Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting & Almonds {Almond Joy Cupcakes}


An Almond Joy has never been my first choice for that last minute candy bar grab at the grocery store checkout line. Yes, every once and a while I’m craving one, but most of the time I reach for a Snickers bar or Twix. Although I do love coconut and I’ve just been dreaming of how good a chocolate cupcake would be with a velvety smooth, luscious and fluffy coconut frosting. The chocolate and coconut combination is simple yet irresistible. Honestly though, what isn’t irresistible when combined with some form of chocolate?

Cooking Classy ~ Almond Joy Cupcakes

I tried several batches of chocolate cupcakes while creating this recipe and decided I liked this one best. It’s silky texture, moist crumb and rich chocolate flavor makes these a cupcake to remember. If you were ever wondering why boiling water is often added to chocolate cake/cupcakes, it is simply to intensify the flavor of the cocoa . In this recipe I also chose to add the baking soda to the cocoa and boiling water mixture to deepen the brown color to create a beautifully dark cupcake. I thought of making a similar almond joy coconut filling to top the cupcakes with, but I decided I’d way rather have a melt in you mouth frosting instead. Even with the frosting, rather than a coconut candy filling, you wouldn’t believe how much these taste like an Almond Joy simply because they contain the same flavors. Maybe I’m biased and I will likely always choose a fresh cupcake over a store bought candy bar, but I think these are far better than an the candy bar version.

You can top these cupcakes as you like. If you want you can even leave off the almonds or shredded coconut and you’ll still have an incredibly delicious cupcake. If you are looking to do the flowers on top out of sliced almonds, I’d recommend when you purchase the almonds that you look for a package of them that still has the skins intact around the edges, and ones that aren’t all broken into bits. Also, if you want to make them simpler you can do 5 – 6 petals instead of making a double petal layered flower. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting {Almond Joy Cupcakes}

Yield: 2 dozen

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter , melted
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Coconut Frosting

  • 1 cup butter , at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned, well shaken)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

For topping

  • 3/4 cup sweetned , shredded coconut, (optionally ground in a food processor for smaller pieces)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup sliced almonds or 24 whole almonds
  • 24 milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips , optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in eggs and eggs yolks, mixing just until combined after each addition. Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture then blend in heavy cream. Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined, while scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.
  2. Divide batter among 24 paper lined muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 - 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with coconut frosting. Sprinkle each frosted cupcake with coconut (before frosting sets), leaving about a 1/2 - 1 inch circle in center of cupcake uncoated with coconut. Gently press 5 or more sliced almonds around 1 chocolate chip in center of cupcake, or gently press 1 whole almond into the center of each cupcake. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Coconut Frosting:
  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and coconut milk on medium-low speed until combined, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until very pale and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Blend in coconut extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar then increase speed to medium-high and blend until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Stephanie: I am so going to bake those cupcakes. They look amazingly good. Have a great day! Steph February 3, 2013 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Nupur: Wow, making the frosting with coconut milk is a brilliant idea.. Never thought of it,, thanks for sharing.. Am sure they must taste delicious. February 3, 2013 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: They’re beautiful and I don’t reach for AJ’s either in the store – that said, when baking, the chocolate + coconut combo is a win! And I do love Almond Joy’s but if I was buying a candy bar, it would probably have peanut butter in it :)

    But now I want a cupcake! February 3, 2013 at 1:12pm Reply

  • Shawn @ I Wash…You Dry: These look fantastic! I bet they taste even better!! February 4, 2013 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Shawn =)! February 4, 2013 at 8:03pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Oh man, I just want to dive head first into these! February 6, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: Yum! These look amazing too…I’m going to need some chocolate cupcakes to try all your amazing cupcake ideas and frostings. I love the almond flower! :) February 7, 2013 at 7:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Rachel =)! February 7, 2013 at 7:46pm Reply

  • Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen: Almond Joys are one of the only candy bars I’ll eat anymore, so I bet I’d love these! February 7, 2013 at 7:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you have a chance to try them Loretta I bet you would love them =)! February 7, 2013 at 7:40pm Reply

  • Lauren: I made these for my hubby on our Anniversary. We both LOVED them. Delicious! Thank you for sharing. Also, I love the makeover you gave your site :) February 17, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Lauren! I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed and Happy Anniversary to you both! February 18, 2013 at 10:07pm Reply

  • Lisa: I just made them and they were a success! The recipe turned out perfectly. The cake is moist and the coconut flakes with the frosting were delicious! My cupcakes never turn out but this time it finally did! February 25, 2013 at 7:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Lisa – that is so great to hear! I’m so glad these turned out for you and that you thought they were delicious =). Thanks so much for your comment! March 1, 2013 at 9:29pm Reply

  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting & Almonds {Almond Joy Cupcakes} « The Best Cupcake Recipes: […] Recipe available from Cooking Classy. […] February 25, 2013 at 1:02pm Reply

  • francesca: traducete in italiano grazzie March 12, 2013 at 10:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can use the google translator button that should appear at the top of the web page. Hope that helps! March 12, 2013 at 11:11pm Reply

  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting & Almonds: […] via Cooking Classy […] April 2, 2013 at 12:21am Reply

  • Pual: yolo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! April 3, 2013 at 6:58am Reply

  • Coconut and Almond Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes | Fermented Justifications: […] Cooking Classy had the perfect recipe and I had all the ingredients.  Yes….I keep cans of coconut milk in my pantry.  I like to have it on hand for a curry dish or turning leftover rice into rice pudding.  The coconut milk kept the frosting nice and light and after adding the extract, the frosting tasted just like the filling of a candy bar.  I was pretty conservative with the shredded coconut; I didn’t want to spend the evening picking pieces of it out of my teeth. […] April 29, 2013 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting | Sew You Think You Can Cook: […] *The cupcake recipe is adapted from Jaclyn at…* […] January 9, 2014 at 5:48am Reply

  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting | DiniBlini: […] recipe adapted from Cooking Classy. **Coconut topping method taken from Live Strong because I don’t think we get sweetened […] March 18, 2014 at 10:10pm Reply

  • Internet-ing: FOOD BLOGS | DiniBlini: […] Classy – Reliable 1) Cook anything from this blog and I guarantee it will be amazing. The Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting were not only the first cupcakes I made in my life, they were better than ANY cupcakes I’ve […] May 7, 2014 at 9:06pm Reply

  • Almond Joy Cupcake | 2 Sweet Obsession: […] into summer (I’m on break from Hofstra University) and when I stumbled upon the recipe from Cooking Classy I thought that the chocolate sounded good and the coconut was a perfect ingredient to start to […] May 19, 2014 at 5:40am Reply

  • Katie: What kind of cocoa do you use? December 7, 2014 at 8:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Unsweetened cocoa, I usually just use Hershey’s but I also love Ghiradelli. December 8, 2014 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Forensic Doc: Why do people always post about how the cupcakes or recipes look without actually making them? I want to know how they taste. I see how how they look. March 14, 2015 at 10:52am Reply

  • Kristine: I don’t know if I had a faulty can of coconut milk but it wouldn’t thinken for anything. Was wondering if the recipe was supposed to be coconut creamm December 25, 2016 at 3:05pm Reply

  • Mary Sicari: I make these several times a year because my family and friends are alwáys requesting them. They’re my favorite too. The cake part is delicious and moist, and the frosting is fantastic because of the coconut milk. Don’t skip the coconut and almonds on top! They’re a little extra work, but it’s an unbelievable bite. People who try them for the first time are always surprised they didn’t come from a bakery! January 16, 2017 at 7:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliments Mary! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe! January 17, 2017 at 10:09am Reply

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