Friday, August 5, 2011

Coconut Nutella Cupcakes

One of my best friends had a birthday a week ago.
She LOVES coconut. Coconut-flavored anything, coconut-scented anything, thai curries with coconut milk... all coconut, all the time. She also adores Nutella (she introduced me to the brilliant idea of peanut butter, jelly, and Nutella sandwiches). So when I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, I bookmarked it and waited (im)patiently for her birthday to arrive so I could make these for her.

Next, I did some research to find what I hoped would be the BEST coconut cupcake, filling, and nutella frosting for her special day. Here is what I came up with...

Coconut Cream Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
Yields 12 cupcakes

Coconut Nutella Swirl Cupcakes (adapted from The Pastry Affair)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup coconut milk (Save the rest of the can for the filling! It just so happens to be the exact amount you will need, if you buy a 13.5 oz. can.)

Nutella (a few teaspoons, for swirling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or grease a cupcake tin.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, flaked coconut, and baking powder. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Alternatively add the flour mixture and coconut milk to the wet ingredients, blending until smooth after each addition.

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. 

Put a small dollop of Nutella on each cupcake and gently swirl into batter. 

Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before filling.

Coconut Cream Filling (adapted from Make It Naked)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk (I used 1/2 cup half-and-half and 1/2 cup 1% milk)
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients except for vanilla in a saucepan or double boiler over medium heat. Whisk constantly for 8-10 minutes. The mixture should thicken and resemble pudding. Let cool completely and chill in refrigerator until cold and completely thickened before filling cupcakes.

I thought it was too thin to fill cupcakes with at this point (maybe I didn't cook it long enough), so I took 3/4 cup of the mixture and whisked in 3-4 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar, and approximately 3-4 oz. vanilla candy coating (white chocolate would work well too), melted and cooled. 
Please forgive the terrible lighting/flash...

I then used the rest of the filling (mixed with a mashed banana and some unflavored gelatin)  for a small fresh strawberry banana tart, inspired by Joy the Baker. It was pretty tasty but if I make it again I will use Joy the Baker's custard instead.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting (adapted from My Baking Addiction)

yield | enough buttercream to frost 12 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
half of a 13-ounce jar of Nutella
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
up to 1 pound  confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I think I used less than a pound - start with much less and add more at the end if necessary, as this frosting is intensely sweet)
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and Nutella until well combined. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

-This recipe will make enough frosting to generously frost 12 cupcakes (with plenty left over! I would guess that it would frost about 16 cupcakes if you use the same amount as I did on each).
-You can easily adjust the consistency of this recipe by simply adding in more heavy cream or milk.
-Covered and refrigerated frosting can be stored for up to three days. Simply bring it to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of heavy cream or milk to revive the consistency.

Cut a cone-shape in each cupcake.

Slice off most of the cone part and set tops aside. 

These make a great snack! For quality control purposes, of course.

Fill the hole with coconut cream filling. 

Replace top of cupcake. 

Looks good as new! Who would suspect the sweet, creamy secret it is hiding inside?

Frost with Nutella Frosting. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Stand back to admire the cuteness of your little snowy-sprinkled bites of chocolatey, hazelnutty, coconutty deliciousness. Or just devour!


Meaghan Luby said...

pretty sure my response is the "just devour" one. that is amazing. thanks so much for sharing!

Galexi Cupcakes said...

I love coconut!! But here's the thing, my hubby and girls don't like coconut flakes. They like the flavor but not the flakes!! Sheesh! I would give my left leg for a coconut nutella cuppie..Ok, well, maybe just my first born not my leg! lol..thanks for sharing. Jackie