Coconut Icing

  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (Optional)


  • baking spray with flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (such as Hershey’s)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup canola oil or other neutral oil
  • ½ cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Chocolate Frosting

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ⅓ cup 60% cacao dark chocolate chips, melted, cooled slightly
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

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Coconut Icing:

  1. Combine evaporated milk, butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high, whisking constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut, pecans, and almond extract. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just chilled, about 1 hour.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners, and lightly coat liners with baking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, espresso granules, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Stir in sour cream, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs just until smooth. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (about 1/3 cup batter each).
  3. Place pan in preheated oven; immediately reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting:

  1. Place butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides as needed, about 3 minutes. Stir in melted chocolate, cream, and vanilla until combined and smooth. Cover and chill until just firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir frosting, and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #21 fluted tip. Pipe a circle around the edge of each cupcake. Spoon coconut icing inside each circle of chocolate frosting.