chocolate and coconut cupcakes

chocolate coconut cupackesIt’s always a treat to catch up with friends, especially if you’re friends who haven’t seen everyone together in a while. To be honest, not having a drivable car since February has been a massive drag on our social life (my new car – irresistibly sitting in the drive way, I might add – is a manual, and silly me doesn’t have a manual license). But progress shall be made! I go for my test on Wednesday – wish me luck.

But I’m getting off-track. Not being able to drive has made catching up with people a bit tricky, so I jumped at the chance to have a group of old uni friends over on Saturday for afternoon tea. Naturally, I treated this as an occasion to bake all the things. Ever. There was this caramel-swirl apple cake. Peanut butter cookies topped with leftover caramel sauce. And these chocolate and coconut cupcakes I’m sharing with you today.

Everything was gobbled down (the apple cake was a big hit), but I couldn’t go past these cupcakes (originally based off this recipe). The icing is pretty decadent and luxurious, but honestly, it’s the cake here that I’m totally in love with. This is my idea of chocolate cake (I think it’s most people’s too). Soft, moist crumb. Chocolately. Velvety almost? I don’t even know how to describe it to you. It’s probably my favourite chocolate cake, ever. A BIG call. But I think these little guys deserve it.

cupcakes and proteas cupcakes

proteaAlso, aren’t these proteas just insane? They are so vibrant. Australian natives are the longest-lasting flowers too – I expect to get at least 3 weeks out of these babies!

This recipe truly is delicious, and I hope you like it too! Next time, I’m going to try baking it in a square cake tin, and serving it with vanilla-spiked cashew cream. Don’t get me wrong, the coconut-chocolate icing is divine, but a bit on the rich side. If you’re aiming for a lighter dessert, cashew cream is a great alternative. Or, you could definitely just eat the cakes by themselves.

proteas and cupcakes

Chocolate and Coconut Cupcakes

makes 12

Recipes notes:

  • Use a good quality coconut milk here. I use Ayam brand. Just make sure that whatever you use, it’s free of emulsifiers and stabilisers.
  • To make one flax egg, combine 1 tbsp flaxseed (linseed) meal with 2 tbsp boiling water. Whisk with a fork and set aside for 10-15 minutes before using.

For the cupcakes:

  • 100 g (1 cup) almond meal
  • 100 g rice flour
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 150 g raw sugar
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 400 mL coconut milk
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a few drops of almond essence

Preheat oven to 180 C (no fan). Line a muffin tray with 12 cupcakes papers. In a large bowl, combine almond meal, flour, cocoa, sugar, bicarb and baking powder. Whisk with a fork to thoroughly combine. In a separate bowl, combine flax eggs, coconut milk and almond essence. Add wet to dry, whisking to combine. Spoon mixture into cupcakes papers (they should be about 4/5 full). Bake for 20 mins (a cakes tester should come out clean). Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and allow to cool completely before icing.

For the icing:

  • 270 g coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 8 hours (or overnight)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or golden syrup

Scoop out coconut fat from the top of the can, and place in a large bowl. Reserve the coconut water (the clearer liquid in the bottom of the can). Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the coconut fat, with 1/2 tbsp of the coconut water. Beat with a standing mixer or by hand until the icing is fluffy and smooth.

Ice each cupcake with a heaped tablespoon of the icing, top with toasted shredded coconut if desired. They are best served at room temperature, however can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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