The Best Frosting, Part 2: Easter Cupcakes

Every Easter my grandmother makes a delicious two-layer cake covered in coconut. She’s decorated it with the same candies and toys for as long as I can remember! Since I haven’t been home in a while, I decided to do something similar. I used the wonderful frosting I posted a couple weeks ago. It’s very adaptable, and the coconut helped it taste less buttery.

I wanted to the flaked coconut to make the top look like nests–did I succeed?

Chocolate Cake from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook
Makes 12-16 cake servings, or 24 cupcakes

¾ cup butter
3 eggs
2 cups flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups milk

Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, ¼ cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread into greased pans or lined cupcake pans.

For 8-inch pans and 13x9x2 inch pan, bake for 35-40 minutes; for 9-inch pans bake for 30-35 minutes; for cupcakes bake for 20-25 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick in the middle; should come out clean. Cool thoroughly and frost with desired icing.

Coconut Frosting
Modified from MissyDew at The Tasty Kitchen

1 cup Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)
Coconut flakes to taste

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens (Note: it will be very, very thick!). Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If in a hurry, place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. Stir in coconut flakes. Since I was dipping the tops into coconut, I didn’t add many flakes to the frosting. Maybe about one cup, but I didn’t measure.

Spread over cake and enjoy!

Besides the occasional Almond Joy, I’ve never really had chocolate and coconut together, but these are delicious!


  • These are so cute! I do think the coconut works well as nests. You could probably try toasting it to make it look more brown and realistic :).

    3 April 2010
  • Yes, yes you did succeed!

    3 April 2010
  • They look fantastic! I have to try this frosting soon. The coconut really makes it effective.

    3 April 2010
  • They look so cute!

    4 April 2010
  • pirategenevieve

    Those have to be some of the cutest cupcakes i have ever seen! I LOVE THEM. My stomach is growling now!! hahaha

    The coconut totally looks like a little bird nest. So cute!

    6 April 2010
  • Claire

    Just a quick question… is the flour plain flour, as opposed to self-raising? Not sure if it’s a US/UK thing but we have two different types of flour and I’m never sure which to use for American recipies!

    9 April 2010
    • Alyssa

      Just plain (all-purpose) flour. But I don’t know anything about self-rising, so you’re much more experienced than me! I think you just alter the salt and leavening agents, right? I know I’ve seen the equation for substitutions before!
      I would guess for the frosting, though, that you could use either kind. It’s really just there to thicken the milk–kind of like roux.

      9 April 2010
      • Claire

        I think self-raising is just plain with baking powder in then :) (I can’t remember far enough back to food tech classes to be definite…)

        Thanks for the speedy reply.

        9 April 2010

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