Preheat oven to 350°F and line 18 cups in two muffin tins with paper liners.
Combine dry ingredients by whisking together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set bowl aside.
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, 3/4 cup baking cocoa, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt
Add the softened butter to a mixing bowl and beat until the butter is light and fluffy.
6 TBS unsalted butter
Add the sugar and beat again, continuing to beat until you get a nice soft and fluffy mixture.
1 1/2 cups sugar
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. Then add vanilla extract and buttermilk and beat on low until well combined.
2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup buttermilk
Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture and mix on low speed or by hand until ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
Use a medium cupcake scoop to fill the cupcake wrappers about 1/2 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cupcake.
Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan and placing on a cooling rack.
Toast coconut in a toaster oven for 1-2 minutes or in the oven at 350°F for about 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently and keep a close eye on it because it will brown very quickly. Cook until just toasted lightly. Set aside to cool.
1 1/2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
After cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them and then drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.
1/4 cup caramel sauce, 1/4 cup chocolate sauce
Beat butter on medium speed until it is fluffy then add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each cup.
1 cup unsalted butter, 6 cups powdered sugar
Add milk and vanilla extract and continue to beat for 3-5 minutes. Frosting should be a soft, fluffy texture.
1/3 cup milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract
Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three days. If you use a caramel or chocolate sauce that requires refrigeration after opening, refrigerate the cupcakes. Otherwise, they can just be stored at room temperature. Allow cupcakes to warm up before serving if you do refrigerate.Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting. You can even bake them the night before and just frost the next day to make sure they’re cooled. If they’re still warm, the frosting will melt right off and ruin your cupcakes.Freeze the chocolate cupcakes before decorating by placing them in a zipper top freezer safe bag. They freeze great for up to three months. Remove from the freezer and allow to come to room temperature before enjoying.Ingredient Notes:
Buttermilk – I recommend using actual buttermilk in these cupcakes to keep them moist. In a pinch, if you don’t have buttermilk you can combine one cup whole milk with 1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar, mix it up, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then use it in place of the buttermilk.
Butter – you want to use unsalted butter that’s nice and soft. If it’s not soft, let it sit out for about an hour before adding to the cupcakes. If you only have salted butter, you can use that – just omit the added salt in the recipe.
Caramel sauce – You can use any caramel sauce you want, you just want to make sure it’s a thick one that will drizzle well. I had leftover caramel ice cream topping from this caramel apple drink so used that.
Chocolate sauce – You can use any chocolate sauce you want – ice cream topping, melted chocolate chips drizzled on top, or even homemade hot fudge! You could even use a chocolate ganache if you really wanted!
Shredded coconut – you can use either shredded coconut or coconut flakes, just make sure they are unsweetened or thees cupcakes will be REALLY sweet. If you only have sweetened, use about half as much when topping the cupcakes.