Making complex recipes surprisingly simple

Making complex recipes surprisingly simple

Samoa Cupcakes

Samoa Cupcakes

These Samoa cupcakes are a perfect way to impress your family and friends. A coconut cupcake with salted caramel, chocolate ganache, and a toasted coconut garnish; these cupcakes are perfect for any occasion.

I have a confession. I have never eaten a Samoa Girl Scouts Cookie. It’s okay though because I have these babies to eat instead. This cupcake is deliciously tender, filled with salted caramel, doused in chocolate ganache and frosted with a light and airy coconut frosting.

That Lovely Coconut Flavor

Throughout the development of this cupcake, I spent a long time trying to figure out how to get my frosting just right. The key to ensuring a perfectly coconutty frosting is to reduce the coconut milk. Most importantly the coconut milk reduction must be completely cool before you begin to make the frosting. A lot of people do not believe that coconut milk can be reduced. When you reduce dairy milk, the milk solids often stick to the pan causing the milk to burn and sometimes curdle. Think of coconut milk as a fruit juice, in reality, that is what it actually is. Can you reduce fruit juice? Yes, yes you can.

The Caramel, Chocolate and All that Jazz

I love the flavor that the salted caramel brings to this recipe. I used a syringe to inject the warm caramel into the cupcakes but you can also hollow the middle out of the cupcake, and fill it with caramel. Also, be sure to replace the middle cupcake piece back over the hole to cover it up. This will make it much easier when you spread the ganache on top.

The ganache layer of the cupcake does not need to be perfect. Just plop 1-2 teaspoons of ganache on the center of the cupcake and spread it out over the cupcake base. Remember, you are going to place some frosting over these. Frosting covers a host of sins and mistakes. Likewise, the toasted coconut covers up any mistakes that are made when you frost.

Samoa Cupcakes

These Samoa Cupcakes are lush and filled with coconutty flavor that balances perfectly with the chocolate and salted caramel accents throughout the cupcake. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate, Coconut, Cupcake, Salted Caramel, Samoa Cupcake
Servings: 12 yield


Coconut Cupcake

  • 1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour (163g)
  • 1 Cup Sugar (207g)
  • 1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 Cup Water (warm to touch)
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

Salted Caramel:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 6 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Cream
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbsp Milk

Coconut Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Powdered Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Toasted Coconut Flakes (for garnish)


Coconut Cupcake Base

  • Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir until combined. 
    2. In another bowl combine the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla, egg, and the water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. 
    3. Add the coconut flakes to the batter and mix until you have completely incorporated them into the batter. 
    4. Divide the cupcake batter into 12-14 cupcake liners arranged in sheet pans. 
    5. Bake the cupcakes at 325F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool. 

Salted Caramel

  •  Place the butter in a saucepan and melt it on medium heat. 
    2. Add the brown sugar and the cream and stir until just combined. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes. 
    3. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the salt and the vanilla. Allow the caramel to cool in a safe place. 

Chocolate Ganache

  •  Combine the chocolate chips and the milk in a dry bowl. It is important that the bowl is dry so that you do not seize the milk. 
    2. Microwave for 20-second increments or double boil over the stove until the ganache is smooth and creamy. 

Coconut Frosting

  • Place the coconut milk in a small saucepan at medium heat. Stirring occasionally, reduce the milk down to about 2 Tbsp. Allow the milk to cool to room temperature. It will be thick. 
    2. Place the cream in a mixing bowl and whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, and coconut milk reduction. 
    3. Mix the frosting on medium-high speed until it reaches stiff peaks and is light and airy. 


  •  Inject about 1 teaspoon of caramel into each cupcake. Alternately, you can core out the middles of the cupcakes, fill them with caramel and place the little cake piece back on top. 
    2. Spread the ganache over the tops of the cupcakes- you will only need about 2 teaspoons per cupcake. Allow the cupcakes to sit for 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator so that the ganache can cool. 
    3. Frost the cupcakes with the coconut frosting in any way you feel. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the top and drizzle with the remaining caramel. 


This cupcake base is adapted from Life Love and Sugar 

You might also like:

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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