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Coconut Bear Cupcakes

20 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Rachel Fong's Ramen Cake + S'mores Cupcakes + Coconut Bear Cupcakes
Rachel Fong's Ramen Cake + S'mores Cupcakes + Coconut Bear CupcakesNathan Congleton / TODAY
20 mins
1 hr 30 mins


Vanilla Cupcakes
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • Frosting
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Decoration
  • cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • Pink, yellow, purple and blue gel food color
  • 12 mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted
  • 10 candy melts in each color white, pink, yellow, purple and blue
  • 48 mini chocolate chips
  • Chef notes

    These cute cupcakes are easy for even a beginner to recreate. No fancy piping tips are necessary, and instead these cakes are dipped in sweet fluffy coconut for their fun, colorful fur!

    Technique tip: I like to use a piping bag to add on the details for the muzzle, but you can also use a toothpick if you're more comfortable with that.

    Swap option: These would also be adorable made with a Funfetti cake base.


    For the vanilla cupcakes:


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with liners.


    In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for about 1 minute or until thoroughly mixed.


    With the mixer running on low speed, add the cubed butter and beat until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 4 minutes.


    In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.


    Divide the batter between the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

    For the frosting:

    In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar, then mix in the vanilla and milk.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whip until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and snip off a large tip.

    To decorate:


    Place 1/2 cup of the coconut in a zip-seal bag along with a drop of pink gel food color. Shake the bag to distribute the color evenly and add more food color if necessary to the reach desired shade of pink. Repeat with the yellow, purple, and blue food color, and then place each color of coconut into a shallow bowl.


    Use an offset spatula to spread about 1 tablespoon of the frosting evenly on each cupcake. Dip each cupcake into a different bowl of colored coconut for the bear "fur."


    Cut the mini marshmallows in half. For the muzzles, place marshmallow halves on the lower third of the cupcakes. Place the melted chocolate in a zip-seal bag and snip off a small tip. Pipe the bear mouths on top of the muzzles. Place an upside-down mini chocolate chip on each side of the mouth for eyes. Place two candy melts of the corresponding color into the sides of the frosting for ears.