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Cherry Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

 Cherry Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
Chocolate-covered coconut candy is tucked inside each of these moist morsels. The ganache frosting is complemented by coarse sugar and chocolate-covered cherries.—Sandy Ploy, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
24 ServingsPrep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) vanilla or white chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 packages (1.9 ounces each) chocolate-covered coconut candy bars
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 24 maraschino cherries, well drained
  • 3-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Directions

  • For ganache, place vanilla chips and butter in a large bowl. In a

2 of 2

Cherry Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chip mixture;
  • whisk until smooth. Stir in extract. Cover and refrigerate for at
  • least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • In a large bowl, beat the pie filling, buttermilk and eggs until well
  • blended. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder
  • and salt; gradually beat into pie filling mixture until blended.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups one-third full. Cut candy bars in half;
  • place half of a candy bar in center of each cupcake. Cover each with
  • 2 tablespoonfuls batter.
  • Bake at 375° for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near
  • the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from
  • pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir
  • until smooth. Dip cherries in chocolate mixture; allow excess to
  • drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate
  • until set.
  • Remove ganache from refrigerator; gradually beat in confectioners'
  • sugar until frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe over cupcakes;
  • sprinkle with coarse sugar. Garnish with chocolate-dipped cherries.
  • Yield: 2 dozen.
Nutritional Facts: 1 cupcake equals 426 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 255 mg sodium, 67 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.