Coconut caramel high hat cupcakes are moist, rich, and decadent. The combination of coconut and caramel is always a winner, but it’s especially good in these cupcakes. Read below for all the gooey details on how to make this recipe.
What are Coconut Caramel High Hat Cupcakes?
High hat cupcakes traditionally consist of chocolate cupcakes, high domed fluffy frosting, and a thin chocolate shell on top. This recipe takes traditional high hat cupcakes and takes them to an all new level of delicious.
We start with super moist chocolate cupcakes, fill the centers with homemade salted caramel sauce, and then top them with fluffy coconut meringue and homemade chocolate shell.
How to Make High Hat Cupcakes
The foundation of high hat cupcakes is especially important. If the cupcakes are dry, too soft, or crumble too easily, they won’t hold up well against the caramel and fluffy frosting. That’s why we start with a recipe that is both moist and substantial.
Basic overview of how to make high hat cupcakes:
Make the Caramel
- First, we make the salted caramel sauce and let it cool for about 30 minutes so it doesn’t burn you. The caramel consists of sugar, butter, salt, and heavy cream, and it comes together in about 10 minutes on the stove.
- Use a large pan so that the sugar browns evenly and doesn’t develop hot spots.
Make the Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- Next, make the chocolate cupcakes, no mixer required. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix the wet ingredients, and then combine them in two additions. One of the keys to getting these cupcakes to turn out right is to mix them as little as possible when adding the flour. Otherwise, they will be tough instead of tender.
- Bake the cupcakes until the tops are springy, about 10 minutes. Let them cool and then use a piping tip to cut out the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with caramel and set them aside.
Make the Coconut Meringue Frosting
- Next, make the coconut frosting, which is basically Italian meringue with coconut flavoring and optionally, coconut flakes. If you are new to Italian meringue, check out my entire post here for tons of helpful information.
- Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake in a swirl motion, then top with homemade magic shell.
While this recipe requires a few steps, it is completely worth the effort for the end result. This cupcake is design to be an experience from start to finish, so don’t take shortcuts by using store-bought products. Making each part of this recipe from scratch makes these high hat cupcakes truly amazing.
The Secret to Making Homemade Magic Shell
Homemade magic shell is so easy it’s ridiculous! To be honest, I didn’t know how to make a chocolate shell, so I did some research and found that the secret is adding coconut oil to melted chocolate chips. It’s really that easy.
For this recipe, we use bittersweet chocolate chips so that the chocolate is not overly sweet against the already sweet frosting. It’s a nice contrast and has more richness than semi-sweet chocolate too.
So the secret to making magic shell is combining coconut oil and chocolate chips. Now let’s make some cupcakes!
Essential Baking Tools
- A good quality standard cupcake pan (This is the one I use)
- This is also another really good quality cupcake pan
- A stand mixer, paddle attachment, and whisk attachment
- A candy thermometer for the frosting
- Cupcake liners
- Piping bags and tips
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Mini Lemon Bundt Cakes
Coconut Caramel High Hat Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 12–16 1x
- Category: cupcakes
For the Salted Caramel Filling
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 28 g (2 Tbs) unsalted butter, European style
- 70 g heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
For the Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- 95 g cake flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 105 g granulated sugar
- 15 g light brown sugar
- 1.5 large eggs (approx. 84 grams)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 40 g cocoa powder, **Dutch processed
- 92 g hot water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 100 g sour cream (full-fat)
- 55 g canola oil
For the Coconut Frosting
- 100 grams (3 large egg whites), room temperature
- 225 g granulated sugar
- 55 grams water
- 1/2 tsp coconut emulsion or extract
- 80 g coconut flakes (optional)
For the Homemade Magic Shell
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cocoa)
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
To Make Salted Caramel Sauce
- In a large, heavy bottom sauce pan, heat the sugar on medium-low to medium heat. Do not stir too often, but instead let the sugar begin to melt. Once it begins to melt, stir occasionally.
- To prevent any sugar crystals from staying on the side of the pan, dip a pastry brush in water and wash down the sides of the pan where any sugar crystals are hanging on.
- If any of the sugar crystals make it into the caramel after the caramel is made, then it can cause the caramel to become grainy and unpleasant!
- Stir caramel more often as it melts, and add the butter once the caramel is the color of a brown paper bag. The darker the caramel color, the richer the flavor, so you can decide just how light or intense you want the flavor to be by the color of the caramel.
- Next, add the salt and the heavy cream, whisking rapidly as the cream goes into the caramel.
- Strain the caramel just in case there are any seized caramel bits that won’t melt down. Place in the fridge to cool for 15-20 minutes.
To Make the Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cupcake wells with liners.
- Sift cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a small bowl. Then add the sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Stir and set aside.
- Whisk the cocoa powder and boiling hot water in a medium sized bowl and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the egg and whisk to combine.
- Add the oil, vanilla, and sour cream, and whisk.
- Pour half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and gently whisk. Add the remainder of the flour and mix just until the dry ingredients are no longer visible.
- Fill cupcake liners half full and no more! Otherwise they will rise too much. Bake for 9-11 minutes. They are done when you can gently touch the top of one and it springs back.
- Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes, remove from the pan, and let cool entirely before filling.
To Make the Coconut Frosting
- Add the sugar and water to a medium pot and turn the heat to medium. Don’t turn the heat up to high, as this can cause the temperature to rise too rapidly and go above the correct temperature.
- Add egg whites to a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment as soon as sugar is on the stove.
- Turn the mixer onto speed 4 or 5 on a 10 speed mixer and let the mixer run while the sugar syrup is cooking.
- Check the whites every minute or so until it reaches stiff peaks. Turn the mixer on high for a minute or two if the whites aren’t as stiff peaks by the time the sugar syrup reaches temperature.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Turn the mixer to speed 5 and slowly pour the hot syrup into the mixer between the edge of the bowl and the moving whisk. It can be a bit tricky, so pour slowly to keep it from splattering all over the bowl and your face!
- Let the mixer run on medium high speed until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch.
- Add the coconut extra and mix for the last 30 seconds.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the coconut flakes if adding. As a note, the meringue won’t pipe as smoothly if it has coconut flakes, but the texture and flavor are wonderful.
To Make Homemade Magic Shell
- Melt the coconut oil and chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until full melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
To Assemble the Coconut Caramel High Hat Cupcakes
- Use the large end of a standard piping tip to cut out the centers of the cupcakes. Press the piping tip into the center about halfway down into the cupcakes and twist to remove the center.
- Next, fill with caramel. Then use a piping bag and large round tip, such as an Ateco 806, and pipe a swirl of meringue onto each cupcake.
- Place cupcakes in the freezer for 20 minutes, and then dip each one in homemade magic chocolate shell.
- Sprinkle with coconut if desired, and then return them to the freezer for 10 minutes to set up.
- Once the chocolate solidifies, remove the cupcakes from the freezer and enjoy! Cupcakes can be left out at room temperature for a couple of hours, but they should be return to the fridge so that the Italian meringue doesn’t get too warm.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: high hat cupcakes, coconut caramel, moist chocolate cupcakes