Samoas® Cupcake48

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate,Coconut,Experimental Recipe,Step-by-Step Photos (Friday March 31, 2006 at 9:19 pm)

This here is the original recipe referred to in the Chronicle article. The only difference being that the caramel filling was not published for a number of reasons, one to keep the length of the recipe down and two because they tested just as well without the caramel center. I will add that making the caramel can be dangerous! So, if you do it, please make it in a deep pot.

Lastly, I had no clue just how many calories were in one of these! I should have known what with all the butter, coconut, and cream… but seriously… I am glad I ate just a half of one. They are super rich and mini size might be more appropriate (now that’s a thought).

It was fantastic to be mentioned alongside actual businesses. The folks working hard to supply us with made-to-order cupcakes! I am totally adding their links to the right sidebar this weekend.

Brown Sugar Butter Cupcakes

12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
5. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
7. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
8. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full.
10. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Toasted Coconut Topping

2 eggs
10 ounces evaporated milk
1-1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 cups shredded, sweet coconut

1. Spread the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes.
2. Crack the eggs into a small saucepan and beat lightly to break up.
3. Add milk, sugar, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes.
4. Press mixture through a metal sieve and into a bowl to remove any lumps.
5. Add 2 cups of the coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly, stir to combine.
6. Let the mixture cool.

toasted coconut


1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter

1. Combine the water, sugar, and the corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat.
2. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the sugar is incorporated.
3. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
4. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
5. Do not stir from this point on, but it is important to carefully shake the pan so that one area of the caramel doesn’t burn.
6. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
7. *** This is the dangerous part *** Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Wear oven mitts, stand away from the pan, and be careful. The mixture will bubble up significantly.
8. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter and stir until combined.
9. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Note: You will have leftover caramel, it stores well refrigerated in an airtight container for about a month.

the cone!

Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona 61% cocao
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Let cool to room temperature.

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon of caramel.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Smooth on a light coating of chocolate ganache.
5. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden the ganache.
6. With your hands, press out a disk of the coconut topping and place on top of the cupcake. Press to shape the mixture into a dome.
7. Press in some more plain toasted coconut on top of that.
8. Drizzle the top with lines of ganache. Note that you may have to warm the ganache over a water bath to get it to drizzling consistency.

the ganache layer

smoothing on the ganache

drizzling on the ganache

48 comments for Samoas® Cupcake »

  1. Yeow-za, that is decadence, sounds delicious!

    Comment by nosheteria — March 31, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

  2. Gorgeous! BTW if you REALLY want to know … and maybe you don’t! … I use a product called AccuChef for nutrition analysis.

    Comment by AK — April 1, 2006 @ 5:40 am

  3. I noticed the nutrition info: 550 calories each!!! Wow! Mini’s are a great idea.

    Comment by Jennifer — April 1, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

  4. Good for you, Cheryl!

    Even though I can’t have exactly what you create, I love visiting your site for inspiration.

    And thank you for the info on the gluten-free baxing mix from Gourmet Dec ’05 — it was definately better than anything else, but still not right. I’ve got to spend some more time with my standing mixer.

    Comment by capello — April 2, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  5. I discovered your website after reading the Chronicle article. I’m so inspired!

    You might want to make a small correction in the Samoas recipe. In the directions for making the caramel, you say “Where oven mitts,” when you mean to say WEAR oven mitts… An excellent idea!

    Comment by Kris — April 2, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  6. The Samoas’ look decadent! I’ll have to try them. I shared your Papaya-Coconut Cupcakes w/ Ginger-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting with my fellow piano students this weekend….the first word out of their frosting-filled mouths was, “WOW!” I’ve passed on your blog to many of them!

    I had trouble with the lime zest garnish, so I opted for a little lemon-lime jelly bean that I cut lengthwse into tiny slices. Three of the slices made a very sweet, little blossom-like garnish.

    As you suggested, I also added a vanilla pastry cream filling….very yummy and creamy.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful creations….I’ve found a new hobby!

    p.s. here’s another garnish idea… I made your lemon curd filled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for my husband’s birthday and I made candied lemon slices to top them off. Very easy…just bring a few very thin lemon slices to a boil in sugar and water and let cool. I cut them into quarters so the flavor wouldn’t overpower the cupcake. They looked and tasted terrific.

    Comment by sawsee — April 2, 2006 @ 8:27 pm

  7. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Sam — April 3, 2006 @ 10:50 am

  8. All your cupcakes look fantastic. Great work! you have made me rethink cupcakes. I’m going to add you to my blog roll. Thanks!

    Comment by Sam — April 3, 2006 @ 10:53 am

  9. the pictures are so inspiring! i’m heading to my oven right now. =)

    Comment by lf — April 4, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

  10. Wow, these are so good. They taste like the cookies! I ate 2 of these cupcake with out calculating the calories. Lets face it, with all that goes in to these babies there is no way they are good for you but try them. They are worth splurging. I did have extra caramel so I drizzled some on top with the ganache. That made the topping chewy like the cookie. Chockylit your blog is wonderful. I have made 5 of your cupcakes and each one has been delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Anonymous — April 5, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

  11. I am so glad you tried the recipe and liked it! That’s awesome. I agree with you, cupcakes are meant to be treats enjoyed not too often (so they are special) in which case it’s ok for the occasional treat to be a bit on the unhealthy-side. The problem I have is that I bake them nearly every week!

    Hey, ak, I purchased a copy of AccuChef. Interesting software. Not everyone of my cupcakes is this high in calories! I actually wanted to build an app like that (a recipe database that calculates nutritional info, automatically doubles or halves recipes, provides subsitution suggestions, etc.) but online. If I ever get to it, I will let you know!

    Yeah, jennifer, these are for splurging!

    Hey, capello, sorry you can’t have gluten! It’s hard to bake without it or eggs. I actually experimented with eggless recipes this past weekend (for a cookbook so I couldn’t blog about it) and I got something pretty ok. Still not like cupcakes with eggs, but an acceptable alternative. I plan to blog about an eggless version in the new month or so. I will add gluten-free to the list of things to do as well.

    sawsee, I am glad the recipe worked out. Your jelly bean garnish sounds nice! I like the lemon slices, too. Candie-ing fruit is pretty straightforward and I prefer to garnish with something natural.

    Comment by chockylit — April 5, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

  12. Hello, WOW! I absolutely love your creativity and obvious LOVE for cupcakes. Your site has been very inspirational to me and my kitchen ;-) I would love to speak with you, I have a question or 2. However, I am unable to click your email link. My email is I wont take much of your time, just an email or 2. Thanks a bunch and I really look forward to hearing from you.

    Fellow bakaholic!

    Comment by Tessera — April 6, 2006 @ 11:13 am

  13. I forgot to add, these happen to be my ALL TIME FAV. girlscout cookies. And what a great way for me to enjoy them! I moved to Canada in 2002 and have been unable to get any “good” GS cookies since. I’m giddy over these cupcakes lol. Definately a Splurge, but worth it.

    Comment by Tessera — April 6, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  14. Cheryl- You are great!! I LOVE your blog- saw it listed in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago and I have been looking at tons of cupcake shops, websites, blogs online- but I think yours is the best! Thanks for all your great tips. I tried the Melt in Your Mouth yesterday- YUM! Very rich and very chocolatey! My favorite blogs now are yours and a trail running one- I am a trail runner (need to be if I will be eating cupcakes!!!) :

    Comment by kate — April 6, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  15. Hi! I love your site. I’m hoping you can share some of your wisdom with me…I have a batch of these Brown Sugar Butter Cupcakes (or whatever they’re called, I don’t exactly remember) in the oven right now, and I can see that I must have overfilled the baking cups, because they’ve all overflowed except for one beautiful dome. Perhaps my conception of 3/4 is off….do you usually have enough batter to make exactly 12? I had a little bit left over, and I think I could probabaly have made two more with what needs to be taken out of the 12. I’m using the 3-1/4 oz. soufflé cups.

    Thanks for any advice you have!

    Comment by Anonymous — April 6, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  16. In the recipe, I said ” half to three-quarters full” which is closer to what you should be aiming for with this recipe. Some raise up more than others. And there can be other factors, like oven temp, amount of baking powder, etc.

    I use a 2 ounce scoop for the souffle cups which seems to work well. Sorry they are overflowing! That has happened to me in the past, that’s for sure.

    Comment by chockylit — April 6, 2006 @ 10:10 pm

  17. i just want to say that i LOVE you!!!! i made the peanut butter banana chocolate and they were SO good. and gorgeous!

    thanks a lot for posting such wonderful recipes.

    Comment by d — April 6, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  18. I plan to make these this weekend. Thanks for all the recipes and gorgeous photos of cupcakes.

    Comment by Carol — April 7, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

  19. These look dangerous! I’m sure I couldn’t stop eating them… As always, beautiful pictures.

    Comment by keiko — April 10, 2006 @ 8:51 am

  20. haha…that was the edition of the article that my mom had shown me…the one with the entire section all about cupcakes. haha. your blogs are truly inspirational, and the pictures are awesome! keep up the good work!

    Comment by julieyancancook — April 10, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  21. That looks LOVELY! wow, you should write a book and fill em up with these wonderful pics. If you already have a book, then i’ve just got to have it :D

    Comment by diva. — April 11, 2006 @ 6:47 am

  22. Cheryl-love your site, photos, recipes, all! I keep checking for your next installment!
    I wanted to make a batch of Easter cupcakes for this weekend, and tie ribbons around each one (have seen photos on other blogs, sites with ribbon wrapped cupcakes). I tried it, and they all fell off- do you have any ideas of how to keep them on??? Thx :>

    Comment by kate — April 11, 2006 @ 6:44 pm

  23. Your photos make it look so easy. I think I’m hooked though I’ll try a different recipe. Not a samoas-type cupcake eater. The citrus trio looks great!

    Comment by Amy — April 12, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

  24. Hi, Kate. I have seen the ribbons and it can look really nice. I haven’t tried it myself. My big concern is making nice little bows. I am simply not good at bows :) I have thought to myself, how to they get them to stay and I am guessing double sided tape or glue. For professional photo shoots, at least from what I have read, they will do whatever they need to for the shot. i might be concerned about using glue if I am serving the cupcakes for eating. But a touch of double sided tape might work ok… If you figure it out, let me know!

    Comment by chockylit — April 12, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

  25. Wow,
    all of your posts have been nothing but absolutely delectable!!
    You’ve encouraged me to put more arts into baking, thus beginning my journey in decorating cupcakes!

    Keep it up! And, thanks for sharing all those wonderful pictures and recipes!

    Comment by strawberry — April 15, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

  26. Chockylit, speaking of photo shoots; who takes the pictures for your blog? It seems like you are featured in some of them (or, what I assume are your hands anyway). The photos are beautiful!

    Comment by Jennifer — April 16, 2006 @ 7:15 am

  27. Hi, Jennifer, I take all the photos myself. I set up the camera on a tripod, focus on the object I plan on working with, then use auto-timer. This usually works. Sometimes the focus is off, but I simply adjust it and redo the photo.

    There was one occasion where I got assistance from my husband, the one where I was holding the container of raspberry cupcakes. That one was ard to focus for, so I asked him to do it.

    Comment by chockylit — April 16, 2006 @ 10:34 am

  28. Your cupcakes look amazing.where do you get your cupcake liners? they are unusual

    Comment by Anonymous — April 16, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  29. Your cupcakes are simply beautiful!!! In fact, your whole site is beautiful. :)

    Comment by juliebean — April 17, 2006 @ 6:37 am

  30. These cupcakes were SOOO delicious! I made small ones, but it wasn’t worth it. Don’t waste your time, because everyone ate two anyway. My toasted coconut frosting turned out a little wet, but still very incredibly delicious. I made the caramel myself. I didn’t think it would turn out, so I made a backup plan. It ended up that it tasted way better than any caramel I’ve ever purchased. YUM!! I can’t say enough good things about these cupcakes. I used them for my mother’s b-day. I whisked in some powdered sugar in the extra ganache, and wrote on top of the cupcakes. It worked out perfectly…

    Comment by Kristi — April 18, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  31. These look like miniature masterpieces! :) Of the yummiest kind. I just found your blog after doing a blogger search for cupcakes to go with my coffee. One rainy day, I’m going to attempt these gorgeous creations!

    Thanks so much,

    P.S. If you have a moment, please drop by my blog. I’d love to hear what you think.

    Comment by HappySlob — April 28, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

  32. ok I had to make these for my daughter who came home to visit. OMG! they were absoultly awesome. every one raved about them.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 15, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

  33. Hi, I live in Sweden, and I can’t get evaporated milk in the supermarket. Is there something else I can use for the cupcakes? I am lost here :S Great site, by the way.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 15, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

  34. “Anonymous said… where do you get your cupcake liners?” Check out the cupcake questions post. That is the first question!

    Thank you very much, juliebean!

    Kristi, I am so very glad the recipe worked out! yay! I love when people are successful with the recipes.

    Thank you for the compliment, Christina aka HappySlob. I checked out your blogs, you are one busy blogger! Great stuff though, all important things to know for us busy bakers.

    Hi, Anonymous from Sweden, I am not too sure how to make your own sweetened evaporated milk. Here is a recipe I found after googling it.

    1 c. whole milk
    2/3 c. sugar
    3 tbsp. butter, melted
    1/3 c. boiling water
    Pinch of salt

    Mix all ingredients in a pan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Makes 2 cups – use in your favorite recipe.

    Comment by chockylit — May 17, 2006 @ 9:52 pm

  35. Even better than the Girl Scout cookies! I am now considering these adult only cup cakes, far too good to be squandered on the children! Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Bill Belew — May 24, 2006 @ 6:54 am

  36. Hey…love the blog…well done..

    got to you from posting on FancyGlassSpot blog…

    Chef Tony
    “ChefLife” podcast on iTunes

    Comment by CHEF TONY — May 26, 2006 @ 10:29 pm

  37. You are welcome, Bill.

    And thanks, chef tony!

    Comment by chockylit — May 31, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  38. I made these this past weekend. They were delicious but very, very rich. I think next time I’ll skip the gooey coconut topping and just have chocolate and toasted coconut. Very good though and your blog is gorgeous.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 7, 2006 @ 7:49 am

  39. I made these a couple of weeks ago and, like andrew, mine almost ALL overflowed. I’m at 4700 ft above sea level, so i’m thinking i’ll cut down a bit on teh baking powder/soda and maybe turn the temp up a bit…just so I can have nice high peaks (mine were very flat. My frosting was a little wet as well…would cooking it a little longer before adding coconut alleviate this? I’m going to try it again, not in minis, really, but in a size in-between.

    Thanks for all the help and responses to the comments! That’s what’s helped me the most!

    Comment by Chelsea Alexander — June 7, 2007 @ 8:01 am

  40. this is incredible. i’m definately going to try to make these this month. they will be my most challenging attempt yet!

    Comment by howtoeatacupcake — June 21, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  41. I just made these today. Very time intensive – it seemed like I was at them all afternoon – but the expression on the face of my 17 ds made it all worthwhile. He was in bliss and all he could say was MMMMM….mmmmm.. WOW! Yumm. Everyone else also enjoyed them.

    I made mini size and would say not to fill cups more than 1/2 full. My frosting was very wet even with the addition of the coconut so I just put it back on the stove and cooked it an extra 5 minutes. Problem solved.

    A definite treat and I will make them again especially if I need to impress someone.

    Comment by Lani Kaye — January 27, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

  42. I made these recently, but I have a question about how they are supposed to turn out. All my caramel was absorbed by the cupcake, leaving the space empty! Any suggestions on what I may have done wrong, or is that how they are supposed to be? Thanks!

    Comment by Ryan — February 5, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

  43. So I just made these and OMG!! They are soooo good. My only problem was with making the caramel. It just didnt work out for me. I ended up just melting store bought caramels.
    Warning for those who want to make these delicious cupcakes: this is really time intensive, so give yourself lots of time.

    Comment by Lena — May 26, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

  44. Wow, I’m never making these again! I estimate that these took me SIX hours to complete (.5 for caramel a few days ago, 1.5 for cupcakes this morning, and 4+ hours tonight for assembly and cleanup).

    I doubled this recipe and ended up with 24 cupcakes, 12 minis, and a mini-loaf! I guess I can fill my cupcakes bigger next time; this was my first try with the ice cream scooper.

    I did not double the ganache or the coconut mess, and had an incredible amount left over. My ganache semi-failed (a whipping vs. heavy cream error), so I whipped it and made more of a frosting. No problem; still tastes very rich.

    However, the coconut was pretty gross, and I wish that I had paid more attention to the ingredients. I made the simmering golden mixture, sieved it, and lost maybe 1/5 due to clumpiness. Thank goodness it didn’t all go through the sieve, as I had to keep toasting and adding more coconut to get the very wet mixture to a consistency that was moldable. I added the original 3c plus at least an extra cup until my bag ran out. It was still a wet gloppy mess that I just poked into place on top of the frosted cupcakes. Tastes nice, but I’d rather use 2 eggs and a whole stick of butter for a 9×9 pan of brownies for the calories! Next time, I would be just as happy with toasted coconut on top of the ganache.

    I also had the problem that others mentioned, where the caramel absorbed into the cupcake. I didn’t see a suggestion for how to avoid that. ?

    I’m sure these will taste great tomorrow, but I’d remake the chocolate peanut butter/caramelized banana cupcakes again instead. They looked prettier and took a fraction of the time.

    Comment by Lindsay — March 6, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  45. I made these today and they are fantastic! It took about 3 hours from start to finish (with a few breaks in between). I will make these again for sure.

    Comment by Ashley — September 23, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  46. I just finished making these and I ran into an issue with the coconut topping. I doubled it and followed directions exactly. I should have needed 4c of toasted coconut to add to the golden liquid… I added four cups and it looked like soup. I toasted four more cups and added that. Figured that once it cooled it’d be okay… nope. After hours of cooling and even putting it outside, it was way too soupy. I strained it a bit and still I couldn’t form a dome. I just spread it on like frosting. Still looks great and I can’t wait to see how they taste…

    Comment by katie — December 13, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  47. My daughter and her friend tried to make them but, put the caramel in the cupcake without tasting and the caramel was actually burned, Dang. So now I am trying to make them. It is quite a long process. I am at about 2 1/2 hours now just frosted with chocolate now waiting to put my coconut on and be done. I can hardly wait to taste them.
    Would be nice to know the time involved with the caramel turning amber. Still not sure if I cooked it long enough. But, it tastes ok.
    Being hopeful….

    Comment by Cindy — June 5, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

  48. It’s better to use really warm heavy cream when making the caramel, it makes a bit less dangerous and explosive. When you use cold cream, it reacts to the very very hot sugar/caramel so it forms a lot of bubbles

    Comment by Steph — February 3, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

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