Almond Joy Cupcakes

Almond Joy CupcakeIf you like cupcakes and you like Almond Joy candy bars, then run, don't walk, to your kitchen and get cooking. These Almond Joy cupcakes will blow your apron away, they're so good.

In this recipe adapted from one at Squidoo, there are three layers -- the delicious creamy coconut cake, a sweet coconut topping, and a decadent chocolate glaze. It sounds like a lot of work, but each step is actually pretty quick, and the end result is well worth it. While each is topped with a few almonds, you could leave some without, because you know ... sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don't.

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Almond Joy Cupcakes

  • 2 large eggs plus 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces and at room temperature

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk the whole eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk in the cream of coconut and the coconut and vanilla extracts until smooth.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, with a mixer on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of the egg mixture, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the remaining egg mixture until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter among the prepared cups, filling each about halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Coconut Topping 

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 14-ounce package shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Combine the milk, coconut, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the milk is absorbed and the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 48 roasted almonds
Put the chocolate, corn syrup, butter and 3 tablespoons hot water in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on 50 percent power until the chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine. Keep warm.

Top each cupcake with a heaping tablespoonful of the coconut mixture, pressing gently until compact. Spoon 1 teaspoon glaze on top and garnish with 2 almonds. Refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 20 minutes.

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