Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Coconut

There's nothing like a birthday as an excuse to make cupcakes! I made these for a special young lady whose appreciation and humbleness makes me smile. Happy Birthday Joy :D

Truth be told, this cupcake isn't what I planned. I wanted to make a Coconut Frosting from Baked atop a chocolate cupcake. The cupcake was fine. The frosting? This puppy crash and burned. Bad. It put me in a salty mood. I think I over whipped... it turned into foam. The recipe is like no frosting I've tried to make in the past- there is no confectioner's sugar, you create it on the stove. There will be a round 2. Mark my words.

Glaring into the fridge, the cream cheese beckoned. Quick. Easy. Delicious. Can't go wrong with this combination. I used sweetened coconut flakes as a garnish. The cupcake was saved! Thank you cream cheese, you're my super man.

These cupcakes are moist and flavorful. It's not overly sweet and well balanced. This is a solid chocolate cake recipe. It's got a slight Devil's Food cake feel to it because of the coffee. I got the cupcake portion from Cook's Illustrated's, 'Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake.' For the full blown out chocolately goodness, check out Pink Parsley's post!

If you're not big on chocolate and coffee, try the Go-To Chocolate Cupcakes as a base. I still have a soft spot because of the almond mead and coconut.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cupcakes, Preheat the oven to 350 and line 12 cupcake tins with liners.

Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, and pour hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces slightly softened cream cheese
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar

Beat the cream cheese with butter still smooth, add vanilla. Gradually add confectioners sugar. Done! Garnish to your hearts desire.