Spring is such a tease. A few weeks ago, it seemed as if we had finally kicked old man winter’s butt, but it was all an oh-so cruel hoax. And now we’ve had snow for like the past three or maybe even four nights. It’s ridiculous.
As the winter weather continues, so does the baking. I’ve been super busy with cupcakes, cakes and cookies. As I try to develop my style, I find myself being drawn more to flavor combinations rather than color or occasion cupcakes. What does that mean? Chocolate and yellow cupcakes with tinted frosting are in the words of Joss T, “Kind of a little bit boring.” Although the cupcake matches the theme of the occasion, it’s lacking the interest of . . . say . . .
a Samoa Cupcake.
See what I mean?
That is homemade caramel and chocolate ganache. That is caramel buttercream with coconut I toasted in my very own oven. Yes, it’s the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning and it’s snowy and freezing flipping cold outside, but that cupcake right there . . .that little sweet . . . has me tickled right to the tips of my icy toes. Because, you see, peeps, for me, it’s not always about spending 82 hours on a fancy decorating scheme (although you know I can appreciate WOW factor). For me, it’s about a funky flavor combination.
Love at first bite, that “I must eat that now” factor because I’m dying to taste the flavor combination AND it appeals to my eyes – for me, the cupcake experience isn’t just that about visual appeal or matching the color scheme.
Am I making any sense at all here?
And so, my faithful readers, I bring to you a tidbit of pure joy. The Girl Scout Cookie in a Cupcake, the Samoa Cupcake. Isn’t she gorgeous? Funky? And you better believe, tasty, in a borderline rated R way kind of delicious. Yes, there maybe an eye-roll involved, especially if you eat one for breakfast. With your first cuppa coffee.
Sweetheart, come to Mama.
*This recipe is loosely based on Samoa Girl Scout Cookie Cupcakes (linked) from Garnish & Glaze and King Arthur Flour’s Simple Chocolate Cake recipe.
These GS Cookie Cupcakes are more than just another pretty face in the cupcake crowd. What an amazing flavor and texture combination. The crunch of the toasted coconut, the taste of the homemade caramel, which is echoed in the caramel buttercream. And ganache. Hello, Beautiful AND Delicious.
- For the Cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached cake flour - I use King Arthur for chocolate cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder - unsweetened
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 - 2 tsp espresso powder - optional
- 4 large eggs - room temperature
- 3/4 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee - cooled, or water
- Chocolate Ganache
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate - chips, wafers or chopped bars
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate - chips, wafers or chopped bars
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Homemade Caramel
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 Tbs butter
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- Caramel Frosting
- 1 cup butter - room temperature
- 3 - 4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 - 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Toasted Coconut
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line and spray the bottoms only for 24 cupcakes.
- In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until smooth.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pans with a large ice cream scoop.
- Bake for 18 - 22 minutes, remove from pans after 5 minutes and allow to cool completely before dipping in ganache.
- In the bottom of a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the water and sugar together.
- Bring to boil without stirring until the sugar browns, swirl the pan at the last stages of cooking.
- Turn off the heat and add the salt and butter, swirl until combined, add the heavy whipping cream. Pour into a Mason jar, but do not cover until completely cooled.
- Beat the butter for one minute.
- Add the sugar gradually and whip until well-combined.
- Add the cooled caramel sauce and continue beating.
- Add the pinch of salt and vanilla. Thin with cream until desired piping consistency.
- Melt the chocolates and the heavy whipping cream together in the microwave on 20 second increments. Stir until melted completely.
- Toast coconut on a half baking sheet in the oven on 350 degrees F for about 6 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes in chocolate ganache.
- Pipe the caramel buttercream in a swirl.
- Drizzle the remaining chocolate ganache and caramel on the frosting
- Top with toasted coconut.