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Coconut Cream Cupcakes

These cream-filled coconut cupcakes from TV chef Thomas Joseph are the perfect treat for any birthday party or special occasion.

  • Yield: Makes 18
Coconut Cream Cupcakes

Source: The Martha Stewart Show


For the Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For Serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Heat milk and vanilla-bean pod and seeds (if using) in a small saucepan over medium just until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter until melted, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into bowl, and discard vanilla-bean pod.

  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together whole eggs, yolk, and sugar. Set mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk by hand until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm, about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow, and thick enough to hold a ribbon on the surface for several seconds when whisk is lifted.

  3. Gently but thoroughly fold flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches; stir 1/2 cup batter into the strained milk mixture to thicken, then fold milk mixture into the remaining batter until just combined.

  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until centers are completely set and edges are light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

  5. In a saucepan, combine sugar, coconut milk, and 1/2 cup whole milk. Set saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer.

  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup milk and cornstarch; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and salt. Slowly whisk in one-third of the sugar mixture into the yolk mixture. Add yolk mixture to saucepan with remaining sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and place saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

  7. Remove from heat and strain into a medium bowl; stir in toasted coconut, vanilla, and butter until butter is melted and mixture is well combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until set.

  8. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip. Insert pastry tip into the center of each cupcake and carefully fill. Top each filled cupcake with a large dollop of whipped cream; sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to serve, up to overnight.

Reviews (4)

  • emikochan73 5 Jun, 2013

    Loved this custard recipe! I added about a half teaspoon of coconut flavoring to give it a boost and ate some as is. Yum! I tried some in a coconut cake I made as well and it was a great compliment. The flavor isn't overwhelming so it can be eaten solo or with something else easily. I didn't like the coconut flakes though (personal preference), so next time I will probably make it without.

  • McBergish 10 Feb, 2013

    Made these cupcakes and loved them. Great presentation when you put your whipped cream on with a pastry bag with a large star tip. However next time I will try a different batter for the cake itself. They turned out a bit dry for all the steps that were required for the cake batter itself.

  • leesh217 15 Sep, 2012

    on the show chef Thomas Joseph recommended using this filling for a coconut cream pie -- clearly one of the easiest i've made and an excellent choice. so great!!

  • JThomann 1 Oct, 2011

    Yum! I made these for my 3rd grade students and they LOVED them! They asked if I could give the recipe to their moms!! These also held up really well overnight in the fridge. Nice twist on a classic cupcake!

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