German Chocolate Cupcakes (and a giveaway!)

Desserts for Dudes month continues....
with a giveaway!
{See those toppers? Cupcake toppers of YOUR CHOICE are part of the prize package. That's right, package!}

It seems as far as cakes go, German Chocolate is a man's best friend.  I don't know if it's the coconut, the pecans or that caramel-y frosting, but these definitely will win your guy's heart!

First, let me tell you about Laurel...maker of the cupcake toppers and more, like these:
See, a few months back a relatively unknown blogger came through our area on a book tour.  A few, or maybe a thousand, of us took pity on her and went to the book signing.  Dork that I am, I made her cookies and envisioned us becoming besties: making cinnamon rolls, herding cattle, that sort of thing. that didn't happen, but during the wait (and wait and wait) to get my book signed, I really *did* meet some other fabulous women.  Joann, Kimberly and Laurel (just to name a few)....Laurel, of Go Against the Grain on etsy.  Laurel does really cute custom graphics and, it just so happens, cupcake wrappers and toppers.

Laurel is giving TWO Bake at 350 readers their choice of cupcake toppers/flags (go check 'em out!)  Woo-hoo! 

And to go along with those, I'm giving each winner their choice of a few goodies from Bake It Pretty (pics from Bake It Pretty):

{sugar pearls, rainbow non-pareils, or chocolate jimmies}

{baking cups in dots, animal print, or plaid}

Won't your cupcakes look so cute?!?

On to the cupcakes......this recipe is from Ina.  Every one of her recipes that I've tried has been delicious.  This one included.  Oh, and the batter....I will make this again JUST TO EAT THE BATTER.  We're lucky there *were* any cupcakes.

German Chocolate Cupcakes
{adapted from Ina Garten in House Beautiful}

1 & 3/4 c. flour
1 c. natural cocoa powder
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature
2 TBSP freshly brewed coffee, cooled

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pans with 15 liners.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

{heart-shaped measuring cups are a *must* for brown sugar!}
With the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugars on med-high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Lower the speed to medium and add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee.  On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture alternately with the flour mixture, beginning with the buttermilk and ending with the flour.  Mix only until blended.  Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter from the bottom is incorporated and blended.

Divide the batter into the cupcake tins.  (Remember to test may get only 14 of those cupcakes after all.)  Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely before frosting.

{Look at those beautiful cupcakes!!!}

German Chocolate Frosting

1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 & 1/4 c. sugar
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 c. blanched, sliced almonds, toasted
1 c. chopped pecans

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the milk, sugar, egg yolks, extracts and salt with a wooden spoon.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, stir and simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Mixture should coat the back of the spoon.

Strain the mixture using a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl.  Stir in the coconut, pecans and almonds.  Allow to cool at least one hour before using.  Frost cupcakes with an off set spatula or butter knife.

To enter the giveaway, tell me....

Are cupcakes are all about the cake or the cake is just a vehicle for the frosting?

For an extra entry, tweet the following and leave a separate comment:
"German Chocolate Cupcakes and a sweet giveaway from @bakeat350tweets! "

TWO winners will be randomly selected Sunday, June 13th at 8pm CST.  Good luck!
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