Chocolate Cupcakes -Makes 24
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brewed coffee
In one bowl, sift dry ingredients together. In separate mixing bowl, add oil, eggs, milk, vanilla and coffee. Stir to combine.
Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and beat until well mixed. Batter will be thin. Scoop into cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
Caramel Filling Makes enough to fill and drizzle 24 cupcakes
1 cup half & half
Unwrap caramels and place in microwave safe bowl with half & half. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes or until caramels melt.
Fill cupcakes by using a small pairing knife to cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.
Fill each cupcake with about 1 tablespoon of caramel mixture. Top off with a flat circle of cake to plug the hole and keep the filling in place.
Coconut Buttercream Frosting -Makes 2 1/2 cups
8 Tbs (1 stick) butter at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3-4 Tbs milk
1 tsp coconut flavor
Beat butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 30 seconds). Add confectioners' sugar and 3 Tbs of milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add another tablespoon of milk if frosting is too stiff.
After frosting cupcakes, sprinkle with toasted coconut and drizzle with caramel.