Easter Peep Coconut Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 larger Peep topped cupcakes
 
Festive, Easter Peep Coconut Cupcakes! We're using a traditional We are adapting a classic Southern recipe for a sweet batch of cupcakes this year.
What to get:
Cake Recipe:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 banana (small, very ripe), chopped
  • 1.5 tsp coconut extract
For Condensed Milk Mix:
  • ½ can evaporated milk (12 oz can)
  • ½ can condensed milk (14 oz, I used sweetened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Frosting:
  • 1 tub Cool Whip, defrosted (8 oz)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temp (1/2 cup)
  • 8 oz confectioner's sugar
  • 1-2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened (for garnish)
  • green food coloring (for coloring shredded coconut like grass nests)
  • 2 packages Peeps marshmallow candy birds (yellow, 6 Peeps/box)
  • jelly beans, for garnish
  • festive cupcake liners for baking!
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven according to boxed cake directions (in my case for cupcakes, 350 degrees)
  2. Prepare cake pan(s), (In this case cupcakes, using liners).
Make Cake:
  1. Combine cake mix, eggs, oil, pineapple juice, banana & coconut extract in bowl of electric mixer.
  2. Beat for 3 minutes on medium.
  3. Pour into pan(s) and bake according to package (In our case about 21 mins, when toothpick comes out clean).
  4. Meanwhile, in pot on stove mix milk & vanilla on very low just to combine, set aside.
  5. When cake is finished baking, remove from oven and poke holes with toothpick, carefully pouring a little of condensed milk mix over top to absorb into holes. (I would skip adding the milk mix when making cupcakes however, because become overly sticky).
  6. Let cakes cool on rack in pan(s).
Make the Frosting:
  1. In bowl of mixer combine Cool Whip, softened butter, sugar, coconut extract and beat until smooth,
  2. (At this point I chilled the frosting for about 20 mins to firm-up, better for decorating cakes).
  3. In a small bowl, combine ~1/4 cup shredded coconut with ~3 drops of green food coloring, stirring to coat and color coconut into ‘grass’ for nests.
  4. Frost each cupcake and then top with a little of the coconut “grass.'
  5. To this add one yellow Peep on top, and a few jelly bean eggs for decor!
Notes:
This recipe is based on a classic Southern coconut cake, and made simpler with use of a yellow boxed cake mix. Skipping the final condensed milk mixture addition is better for our cupcake version. You can skip the shredded coconut garnish if you're not a fan of the texture, but the coconut extract in the cake and frosting is subtle and sweetly smooth. The pineapple and banana add moisture, but their flavors are not really noticeable. This would be a great layer cake too!
Serving size: start with one!
Recipe by the dinnervine at http://www.dinnervine.com/2012/04/sweets-for-my-peeps/