Vegan German Chocolate Cupcakes


Three years ago, I made my first layer cake.

To be honest, it was horrible.

The cake itself tasted good (it was a box mix and canned icing, so at least I didn’t mess that up), but it was uneven and the top kept sliding off and I didn’t have an actual cake stand so my upside-down bowl crushed the icing from the sides of the cake.

Thankfully, Nick didn’t really care what it looked like after the first night, and we ate it anyways.

The sad part? That sad, sloppy cake was his birthday cake that year.

I knew I had to make it up at some point. And I think these cupcakes did just that.

See, Nick loves German Chocolate Cake. And so do I! The rich coconut and pecan icing and delicate chocolate cake is one of my favorite combinations.

And while I DO have a real cake stand now, I wanted to try my hand at my own recipe for the cake and icing. Since I was already taking a risk making up a healthier recipe, I didn’t want to chance having another ugly layer cake.

So cupcakes it was!IMG_1112

If you would have told me last year that I would be making up my own vegan recipes, I would never have believed you.

And if you would have told me that not only would my husband love these cupcakes (and not know they were whole wheat and vegan) but also that I could fool coworkers – I might have laughed in your face.

But thank goodness I went through with it. Because these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made – no comparison.

German Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan!)

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 –1 cup pecans


In large bowl, mix almond milk with vinegar and let sit 5 minutes or until milk has “curdled”.


Whisk sugar, oil, and vanilla into milk mixture until some bubbles stay on top of the mixture.


Whisk in the cocoa, then whisk in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.


Once the mixture is smooth, pour into cupcake liners or a sprayed muffin tin, filling each one about 3/4 of the way.


Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


While the cupcakes are baking, heat the almond milk, sugar, and Earth Balance on the stove top until it comes to a boil.

In separate bowl/dish, mix cornstarch and water together.









Once milk mixture comes to a boil, put 1-2 spoonfuls into the cornstarch mixture and stir together.

Add cornstarch mixture back to milk/sugar and stir.


Bring mixture back to a boil until thickened. Take off the heat.


Stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecans, and let sit to cool.



Once the cupcakes and icing have cooled, dollop a spoonful of the icing on each cupcake and smooth out to the edges.


Serve to your family who think they don’t like anything “whole wheat”.

Give some to your friends who freak out when they hear the word “vegan”.

Then just sit back, relax, and watch their reactions.


And make sure to not tell them that these cupcakes are actually pretty healthy, whole wheat, and vegan until after they’ve had a few.


It’s more fun that way.


  1. Ah! These look incredible. German chocolate? Yes please!

  2. I’m a sucker for vegan German chocolate cupcakes–those look stellar!

  3. That frosting looks so ridiculously good!!

  4. I love German Chocolate cake! The frosting just looks so incredible! It’s hard to believe that they are vegan!

  5. Glad you’re enjoying your vegan baking ventures! They truly look/sound amazing. I’d eat one for breakfast right now if I could! haha

  6. I love it when I can fool friends and family–there’s a little bit of satisfaction in it! My mom’s favorite cake is German Chocolate, I may have to make these for her birthday.

    • I love fooling people, too :) It’s fun to remind people that healthy foods don’t have to be boring and tasteless.

  7. I love chocolate cupcakes, but that frosting really takes the cake. Coconut and pecans in a sticky syrup has to be amazing.

  8. My mom loves german chocolate cake. My brother and I would throw such a fit when she made it because neither one of us liked the icing at all…

    Now, years later, I can’t imagine not liking anything that involved sugar, coconut, and pecans! What was I thinking?!?!

  9. I love the step by step pictures

  10. My dad LOVES German Chocolate Cake. I should make these for his birthday!

  11. Amazing. I’m totally going to have to try this one!

  12. can’t WAIT to try these :) they look amazing!!!

  13. Hi Brandi,

    Could I use cow milk instead of almond milk and do the same thing?

  14. German chocolate cake is one of my favorites!

  15. Yum, yum, yum…those look absolutely delicious!!

  16. These look gorgeous. Very impressive!

  17. How many does this make? A dozen? (I’m trying to figure my WW points!)

  18. Those sound so good! I just might have to attempt making those!

  19. I want to try these – they look delicious!

  20. Perfect! I remember making a German Chocolate Cake for my birthday last year. The layer cake’s amazing, no doubt the smaller versions are too!

  21. Lovely cupcakes and frosting is really interesting :) I definitely like them

  22. haha…I always look back at the things I tried to make in the past- good to know we learn from our experiences. This cupcakes look seriously amazing. I just want the frosting, is that bad?

  23. holy moly, those sound delicious! and impressive that they are pretty healthy! did you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?

  24. Was there an Angell giveaway post this morning or did I imagine that?

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  27. Hi–these look great. want to make this right now, but the ingredients are unclear. what type of vinegar did you use?? apple cider? white? and earth balance–did you use butter or shortening?
    i have all the ingredients, can’t decide which ones are right for this.. thanks!

    • Hi Jen! I used plain old white vinegar. And I always get the soy-free Earth Balance butter, but any of their options should work fine.

  28. I made these today for my husband’s birthday and brought them to our family picnic. They were delicious and everyone loved them! My husband’s nephew said, “These cupcakes really aren’t that bad!” Haha, gotta love what kids say! I’d like to try substituting unsweetened apple sauce for the oil next time I make them.

  29. Hi, do you think substituting canola oil would be ok? As it’s something I don’t tend to use.

  30. This recepie is amazing and easy to make. I doubled the reciepe to make a cake. . I baked it in a 9×13 pan for 40 minutes at 350. I also doubled the frosting recepie. I am looking forward to the next special occasion so I can make it again!!

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