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Easy Caramel Coconut Cupcakes
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Caramel Coconut Cupcakes

These Easy Caramel Coconut Cupcakes are melt in your mouth coconut cupcakes that come popular by demand. Soft, fluffy, + extra moist, these cupcakes are bursting with bold toasted and sweet flavors in every bite. Topped with a creamy caramel buttercream and lightly covered in toasted coconut flakes, these cupcake are must during any season!
Course Dessert
Keyword baked, caramel, caribbean, classic, coconut, cupcakes, dessert, easy, healthy, holidays, homemade, plant-based, recipe, sweet, vegetarian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 12 Cupcakes
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

Ingredients

Coconut Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup Organic All-purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup Organic Cake Flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs (I use Organic Valley)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes, chopped finely

Caramel Buttercream:

  • 4 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade (See Notes!)
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prep your cupcake pan with liners + spray.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (using a paddle handle attachment), beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as needed using a rubber spatula.
  • Add the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla, reducing the speed a little at this point. Add in coconut extract.
  • Now, reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Next, add in the 'buttermilk' and mix until incorporated. NO OVER-MIXING!
  • Finally, fold in the chopped coconut flakes until well combined.
  • Scoop the batter into each cupcake liner (3/4 full) and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
  • Once done, turn off oven and keep cupcakes inside with the oven door slightly open for about 2 minutes before taking them out.
  • Let them cool COMPLETELY before frosting., about 20-30 minutes in a cool place.
  • Meanwhile, make caramel sauce (See Recipes Notes!).

For Caramel Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy and light.
  • Reduce the speed to low-speed and add half the amount of powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Add caramel sauce and vanilla.
  • Now, add in the remaining half of the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated and frosting is smooth. **NOTE: Add more powdered sugar or heavy cream (if too thick) until desired consistency is met if needed, 1 Tbsp at a time.**
  • Add buttercream frosting to fully cooled cupcakes, using a piping bag and drizzling with caramel sauce and sprinkles of shredded coconut, if desired. Repeat until all cupcakes are decorated.
  • Bon Appetit!

Notes

FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead. 
OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use Coconut oil, if preferred.
BUTTERMILK (DAIRY-FREE): Add Almond milk and lemon juice together in a measuring cup, stirring until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes or so.
 
CARAMEL SAUCE: You'll need: 1 cup organic brown sugar, 6 Tbsps unsalted butter (cut into cubes), 1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream, and a pinch of sea salt.
Directions: In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, add the sugar and stir constantly until it melts into a dark-amber-like color and is fully liquid. Reduce the heat slightly and add in the butter, whisking constantly while it bubbles up and melts. Quickly add in the heavy cream and continue whisking until fully incorporated. Once it all boils for a minute or so, remove from heat and continue to whisk. Add pinch of salt and set aside for it to cool. **NOTE: caramel sauce will thicken as it cools**; Once fully cooled (about 20-30 minutes), add to buttercream and follow recipe.
 
STORAGE: Best kept if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days (unfrosted) and 3-4 days when frosted. Also, can be frozen for up to 6 months when unfrosted and thawed.
 
STORAGE (CARAMEL SAUCE): Leftover caramel sauce can be stored in a tightly sealed mason jar for up to two weeks. When ready to use, simply reheat sauce in the microwave at 15 second intervals until softened and at room temp.