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dark chocolate + coconut cupcakes with coconut buttercream

if you follow me on facebook, you saw that i asked for your advice on sunday. i made cupcakes on a whim on sunday afternoon + they turned out way more fantastic than i expected. but, we were scheduled to go to dinner at my in-laws’ house, which didn’t leave enough time to make buttercream, frost ’em + still make it to dinner in time. so i asked, what should i do? show up 30 minutes late to dinner, bearing delicious sweets? or show up on time, bringing nothing? the vast majority of you said to show up late with the sweets, which is what i did (after calling, of course) + i’m so glad i did.

what inspired these cupcakes? looking in the pantry on sunday, i realized that i had all the ingredients to make these delicious dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. i wanted to try something different, though, + pulled out coconut + coconut extract to see if i could tweak the recipe to make a chocolate-coconut cupcake. i played around with the cupcake recipe + came up with a coconut buttercream recipe + the results were simply amazing. the cupcakes are moist, rich + delicious, while the coconut buttercream provides a luscious, creamy counterpoint to the decadent dark chocolate. add a little toasted coconut garnish + voila! the perfect sunday afternoon dessert!

dark chocolate cupcakes with coconut buttercream

makes 12 cupcakes, cupcake recipe adapted from cook’s illustrated, buttercream recipe adapted from martha stewart

ingredients for the dark chocolate cupcakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

directions for the cupcakes

adjust oven rack to lower-middle position + preheat to 350 degrees. (if using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees.) line mini-muffin pan with baking cup liners.

combine butter, chocolate, + cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter + chocolate are melted + whisk until smooth + combined. set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

whisk flour, baking soda + baking powder in small bowl to combine. whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine. add sugar, vanilla + salt until fully incorporated. add cooled chocolate mixture, whisk until combined.

sift about 1/3 of flour mixture over chocolate mixture + whisk until combined, then whisk in sour cream. sift in remaining flour mixture + whisk until batter is homogeneous + thick. add in the flaked coconut + stir until well-combined.

divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes.

cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, then transfer each cupcake to cooling rack. cool to room temperature before icing.

ingredients for the coconut buttercream

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional)

directions for the coconut buttercream

beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
reduce speed to medium. add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (after every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high).

add coconut extract + beat until buttercream is smooth. if desired, add the flaked coconut to the buttercream + blend until combined. use immediately, or cover + refrigerate for up to 3 days. (bring to room temperature + beat on low speed until smooth before using.)