Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate and Almonds

  • 2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • For the Topping:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 14-ounce package shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Make the cupcakes:

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

2. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

3. Whisk the whole eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk in the cream of coconut and the coconut and vanilla extracts until smooth.

4. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

5. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, with a mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Add half of the egg mixture, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the remaining egg mixture until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

7. Divide the batter among the prepared cups, filling each about halfway.

8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Make the topping:

9. Combine the milk, coconut, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the milk is absorbed and the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Make the glaze:

10. Put the chocolate, corn syrup, butter and 3 tablespoons hot water in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on 50 percent power until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine. Keep warm.

11. Top each cupcake with a heaping tablespoonful of the coconut mixture, pressing gently until compact. Spoon 1 teaspoon glaze on top and garnish with 2 almonds. Refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 20 minutes.

Makes 24 servings

Photograph by Con Poulos