BUT...I promised my friend L a while ago that I'd bake cupcakes for her husband J's 30th birthday this weekend. AND I submitted my second article today, so I am less stressed and now with some free time. I'm so glad that the timing worked and I was able to bake for J's birthday! (For L's 30th birthday this past summer, I made the assortment of mini cupcakes that you can see here.)
L planned a birthday dinner at a BBQ place, so we were trying to figure out BBQ/Southern themed cupcake flavors for J's birthday. Somehow we ended up with a few "Southern" flavors and a few, well, fun-but-not-very-Southern flavors.
The flavor she was most intrigued by and wanted immediately was this Samoa Cupcake (that I found on Pinterest). I thought about making them mini, but figured that full sized cupcakes were probably easier to serve. And boy was that a smart decision -- even though the recipe said that it makes 24 cupcakes, I got 36 full-sized ones!
|Red Velvet and Samoa Cupcakes for J's 30th!|
from Spice is Nice
For the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup Cocoa (Both she and I used Hershey’s special dark)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons coconut flavoring
1 cup coconut, packed
1 (scant) cup boiling water (I used 7/8 cup very hot tap water)
Preheat oven to 350° and line 24 (like I said earlier, I got 36) muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add in eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and coconut flavoring. Mix well.
Fold in coconut, then add boiling water. (Batter will be very thin)
Pour batter into muffin tins, filling each cup no more than 3/4 full.
Bake at 350° for 22-25 minutes (Mine took exactly 20 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool for several minutes, but then remove cupcakes from tins on cool on a wire rack.
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream:
2 sticks butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup caramel topping, plus more for drizzling (I ended up thinking that it didn't taste "caramel-y" enough, so I used extra caramel, which thinned out the icing a little...so I used the full 4 cups of powdered sugar)
1 pound powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
Cream butter until fluffy.
Add in vanilla extract and caramel topping.
Add powdered sugar and salt and mix until smooth. If icing is still too thin add a bit more powdered sugar (the consistency differs based on the type of caramel topping you use).
Wait until cupcakes are completely cool, and use a pastry bag to ice the cupcakes.
For the Homemade Chocolate Sauce:
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold water
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients except vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium-heat, and whisk until smooth.
Bring sauce to a boil and continue to whisk until sauce becomes thick.
Remove from heat (The original author didn't say when to add the vanilla, so I added it now).
Let cool slightly and drizzle over cupcakes or store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
Pipe icing onto cupcakes.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut (I just took some leftover coconut, put it on a foil-lined baking sheet, and toasted it at 350F. Why 350? Because thats what the oven was on from baking the cupcakes. Watch closely -- it can burn in a matter of seconds).
Drizzle with chocolate sauce and remaining caramel sauce.