a balanced plate with room for dessert

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Layered German Chocolate Cupcakes

I rarely crave cake. When I do, it’s usually one of two types: a white cake with a strawberry filling or a chocolate cake with nuts.

german chocolate cupcakes |

So German chocolate cupcakes? They totally hit the spot.

These bad boys were a two day project for me. It all started on Sunday night after a long, long day. I baked the cupcakes and decided that I was simply too exhausted to deal with them any more. I let them cool, scooped them out of the pans, and covered them before collapsing in bed.

On Monday morning, I got ready for work as fast as I could and whipped together the chocolate ganache and coconut-pecan filling for the cupcakes. After cooking them, I scooped them into bowls and let them hang out for the day while I went to work. After a crazy day at work, I finally got around to decorating and photographing them. Phew!

german chocolate cupcakes |

A few lessons I learned along the way:

  • These cupcakes are fragile. I almost threw them all away after I spent what seemed like a million hours carefully removing them from the cupcake pans. I’ll probably opt to use cupcake liners in the future, even though it won’t look as nice.
  • Splitting this into a 2-day project was smart. The cupcakes were still very moist the next day (and for days after).
  • These are delicious (and dangerous to have around). How good are they? Well, I took the cupcakes that I failed to remove in one piece and layered them in a ramekin with the filling and ganache to create a little German chocolate cake parfait of sorts. I couldn’t bear to throw any of the goodness away.
  • The recipe from the box can be trusted!
  • German chocolate cupcakes >> German chocolate cake

german chocolate cupcakes |

German Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Box, makes 30 cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 ounces German chocolate
1/2 cup water
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the coconut-pecan filling:
5 egg yolks
12 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

for the chocolate ganache:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 pint whipping cream

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease cupcake pans and set aside.
  2. Mix together milk and lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat chocolate and water in a large bowl for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is melted.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition.
  7. Gently fold in egg whites until well combined.
  8. Fill prepared cupcake pan no more than half full. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Immediately run a small spatula along the edges of the cupcakes to loosen. Allow to cool in the pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the coconut-pecan filling:

  1. Beat egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a large saucepan with a whisk until well combined. Add sugar and butter and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes or until mixture has thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Stir in coconut and pecans until well combined. Let cool to room temperature before use.

To make the chocolate ganache:

  1. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature before use.

To assemble the cupcakes:

  1. Carefully cut cupcakes in half horizontally. Spread a spoonful of coconut-pecan filling onto the bottom half. Place the top of the cupcake on and spread more coconut-pecan filling on top. Place the chocolate ganache into a piping bag fit with a medium or large star tip. Pipe ganache onto the top of the cupcake and garnish with a pecan, if desired.

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Granola Bars

Granola bars are one of my favorite things to snack on. It’s perfect when I need something to hold me over from lunch to dinner. While it may be convenient to just buy a box (or two) from the grocery store, making them at home allows you to customize the bars to your tastes! I added coconut, walnuts and milk chocolate chips to the fruit and nut “base”, but you could add in an endless number of ingredients!

Granola Bars

Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces dried fruit
1/4 cup coconut
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup walnuts

  1. Preheat oven t 350°F. Butter a 9×9 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Mix oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts together and spread onto a half sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  4. When the oat and nut mixture is done, remove from oven and turn the oven down to 300°F.
  5. Stir the oat and nut combination into the liquid mixture. Add in coconut, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. Stir quickly and spread into prepared 9×9 baking dish. Press down mixture firmly and distribute the mixture evenly.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, let cool completely, and then cut into bars.

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Coconut Cupcakes

My roommate, Isabel, and I were going to make a coconut cake using fresh coconut but our coconut was… fermented. So then we decided to make coconut cake using store-bought sweetened coconut; but, then we forgot to put the coconut milk in to the cake so we just made normal vanilla cupcakes instead and topped them off with some toasted coconut.

The cake recipe is Paula Deen’s 1-2-3-4 cake recipe and the frosting is her 7 minute frosting.

coconut cupcakes

1-2-3-4 Cupcakes
yields 24 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.
  4. Cool completely and then frost with 7 Minute Frosting (recipe below).

7 Minute Frosting

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed for 1 minute.
  2. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy).
  3. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Toasted Coconut

Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut out in a thin layer. Toast for 2 minutes and then in 1 minute intervals until lightly browned.


Frost cooled cupcakes and then sprinkle with toasted coconut.