For some reason, I have been hoarding coconut ingredients recently and I have no idea why. I have two and a half bags of coconut flour, have gone through two bags of unsweetened coconut flakes in less than a month with no macaroons in sight, and have a couple assorted cans of coconut milk in the pantry. I used a little light coconut milk in my coffee during my Whole30, but all of this has entered the house post-challenge, so clearly that’s not the reason.
I might be turning into my mother.
As a kid I remember how she enjoyed Almond Joy bars, or Mounds, coconut macaroons, and even the coconut crusted shrimp they sold frozen at the store. I don’t remember cooking very much with coconut, but we definitely had it around. Maybe I had to incorporate coconut into these ingredients because I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom lately? She’s still healthy and alive, and I call and FaceTime with her pretty regularly, but she’s a middle school teacher and it’s testing season. You may commiserate with her here, I do.
It’s a good thing my mother also has good taste. 😉 I think she’d like these cupcakes, even without an inkling of chocolate. These airy yet rich cakes are stuffed with caramel, topped with a coconut buttercream frosting that’s practically perfection, extra toasted coconut, and a drizzle of extra caramel. What’s not to love?
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 c (222 g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 c (157 g) all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (12 g) coconut flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ c milk (140 g)
- ½ c unsweetened shredded coconut (37 g)
- 1 c caramel sauce, homemade or store bought
- 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted, divided
- ½ c unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3-4 c (450-600 g) powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and fill a one-dozen cupcake pan with liners.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and unsweetened coconut.
- Add half the dry mixture to the butter and eggs, then add the milk, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter among the 12 liners and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top of the cupcakes springs back when touched.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to rest in the pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.
- Toast the coconut by placing it in a dry skillet over medium low heat. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until the coconut is golden brown, then remove from the pan and place on a large plate to cool for 5 minutes so you can incorporate it into the frosting without melting your butter.
- Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each to incorporate.
- Mix in ⅔ c of the toasted coconut, reserving the rest for sprinkling.
- If you need to, mix in additional powdered sugar, ¼ c at a time, to achieve desired consistency.
- Place your caramel in a piping bag fitted with a cupcake filler tip and pipe caramel into the center of each of your cooled cupcakes.
- Frost the cupcakes with the coconut frosting, then drizzle with additional caramel (switch to a smaller tip and use the frosting left in the bag to make things easy), and sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut.