Who doesn’t love a classic chocolate cupcake? They are rich and indulgent and leave you completely satisfied from that craving for cake and chocolate all at once.
Let me first tell you about this frosting. It might just be the best frosting I have ever eaten.
I have made this frosting once before, a couple of years ago for my Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Raspberries. It was a hit and I was pretty sure I had found my new favourite frosting. I have been wanting to make it again ever since then, but I haven’t made too many chocolate cakes over the last couple of years so the opportunity for a batch of this frosting hasn’t really come up.
For some reason I always struggled with making chocolate cupcakes. They always came out more muffin-like, too dense, a little dry and not sweet enough. So I avoided making them when really I think I just needed to find a better recipe.
Well, today I have just that. A super moist, light, sweet and incredibly chocolatey cupcake. The perfect base for a smothering of this ultimate chocolate and coconut frosting. I really think this is the best frosting that I have made (hence my use of the word ‘ultimate’). Seriously though, it’s that good.
The cake is based off one by a favourite baking blogger of mine, Sally’s Baking Addiction (yes I love her because we have the same name). I struggle sometimes with her recipes as they are very heavily dairy based and the substitutions don’t always work correctly. This one worked pretty well however but a thing to note is that the coconut oil and milk did seem to impact the batter leaving me with 11 cupcakes rather than the original recipes 14.
I have written that this recipe makes 12 and it should. As I said I only made 11 but some I did slightly overfill. Make sure to only fill your cupcake liners ½ full and you should get the full 12 with nice flat tops perfect for a generous piping of frosting.
I took these into work to get more input into whether I could really call these my ultimate chocolate and coconut cupcakes. Firstly, the reaction came with a surprise that they are completely dairy-free. How can rich, soft, sweet cakes with ‘buttercream’ piled on top really be dairy-free??
Well they are, and it is really not that difficult or complex. My golden rule for substitution is to know your ingredients and how they work. Nuttelex Lite is key for my frosting due to its flavour and they fact it doesn’t get oily. I know that when I use this I will get perfect frosting every time! Same goes for the coconut milk I use. There are so many different varieties out there I think it is important to find what works (and provides the best taste) and stick with it.
The second part of the reaction from both my husband and co-workers was delight. It was that moment when you bite into something that is so light yet so decadently rich and sweet you know you are onto a winner. That is how I know that these cupcakes are the ultimate crowd pleaser.
So do yourself and those around you a favour and whip up a batch of these chocolate and coconut cupcakes. You won’t be disappointed, but you do need to be prepared to be asked to make them again and again.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs ,room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup dairy-free spread*
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream**
- 3-4 cups icing mixture
- Pinch salt
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with patty cases and preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Combine white vinegar and coconut milk and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk to combine eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salts. Add half of the dry ingredients into the wet and half of the coconut milk and stir until combined. Add in the remainder of the dry ingredients along with the milk and again stir until mixture just comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
Fill patty cases 1/2 full and bake in the pre-heated oven for 18 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
In a large bowl, add dairy-free spread and vanilla and begin beating with an electric mixer on medium speed.
In a separate bowl, sift 3 cups icing sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly begin adding icing sugar mixture into the dairy-free spread ¼ cup at a time ensuring it is completely combined before adding more.
Once about half of the icing sugar has been added, beat in coconut cream slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do this very slowly as it may split the butter. If the mixture looks too wet after one tablespoon, make sure to beat in more icing sugar before adding the remaining coconut cream.
Beat in remaining icing sugar and add salt to taste. If the mixture is a little soft for piping, add more icing sugar ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Using your favourite piping tip, pipe icing onto cakes. You will have more than enough icing for 12 cakes here, but any leftovers can be kept in a container in the fridge for up to a week.
*I use Nuttelex Lite to replace butter in most of my recipes as it is vegan and gives a 'buttery' flavour without being greasy. As this is an Australian product, the closest US alternative I believe is Earth Balance. Otherwise any dairy-free spread will work.
** Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. The cream will solidify and settle on the top. Use this as your coconut cream for the best results. Mix together what remains in the can and use this for the coconut milk required. I only use TCC Premium Coconut Milk as it only contains coconut and water and I find it has the best, creamiest flavour.
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