Happy Birthday! German Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting

These German Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting are super moist and delicious. They’re also vegan, gluten free, and grain free so everyone can enjoy them for a special dessert!Today is not my birthday.

But a week from today is! {That is if you’re reading this post on November 22.}

So, in honor of this month’s Recipe ReDux theme, A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful For, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a somewhat healthier version of one of my best food memories ever, German Chocolate Birthday Cake!

In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.

German Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Raw Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting

To be honest, I had a hard time choosing which favorite food memory to share with you, because I have so many wonderful memories associated with food…

Holiday Food Memories

  • My Great Aunt Sena’s Persimmon Pudding for Thanksgiving…
  • My dad’s homemade French Onion Soup or Lobster Bisque, and Jell-0 Salad on Christmas Eve…
  • Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, my mom’s homemade rolls, and Jell-o salad for Christmas dinner…
  • My moms homemade nut roll on Christmas morning…
  • Rosettes for Serbian Christmas…
  • Ham, asparagus with hollandaise, and Jell-o salad for Easter…

I think you can see that the common thread with many of these holiday memories is the infamous Jell-o Salad., which is actually pretty tasty, but I just couldn’t bring myself to recreate it for you. You’re welcome.

Childhood Food Memories

  • Tuna Noodle Casserole {my favorite as a kid!}
  • Brown Bread & Boston Baked Beans~Visiting my grandmother’s childhood friends in New Hampshire when I was about 7 or 8.
  • My first taste of Maine lobster visiting my Aunt and Uncle in Maine.
  • Ice Cream Sundae Parties {with all the toppings} hosted by my parents.
  • “Junk Food Junkie” Dinners~My dad used to take me running with him, and when my mom was out of town, he liked to hit all the fast food joints in town that we otherwise wouldn’t usually eat at. Hey, at least we went running first!
  • Vichyssoise at my favorite “fancy” restaurant, Scandia, in LA.

And, then there’s the German Chocolate Cake which inspired these super moist & delicious German Chocolate Cupcakes…

The best cake ever in IMO, and the cake that I have celebrated my birthday with almost every year with since I can remember.

Looking back, there’s a kind of funny story that goes along with this German Chocolate Cake…

German Chocolate Cupcake Brownies with Raw Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting

I was 16 1/2, and my parents had gotten me a German Chocolate Cake to celebrate my 1/2 birthday. BUT, I had gotten into trouble the evening before, and my parents had forbidden me to see my boyfriend for a whole month. Or was it the entire summer? I can’t remember…

Naturally, I was quite mad at my parents for doing this, so I refused to celebrate my 1/2 birthday with them, and instead had my best friend pick me up, and we drove to the Batiquitos Lagoon to go for a walk.

With the cake.

Which we proceeded to have a cake fight with, and smashed to bits.

Because I was so mad at my parents.

Makes sense, right?


That’s not the end of the story, because, me, being one of those people that doesn’t do guilt well, drove to the bakery to buy a replacement cake so my parents would never know.

Until now 🙂

And, the moral of the story is…

You can eat your birthday cake…and smash it too!

These German Chocolate Cupcakes are my “healthier” version so we can all celebrate together 🙂

erman Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Homemade Caramel Frosting

German Chocolate Cupcakes | Nutrition + Baking Tips

  • Made with almond flour and coconut flour, these German Chocolate Cupcakes are gluten-free, vegan, & grain-free
  • The almond and coconut flour, along with the pecans, and shredded coconut add a nutritious boost of fiber and healthy fats!
  • Cupcakes are festive, and, portion control is easier than with cake. A “portion” is 1. Unless it’s your birthday, when you are officially allowed to eat cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you want!!!
  • You may note a teensy tiny taste of applesauce which I used as an egg replacer. Since I haven’t done a lot of vegan baking before, I consulted this egg substitute chart from Fork and Beans to see what would be the best egg replacer to use, but feel free to experiment with another one {that would be in place of 4 eggs} if you prefer.
German Chocolate Cupcakes on a glass cake dish

German Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting

These German Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Coconut Pecan Caramel Frosting are super moist and delicious. They’re also vegan, gluten free, and grain free so everyone can enjoy them for a special dessert!
4.67 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes




  • 1 cup pecans, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, solid**
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
  • Combine almond and coconut flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, and stir with a fork until well combined.
  • Place dark chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl, and melt in microwave for ~ 3 minutes, checking/stirring every 1 minute until melted.
  • Add melted chocolate, applesauce, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract to dry ingredients, and stir well with a fork or mixing spoon until ingredients are well combined.
  • Spoon batter in to cupcake liners (it will be thick), then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  • Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the frosting, while the cupcakes are baking, by combining 1/2 cup of the pecans, 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut, solid coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse mixture until ingredients are well combined, and nuts are finely chopped. Note: the frosting should have a chunky texture, as opposed to being smooth.
  • Removed frosting from food processor, and set aside, then clean food processor, and place remaining coconut and pecans in processor, and pulse until nuts are lightly chopped.
  • Once cupcakes have cooled completely, spread the frosting on top, then sprinkle nut/coconut mixture on top for garnish.


*Use a dark {vegan} chocolate that is 70% cacao or higher. **VIrgin Coconut Oil has a melting point of ~75 degrees F, so make sure the room temperature is at 75 or below, otherwise your frosting will melt!


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1.7mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan
Keyword german chocolate cake, gluten free German chocolate cake
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Happy Birthday to Me! German Chocolate Brownie Cupcake

One German Chocolate Cupcake for me…

And one for all the rest of my family and friends celebrating November birthdays…Happy Birthday to Grandpa Harry, Harry {The Dog!}, Dan, Johnny, Jodi, Carla, and Valeria!!! 

Is it your birthday this month too? let me know and I’ll add your name to this list!

Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite food memory? What’s your favorite birthday cake? Have you ever had a cake smashing party before???

I’d love to hear from you! And, be sure and check out all the delicious food memories from the rest of my Recipe ReDux friends!

Click here to see all the delicious recipes–> An InLinkz Link-up