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Author Notes: Though I've always rejected the cupcake hype, this recipe was born out of a potluck request for vanilla cupcakes. Never one to leave well enough alone, I opted for a spin on one of my favorite desserts, Alfajores. Light vanilla biscuits sandwiched together with dulce de leche/manjar blanco and rolled in coconut are here rendered as vanilla cupcakes stuffed with caramel and topped with cinnamon coconut buttercream. A search for similar cupcakes led me to a blog called "Cupcake Bakeshop", I give full credit to them for the method of assembly. The cupcake recipe on its own is a keeper, in terms of light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes. Excuse my poor photography skills! —shortnsweet
Makes 20 cupcakes
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Filling and Frosting
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (avoid the pull-top cans)
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups coconut, sweetened and flaked
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, or more or less to taste
- For the Manjar Blanco/Dulce de Leche: Boil a pot of water and immerse sealed can on its side. Keep water at a boil for 2 hours, refreshing the water as needed--it's ok if it goes down to a simmer as you add more water, just keep the can from getting dry. Let cool before opening--hot caramel can be messy!
- For the frosting: Beat butter briefly, then scrape down the bowl. Add the milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Add coconut and mix until combined, careful not to overmix.
- To assemble cupcakes: 1) Let them cool out of the pan for an hour. Then, using a small paring knife, cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake. Cut off the bottom of the cone, leaving behind the cupcake top (and the bottom of the cone, for a small snack/taste test...)
- 2) Fill the hole with caramel--I usually put a small spoonful in each one to ensure evenness, then go back and top up with the leftovers. Put the top back on the cupcake.
- 3) Frost the stuffed cupcake with the coconut buttercream, and sprinkle with cinnamon if you're feeling fancy.