It was my Fiance’s birthday on Monday and I had to make him treats that would prevent any cold feet before our upcoming wedding. These babies definitely did the trick. They also served an unexpected secondary purpose of giving me a good arm workout as you have to stir the caramel base for the frosting for a full fifteen minutes non-stop. P90x has nothing on the barefoot contessa! The cupcake itself is not super sweet which is why I like them, but don’t worry if you are a sugar fanatic, there is more than enough in the frosting. These aren’t the quickest treats to whip up, there are a good amount of steps but if you have a little patience (and maybe a nice glass of wine to help pass the time), they are totally worth the effort.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 12 TB (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 TB freshly brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

For the Frosting:

  • 12 TB (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


1. Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees. Line 16-18 cupcake tins with paper liners

2. To make the cupcake batter, cream together the butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and mix together until well combined.


3. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee.


4.  In a third bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.


5. With the electric mixer on low, slowly add the buttermilk mixture and flour mixture one third at a time, starting with the buttermilk mixture. Be careful not to overmix! The mixture will be quite thick.

6. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then allow to finish cooling on a rack before frosting.


7. To make the frosting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the evaporated milk, egg yolks, and brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Once mixture begins to simmer, stir constantly with a wooden spoon for approximately 15 minutes until thickened.  If mixture begins to curdle, whisk vigorously. 


8.  Once thickened, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut, pecans, and almonds.  Allow to cool for an hour before frosting cupcakes.




Source: The Barefoot Contessa