Isn’t it funny how we only eat certain foods once a year?  Often times they are some of our favorite things, but we save them for special occasions or associate them with certain traditions and so we only eat them once a year.  That’s how it goes for me with German chocolate cake.  My mom made me the same German chocolate cake every single year for my birthday and now my husband has carried on the tradition.  As much as I adore the cake, I NEVER make it any other time of year!  When I saw a recipe for a chocolate coconut cake, I couldn’t wait to turn the recipe into these Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes!

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The flavors of these Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes will remind you of German chocolate cake but the frosting is thick and chocolatey rather than the caramel flavor of traditional German chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Even though this recipe uses traditional cocoa powder, the cupcakes themselves are super dark brown, almost black which usually happens when you use Dutch-processed cocoa powder.  I left a few of the cupcakes unfrosted and just the cake alone is one of the moistest, most flavorful chocolate cakes I have tasted.  A common technique for getting that rich chocolate flavor is to add coffee to your chocolate baked goods and these recipe gives you a double dose of that technique with coffee added to the cake and the frosting.   You may detect a slight coffee undertone, but mostly, as I mentioned, the coffee just enhances the flavor of the cocoa.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

If you are a fan of coffee-infused desserts, I have a few other recipes in my repertoire that will be worth your time to check out!

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Vanilla Latte Cookies

Vanilla Latte Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Chocolate Coconut Cupcake Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes

Yield: 20 cupcakes

Ultra-moist chocolate cupcakes topped with thick chocolate coconut frosting


    For the cupcakes:!
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm brewed coffee
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the frosting:!
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup warm brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla


    For the cupcakes:!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla and mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Fill each cavity of the muffin pans 2/3 full of batter.
  5. Bake ~18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting:!
  8. Combine powdered sugar, cocoa and coconut in a medium bowl.
  9. Pour melted butter, coffee and vanilla over the sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  10. Divide frosting among cupcakes and spread evenly over top of each cupcake.
  11. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

What is a recipe that you love but only eat once a year?

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9 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Liz
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 6:55 am

    I’m not a big fan of cupcakes but I’d be willing to try these ones! Love the combination of chocolate and coffee together so I’m sure they’re delicious 🙂


    • Mercedes
      Jan 28, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

      Thanks Liz! Yes, chocolate and coffee are so fantastic together!


  2. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    I always loved having German Chocolate Cake for your Birthday! YUM! I also love it, but never have it! Maybe I should make it this year for your birthday to *kind of* help you celebrate! 🙂


    • Mercedes
      Jan 28, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

      I miss having birthday cake with you too Em! Yes, you could make it for my birthday or for yours about a month later!


  3. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

    Oh I love the coffee in these, Mercedes!


  4. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    Love the frosting on these! Chocolate and coconut is a favorite combination of mine!


    • Mercedes
      Jan 28, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

      It is a favorite combination of mine too Jessica!


  5. sally @ sallys baking addiction
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    oh mercedes… i freaking LOVE chocolate and coconut together. it’s been ages since I baked with coconut. Embarrassingly too long. I needed to see a recipe like this for inspiration. 🙂 LOVE!


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