These cupcakes are so easy and delightfully delicious. And you start with a boxed cake mix! I originally read about these on the Steamy Kitchen blog. For the cupcakes you just follow the directions on the cake box, except substitute one cup of brewed coffee for one cup of the water called for on the box. Everything else follows the directions on the back of the box- other ingredients, mix time, bake time, etc.
I chose to use a mini muffin tin for these cupcakes because we were taking them to a party. One box of cake mix makes about 40 small cupcakes. My pan holds 24, so a baked them in two shifts (just fill any empty slots half full with water if you don’t have enough batter for two full pans). I frosted and took 24 to the party and froze the rest for later. The ones for the party got topped with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut.
Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/2 square of cream cheese (4 oz), softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt
Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add vanilla, coconut extract, and milk. Gradually add the sugar with the mixer on the lowest speed. Mix until everything in smooth and totally combined. You can adjust the milk and sugar a little to get to your desired texture. Finish by mixing in a pinch of salt. I used a pastry bag to spread the icing on my cupcakes when they were completely cool, but you could also just spread it on with a knife.
Top with shredded coconut. You can toast it in a pan over low heat. Just add 1/2 cup shredded coconut to a preheated pan and stir occasionally until the coconut becomes fragrant and light brown.