Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Toasted Almond Joy Cupcakes

Mmm, who wants to eat a cupcake? I do! These cupcakes are quite spectacular! I had it in my head that I wanted to make chocolate coconut cupcakes, and I was basing it off of this coconut cupcake recipe. I checked the web for ideas, but I couldn't really find any recipes that had chocolate and coconut combined in the batter of a cupcake. So then I called my mom for ideas, and she said she didn't think it would work. But why? Chocolate is good, coconut is good, why wouldn't they be doubly as good in one cupcake? She couldn't answer my question, but she told me to trust her. I did, even though I was tempted to try it out. I held back, and instead I created these cupcakes, and they turned out better than I could have imagined. They start with a basic chocolate cupcake, then are topped with the best cream cheese frosting, and then they are sprinkled with toasted coconut and toasted almonds. And if that isn't enough to put them over the top, they are then drizzled with a dark chocolate ganache. YUM. I didn't get to eat many cupcakes because Greg hoarded them all - that's how much he liked them. We did share some cupcakes with my parents on Father's Day, and they were a huge hit with both of them. I have to  give my mom some of the credit since she convinced me not to mix the chocolate and coconut together in the batter!

I did have a hard time naming these because "Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Toasted Coconut, Toasted Almonds, and Chocolate Ganache" was way too long of a title. So I came up with "Toasted Almond Joy Cupcakes." I think it works.

This recipe makes 18 delectable cupcakes. In case you want to make 6 cupcakes rather than the full 18, I went ahead and made it easy by putting the correct measurement for 6 cupcakes in parenthesis after each ingredient. You're welcome!

Recipe for Toasted Almond Joy Cupcakes

For the chocolate cupcakes
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. of Dutch-processed cocoa powder (3 Tbsp.)
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. of very hot water (3 Tbsp.)
2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (3/4 cup)
3/4 tsp. of baking powder (1/4 tsp.)
3/4 tsp. of baking soda (1/4 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. of salt (a little over 1/8 tsp.)
2 sticks plus 1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (5 2/3 Tbsp.)
1 2/3 cup of granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp.)
3 large eggs, at room temperature (1 large egg)
2 Tbsp. of heavy cream (2 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. of pure vanilla extract (1 tsp.)
1 1/2 tsp. of chocolate extract - optional (1/2 tsp.)
3/4 cup of low-fat plain yogurt (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (for brushing, to keep cupcakes moist)
1/2 cup of water (for brushing, to keep cupcakes moist)
For the cream cheese frosting 
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature (5 1/3 Tbsp)
1 1/2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature (1/2 package)
2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted (2/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract (1/2 tsp.)
3/4 tsp. of pure almond extract (1/4 tsp.)
For the topping
1 cup of sweetened shredded flaked coconut (1/3 cup)
30 raw almonds, chopped (10)
For the chocolate ganache
4.5 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup of heavy cream
*Any extra you can store in an airtight container for later use, you will have extra if you are only making the 6 cupcakes.

First, toast the coconut and almonds for the topping. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the coconut and almonds in a single layer on a baking pan. Put in oven and cook for about 5 minutes, toss around with a spoon, then cook for another 5 - 10 minutes or until toasty-looking. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the cupcakes.
Adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Put the cocoa powder in a smallish bowl. Add the hot water (I brought the water to just a boil and then let it cool for about a minute) to the cocoa powder and then whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift ingredients together.

Put the softened butter and granulated sugar into a medium saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, then use an electric hand mixer set on medium speed to mix until the mixture becomes cool, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time into the mixture, and mix well on low after each addition. Add in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and chocolate extract and blend. Add in the cocoa mixture and blend until smooth. Set the hand mixer on low speed, and then add in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Keep the mixer running, and then add in 1/2 of the yogurt, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the rest of the yogurt, and finish with the flour mixture. Blend together until just incorporated.

Divide the cupcake batter into the liners (I use a cookie dough scoop for less messes). Put the cupcakes in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Rotate pans halfway between baking. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let them cool completely.

To help with keeping the cupcakes moist, brush each one with sugar water. Put 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a simmer and sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat. Lightly poke the tops of each cupcake with a fork. Dip a brush into the sugar water and brush the tops of each cupcake with the mixture.

For the frosting
Put the softened butter and cream cheese into a large bowl. Blend together with an electric hand mixer set on medium-high speed until smooth. Blend in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add in 1/2 of the powdered sugar and blend on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add in the rest of the sugar and blend again until completely smooth.

Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting. Line cupcakes on a pan. Sprinkle each one with the toasted coconut and toasted almonds.

For the chocolate ganache
Put the finely chopped chocolate into a small bowl. Put the cream in a small saucepan and set over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until completely smooth. Let cool for a minute before topping cupcakes. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle chocolate ganache over the tops of each cupcake. Sprinkle on more coconut and almond mixture, if desired.

Put the cupcakes into an airtight container and store in the fridge until ganache hardens (about 20 minutes). If not serving right away, keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Cupcakes can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats

Chocolate Ganache Recipe from: All Recipes

If you love chocolate and coconut, try the recipe for coconut truffles!


  1. These look so indulgent and delicious! Thanks for sharing your culinary talents and ideas.

    1. Thanks, Shawn! I'll make some and bring them down to you soon. I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!

  2. I love your pictures! These cupcakes look so good. I love recipes that turn a candy bar into a baked goodie. Definitely pinning and making one day. :)

    1. Thank you, Tina! These cupcakes are pretty amazing. I hope you try them! I want to try your fudgy brownie recipe - they look awesome.

  3. These cupcakes look so amazing Beth! Pinned!

  4. Thanks, Trish! I can't wait to try your Pina colada fudge recipe. YUM!


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