easter cupcakes


Just in time for Easter this weekend, I am sharing a quick and cute dessert that is sure to be festive for the occasion! To cut down on time, I used a vanilla cake mix and added the coconut extract and finely chopped coconut to enhance the flavor instead of making a coconut cupcake from scratch. As a side note, I am a firm believer in the Duncan Hines cakes mixes. From my experience, they are the most moist and delicious cakes I have ever had from a box, and are the closest to baking a cake from scratch! 

So I typically like to make my own frosting. I’m super particular about the way my buttercream tastes, but that was not in the cards for last night! After a long day at work, taking Ella on a walk, cooking dinner and making these cupcakes, homemade frosting was not going to happen {especially since I had to be done for Southern Charm by 10pm. If you haven’t checked out Southern Charm you must. I’m totally obsessed!} Anyways, back to the frosting. Since I wasn’t using much for these cupcakes {basically just enough for the toasted coconut to stick} I decided it was ok to use store-bought frosting. And, much to my surprise, it was pretty tasty! Yes, I tried some with a spoon once they were all frosted 😉 I used the Duncan Hines‘s vanilla and it was super smooth and silky! 
*If you want to try the frosting I usually make, I’ve included it below 🙂 

For the cupcake:
1 box vanilla cake mix {I used this}
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons coconut extract
About 1 cup shredded coconut {I probably used 1 1/4 cup}
For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of milk, if desired
For the decorations:
1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Begin by preparing the decorations: spread shredded coconut evenly onto cookie sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the coconut doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, mix the cake mix, water, oil, eggs and coconut extract with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Stir in the non-toasted coconut. Line cupcake pans with cupcake wrappers and divide the batter, filling each muffin cup about three-quarters full. Bake 15-18 minutes {mine took exactly 16 minutes, but each oven is different}, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. *For the frosting: in the bowl of stand mixer, mix the powdered sugar, unsalted butter and vanilla extract until smooth. To assemble the cupcakes: allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. With a pastry knife or table knife, spread just enough of the frosting on the cupcake to cover the top. Sprinkle each cupcake with desired amount of toasted coconut. Dip one side of a Cadbury mini egg into the frosting to act as “glue” and place on top of the shredded coconut. Enjoy! 

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