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Devils Food Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting

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Devils Food Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Devils Food Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting
Frances Janisch
Provided by:
total prep
These cupcakes are easy to assemble, but they're plenty decadent. Don't be tempted to use an electric mixer for the frosting -- it won't have the proper consistency.


  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • Equipment: twelve (1/3- to 1/2-cup) muffin cups; 12 paper muffin cup liners


  • Make the cupcakes:
    Preheat oven to 350 F with rack in middle. Put cupcake liners in muffin cups.
  • Whisk together boiling water and cocoa powder in a medium bowl, then whisk in milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt into another bowl.
  • Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour and cocoa mixtures alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter may look curdled). Divide batter among lined cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely.
  • Make the frosting: Preheat oven to 350F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Spread coconut on a baking sheet and pecans on another sheet. Toast coconut in lower third and pecans in upper third of oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Beat butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add cream cheese and vanilla and beat until smooth. Sift in confectioners sugar and stir until incorporated.
  • Toss 3 tablespoons each coconut and pecans in a small bowl, then stir remaining coconut and pecans into frosting. Spread frosting on cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut pecan mixture.
  • Make ahead: Cupcakes can be baked 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container. Coconut and pecans can be toasted 1 day ahead and kept separately in sealable plastic bags. Cupcakes can be frosted 4 hours ahead and kept in an airtight container.