I dreamt about these cupcakes two years ago.
It was a soft white cupcake topped with a light, fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting. Simplicity in its most delicious form. I woke up and knew what I had to do - but somehow I never got around to it. The vision faded, as most dreams do.
My best friend of ten years turned eighteen today and when she requested something coconut or chocolate, the long-forgotten cupcake flashed in my mind. Yes! The perfect pairing of a luscious coconut base with a fluffy nutella buttercream frosting. There was no other way.
I really should have gotten on this a long time ago, because it turns out this is the best cupcake recipe I have ever tried in my entire life, ever ever.
"Yeah right," you say as you roll your eyes. "That's what bakers always say."
But no, my friends. This is no false alarm.
The cake part is unbelievably soft and the frosting is even fluffier than in my dream. And the two flavors are a heavenly combination. Maybe not the most unique pairing, but amazing nonetheless.
After school today I got four different messages raving about these cupcakes, some using words I probably shouldn't print here. Even my most devout lemon-cookie-loving friend had a change of heart and requested these for her birthday tomorrow.
And now, for the recipe:
I've made these cupcakes twice in the past two days, and both times I ended up with exactly sixteen cupcakes. Since the nutella frosting recipe makes enough for 24 cupcakes, I used 3/4 of the butter and nutella and just added the rest of the ingredients to taste. Of course, more milk makes a thinner frosting, and more sugar makes a thicker one. I didn't want to add too much sugar since the nutella is already sweet, so I used roughly 3/4 cup.
Enjoy these cupcakes with a glass of milk and plenty of toasted coconut on top!
Coconut Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
for the cake:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
for the frosting:
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
roughly 1 cup Nutella spread
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 to 2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a bowl of standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix coconut milk, egg, oil, vanilla and vinegar on medium speed until well combined.
Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
Gently fold in the shredded coconut.
Evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake tins.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing and setting on rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting.
Now, make the frosting!
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and Nutella until well combined, thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Use desired frosting tip (I like to use 1M) to frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and try not to eat all of them at once. (you can learn how to toast coconut here).
Edit: I made this again as a cake, and the recipe made enough for two thin 8 inch round layers. If you're into those towering layer cakes, I would recommend multiplying both the cake and frosting recipes by at least 3/2.