Easter’s fast approaching so I wanted to get some fun dessert ideas up for anyone who’s needing them.

I love, love, love these coconut cupcakes. Toasted coconut is one of my favorite cupcake decorations and to turn it into a nest with Cadbury eggs in it? Perfection. You don’t have to use Cadbury eggs though – the malted milk ball ones are great or even the little egg-shaped gum.

I went ahead and did a coconut cupcake but I think the toasted coconut tastes great with a plain vanilla cake too. The frosting is coconutless but it’s flavored with almond and vanilla and goes amazingly with the toasted coconut up top.

Coconut Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
  • 3/4 pound 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar sifted
For the toasted coconut:
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
  6. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle toasted coconut (below) on top. Top with egg-shaped candy of choice.
To make toasted cupcake:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Spread coconut onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Towards the end watch carefully because it will go from golden to burnt very quickly.

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