Susan's Coconut Cupcakes

This recipe is named Susan's Coconut Cupcakes after my great friend Susan!! She is the one who first shared and taught me how to make this recipe and it has been such a great recipe to have on hand! These cupcakes are delicious! Everybody that tries one, absolutely loves it! Susan is often asked to make this recipe for people's events ALL the time which I think is awesome! She is so awesome for sharing it with me and giving me permission to share it with all of you!

As I said above, Susan is awesome! She has an amazing talent when it comes to cakes and decorating and recipe developing and I love her for it! I could spend every week in her kitchen learning all her tips and tricks and hacks for making beautiful desserts! She has a real talent and I feel blessed to call her a friend and to be able to learn from her. Susan not only helped me prepare these cupcakes for the shower last Saturday, but she also taught me some cake decorating skills! That beautiful cake that is photographed below couldn't have been made possible without her help! So Susan, thank you! Thank you for teaching me so I can teach others! You are awesome and I love you! 

As you can see, these coconut cupcakes are absolutely beautiful! They are a coconut flavored white cake, topped with a coconut cream cheese frosting and finished off with toasted coconut flakes. This is a coconut lovers dream cupcake! And if you are like me and like the flavor of coconut but not the texture, I just skip adding the coconut flakes to the top and I love them! The secret ingredient to these cupcakes is adding a coconut pudding to the cake mix! It boosts the flavor by 100% and adds a great texture to the batter! It will keep you coming back for more! 

These coconut cupcakes are super simple to make. It shocked me the first time how simple they really are! With how amazing the flavor is, how delicious the frosting is on top, and how beautiful the finished product turns out, I thought this was going to be a tough recipe to master! To my surprise, it was just the opposite! Using good ingredients together in a genius way makes an amazing tasting dessert! The recipe calls for coconut extract that I just bought at Orson Gigi! They sell it in a larger bottle and if you are going to be making this recipe a couple of times, the big bottle is worth the investment! You need the extract in both the cake and the frosting! With that, let's get cooking!!

Susan's Coconut Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 Box White Cake Mix 
3 eggs
1/2 cup Oil
1 cup Water
1 4.5 ounce Coconut Pudding Jello Mix (do not prepare it, just add the dry mix)
1 teaspoon Coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a stand mixer, add white cake mix, eggs, oil, water, and coconut pudding. 

Mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. 

Add in coconut extract and mix for 1 more minute on medium speed. 

Line cupcake tin with foil and fill cupcakes 1/2 full. Any extra tins without batter, just drop an ice cube in them to even out the baking. 

Bake for 22-25 minutes. They are finished when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. Frost with coconut cream cheese frosting and top with toasted coconut flakes. Let them set up in the fridge for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! 

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound Powdered Sugar
1 8 ounce block cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Mix all the ingredients together in a stand mixer! You want the frosting to be thick so that when you pipe it onto the cupcake, it holds it's shape.

Use a piping bag with a open star piping tip that is about 1/2 inch diameter. Pipe frosting onto the top of each cooled cupcake.

Toasted Coconut Flakes

1 bag toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 400. Spread coconut out onto cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Using a spatula, stir the coconut and place back into the oven for 2 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times until the coconut is toasted and browned. Let cool before topping the cupcakes.

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