Today’s Mocha Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting are pure heaven to eat. Packed with chocolate with hints of coconut and coffee combined with the sweetness of a luscious coconut frosting, I can’t stop eating them!
Two of The Artist’s greatest loves in the world and chocolate and coffee. Scarcely a day goes by when he doesn’t have both. Can you imagine the smile on his face when I told him what I was making for today?
The Artist prefers his cupcakes without frosting, and you can certainly leave them “topless,” but if you love the flavor of coconut like I do, the frosting is a must. As a matter of fact, I had extra frosting and sat eating it with a spoon while I was writing this post, with a huge smile on my face!
I have to say these are some of the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever made. Full of flavor and studded with chocolate chips, they are tender and moist with a delicate crumb. The inclusion of coconut milk and sour cream add tremendously to the richness. I found them to be perfectly balanced, with no single flavor overwhelming the others.
There are many flavoring agents on the market and figuring out which to buy can be confusing. For candy making and when I need unusual flavors, I use LorAnn oils. They have a very clean, pure essence. They are three to four times stronger than alcohol-based flavorings or “extracts.” It only takes a tiny amount to fully flavor an entire cake, batch of frosting or candies. Their coconut flavoring is outstanding. I always store these in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Have you ever cooked with coconut milk? What a fascinating ingredient. The first time I opened a can I couldn’t figure out why they called it milk – it was solid like vegetable shortening. Then I broke through and found all the liquid had separated and was on the bottom of the can! I always pour the contents of the can into a bowl and whisk them until they are smooth before using in any recipe. And don’t worry about small lumps, they will melt during cooking or can be strained out if needed.
If you have a party coming up or just want a fun treat for your kids when they get home from school, these Mocha Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting are the perfect choice. This recipe is now being transferred from my “must make” file to my “make again” binder!
Enjoy these Mocha Coconut Cupcakes and have a wonderful Chocolate Monday and week ahead!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Mocha Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting:
- Egg, sugar, coconut milk, butter, vanilla, gluten-free flour blend
- Cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream
- Chocolate chips, powdered sugar, coconut extract, coconut
How to Pipe Frosting:
There are a few tricks that will make piping any frosting a lot easier for you. First, make sure that you have the frosting at a firm but still flexible consistency. I place my piping bag (fitted with a tip) in a deep glass and fold down about 2 inches at the top of the bag. This will give you a grip to press/shake the frosting down into the piping bag.
Scoop the frosting into the bag, and holding the top closed, press the frosting down toward the tip. Roll the top of the bag down or twist it closed and grip it in your dominant hand. Use your other hand as a guide. Always pipe a little on the side first to make sure there are no air pockets and then start piping on the cupcakes or cake, squeezing the bag evenly.
How to make Mocha Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting:
- Make the Cupcakes: Whisk the egg and sugar together until smooth; add the milk, butter, and vanilla, mixing until combined
- Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the milk mixture, mix until smooth; then add the sour cream, mixing again, and then fold in the chocolate chips
- Divide the batter and pour into a muffin tin that is greased or filled with paper liners, about 1/4 cup in each; bake 7 minutes, spin the tray front to back and bake another 8 to 11 minutes until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean – transfer to a cooling rack
- Make the Frosting: Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then slowly mix in the powdered sugar; increase the mixer speed and add the salt, vanilla, and coconut extract
- Beat 2 to 3 minutes scraping the bowl occasionally; continue to beat for another 4 to 5 minutes
- If frosting is too thick, thin with a little coconut milk, 1 tsp at a time until it is the right consistency; if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar until it is thick enough
- Fold in the shredded coconut, mixing until just combined and evenly distributed; frost the cooled cupcakes with either a spatula or by piping it (I used a large round tip for the photos) and sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut
PRO Tip: How to Toast Coconut
One of the prettiest decorations on baked goods is toasted coconut. I use regular, sweetened coconut for garnishing and spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then I bake it in a preheated 350°F oven until it starts to become fragrant. Keep a close eye on it, stirring often, because it can quickly go from lightly golden to burned due to the high sugar content. Remove it from the oven and let it cool before using.
Alternately, you can use a skillet on the stove to toast the coconut – keep it moving by stirring so you don’t get hot spots and risk some burning – and cook over medium-low heat. Or thirdly, you can microwave it on a plate in 30-second increments until golden. This can take about 4 to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. Toasted coconut stores well and can be made well in advance. For visual cues and detailed instructions, you can check out the article on Baked By An Introvert.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Muffin tin
- Piping bag
- Large piping tips
- Offset spatula
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 1/2 cup (43 g) shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted (See Note above for more detail)
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted, or organic canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/8 cups (135 g*) gluten-free 1-for-1 flour blend
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if your blend doesn't already contain it)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 to 3 tbsp espresso powder or instant coffee powder
- 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cappuccino chips, optional
- 2 sticks (1 cup; 227 g) butter, softened
- 3-2/3 cups (413.33 g) powdered sugar or more if needed
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tsp coconut extract
- 1 to 3 tbsp of coconut milk or regular milk, or as needed
- 1/2 cup (43 g) shredded unsweetened coconut, optional
- * See Note below
- Prepare Garnish: You can choose one of the following techniques to toast your coconut. 1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the sweetened coconut out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Heat, stirring often, until it is fairly evenly golden brown, but watch carefully! 2) Use a skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until toasted. 3) Place coconut on a microwave-safe plate and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring after each heating, until golden brown.
- Make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- Sift dry ingredients together in another bowl and add to wet mixture. Mix until batter is smooth, and then stir in sour cream. Fold in chocolate chips and mix.
- Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. NOTE: If you have extra batter, pour it into a small greased baking dish and bake alongside the other cupcakes.
- Bake for 7 minutes, and then spin the tray so those cupcakes in the front are now in the back of the oven. Bake an additional 8 to 11 minutes or until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.
- Make Coconut Frosting: Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer until completely smooth and creamy. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Gradually increase mixer speed and add the salt, vanilla, and coconut extract. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Continue to whip for another 4 to 5 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- If frosting is too thick, add coconut milk, 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it’s too thin, add powdered sugar gradually until it thickens.
- Fold in shredded coconut and mix until just combined. Frost cooled cupcakes, using a piping bag or spatula. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Slightly modified from a recipe on How Sweet It Is
*You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 599mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 5g
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