about despising coconut?), but dare I say they turned out so good even I enjoyed them. The coconut was only in the German Chocolate frosting and it was buried beneath layers of sugar, caramelized evaporated milk, pecans and almonds. Oh and chocolate – lots of sweet sweet chocolate.
Because I did not want a giant glob of just the German Chocolate coconut frosting on top, I opted for a swirl of chocolate buttercream with a scoop of the coconut stuff. I think this balances out the cloying sweetness of the coconut frosting really well – reminiscent of a German Chocolate cake with layers of coconut frosting and a healthy coating of chocolate buttercream on the exterior. The hint of acidic buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee in the cake plays off the coffee in the chocolate buttercream and the rich chocolate and caramelized coconut frosting on your tongue. It’s like a symphony dancing over your taste buds. Too much? All you need is a tall glass of milk to wash it down. 🙂
Adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 pkg. (4 oz.) German's Sweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups flour, divided
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 extra-large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup butter
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoon coffee (if needed)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add sugar; beat with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In a third bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour mixtures alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk and ending with the flour. Don't overmix! Fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to be sure it's mixed.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners filling about halfway. Bake in the center of the oven for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the evaporated milk, brown sugar, and egg yolks and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. If the mixture looks a bit curdled, beat it vigorously with a whisk. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut, almonds, pecans, and salt. Allow to cool for about an hour. Frost the cupcakes with a knife or small metal spatula.
Beat cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes. Add cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Let beat for 3 minutes. If it is too thick, add coffee. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar. Or if it is not dark enough, add more cocoa.
Pipe Chocolate Buttercream around the edge of the cupcakes to create a barrier, and scoop a small amount of cooled German Chocolate Frosting into the center. I used a medium sized cookie scoop.