Sunday, July 28, 2013

Aloha and Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

At the coffee shop, we’re family. Dysfunctional to the max, but family no less.

I think it’s from dealing with all the crazies ordering onerous drinks (Who really drinks a double tall, almond milk, extra dry, sugar-free hazelnut cappuccino with the shots on top?). Or maybe because we tend to be baristas and babysitters in one fine location (The mall is the perfect daycare, right?).

No matter the cause of our kinship, we are siblings. And when little sister decides to move back to Hawaii, we hold no grudge. (Well, not a big one…) Instead, we combine two of her favorite flavors and bake.

Oh, yeah. Chocolate and Coconut. So tasty.

These chocolate cupcakes are bursting with coconut flavor. Coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut extract… 

Oh, my! They’re filled too?!  

Of course! That’s a snack size Mounds bar—dark chocolate coated coconut candy. So moist, chewy coconut-y goodness, baked in the middle of a super easy coconut chocolate cupcake and topped with a delicious coconut buttercream frosting.


I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It usually has buttermilk, but I substituted unsweetened coconut milk and added a 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract. I happen to love the scent and taste of coconut more than the texture. You can add flaked coconut instead of extract, but I would recommend no more than 1/2 a cup, chopped fine. After filling the cupcake liners about two-thirds full, I dropped half a snack size mounds on top. (Next time, I won’t push it into the cake… I think that’s why they sank to the bottom.)

I grew up loving Wilton Buttercream. It’s sweet, but so easy to make and flavor. To make vegan buttercream, you substitute the butter with vegetable shortening (making sure to use vegan sugar and a vegan milk substitute).

Obviously, these cakes are NOT vegan. I had come across a vegan buttercream at some point in my research that used coconut oil and had been dying to have an occasion to use it. I’m making coconut cupcakes, so why not try a coconut oil frosting? Excellent decision. I used the remainder of the unsweetened coconut milk to help with consistency and added a splash of coconut extract. 

Coconut Buttercream Frosting
(Adaption based on information gathered here)
1 cup coconut oil*
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk

1. Whip coconut oil on medium speed until fluffy.
2. Add powdered sugar and mix on medium-high for 2 minutes.
3. Add extracts and mix. Add milk to desired consistency.
4. Use quickly; this frosting stiffens as it sets.

*I used refined coconut oil. I’ve since read that unrefined might have stayed a bit more solid at room temperature.

Aloha little sister, Ashley. Your Texas Nordy’s miss you.
But mostly, we’re all just jealous.

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