german chocolate cupcakes

January 16, 2012
The Germans got it right with this combination, I tell ya'.  A rich yet light and fluffy chocolate cupcake topped with an over-the-top sweet frosting with toasted pecans and coconut flakes.   
After wolfing a cupcake or three, you probably won't believe that they're vegan and gluten-free.  Wait...what's that?  You think that cupcakes can't be good and be vegan and gluten-free?  I dare you to try.  You and your thighs won't be sorry.  

German Chocolate Cupcakes 
(vegan, gluten-free)
For cupcakes
½ cup superfine white rice flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup superfine sweet rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup coconut milk (shake can well before measuring)
½ cup Vegenaise
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
For frosting
1 ½ cups coconut flakes
1 cup pecans, chopped
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, measured then sifted
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup refined coconut oil at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
4 – 6 tablespoons coconut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup standard muffin pan with paper liners; Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, coconut milk, Vegenaise and extracts. Add the coconut milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about ¾ full.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the tops are slightly springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave oven on. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Prepare frosting while cupcakes cool.
  6. To prepare frosting, place the coconut flakes pecans on separate baking sheets. Toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes for the coconut and about 10 minutes for the pecans. Watch closely so they don’t burn. Let cool while mixing the rest of the frosting.
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the confectioners’ sugar, salt, coconut oil and the extracts. Starting with the mixer on low speed, blend until combined. Gradually increase the speed to medium and add the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is the consistency of buttercream frosting. Turn mixer to medium high speed and continue to mix for 3 minutes.
  8. Reserve a handful of the toasted coconut flakes to use as garnish and add the rest along with the pecan to the frosting and mix well with a spatula. 
  9. Frost cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with some toasted coconut on top and serve.
*Yields 12 perfect cupcakes.
*Recipe adapted from Simply Gluten Free.