Coconut Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 350°F/175°C

At the request of his t’ai chi instructor, Sifu Paul, Woody reconfigured the recipe for The Southern (Manhattan) Coconut Cake from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes in miniature. Instead of topping them with coconut buttercream, they are coated in delicious milk chocolate ganache, but I have also included the buttercream recipe as a variation.

Plan Ahead Make the ganache at least 4 hours ahead.



3 large egg whites, at room temperature (reserve yolks if making the Silk Meringue Buttercream variation) ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml) 3.2 ounces 90 grams
canned coconut milk (see Note) cup (158 ml), divided 5.7 ounces 161 grams
pure vanilla extract ¾ teaspoon (3.7 ml) . .
coconut extract, preferably Flavorganics ¾ teaspoon (3.7 ml) . .
bleached cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) 2 cups (or cups), sifted into the cup and leveled off 7 ounces 200 grams
superfine sugar 1 cup 7 ounces 200 grams
baking powder teaspoons . 10.1 grams
fine sea salt ½ teaspoon . 3 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 8 tablespoons (1 stick) 4 ounces 113 grams
Décor: toasted sweetened coconut flakes 1 cup 3 ounces 85 grams

Special Equipment

16 cupcake liners set in muffin pans or custard cups | Optional: a 2 inch diameter ice cream scoop


Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Mix the Liquid Ingredients

In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, tablespoons/37 ml/1.3 ounces/38 grams of the coconut milk, the vanilla, and coconut extract just until lightly combined. (Spray the reserved yolks lightly with nonstick cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to make the buttercream, if using.)

Make the Batter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining coconut milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Use the optional ice cream scoop or a spoon to place the batter (1.7 ounces/48 grams) into each of the prepared cupcake liners, smoothing the surfaces evenly with a small metal spatula. The liners will be about three-quarters full.

Let the cupcakes sit for 20 minutes at room temperature before being placed in the oven. This resting period will ensure rounded tops.

Bake the Cupcakes

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown, a wire cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, and the cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centers.

Cool the Cupcakes

Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack. Cool completely.

Toast the Coconut

While the oven is still on, it is convenient to toast the coconut for the décor.

Spread the coconut evenly in a single layer on a quarter sheet pan or baking sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the coconut just begins to turn a light brown. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting. Watch carefully to prevent overbrowning. Set the pan on a wire rack until the coconut cools completely. Leave the coconut on the pan and crumble it slightly to separate the pieces.

Make the Milk Chocolate Ganache

See recipe.

Compose the Cupcakes

With a small metal spatula, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the ganache on the top of each cupcake. Hold the cupcakes over the pan and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.


Airtight: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days; frozen, 2 months.

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