Coconut Snowball Cupcakes

Coconut Snowball Cupcakes

This is not your ordinary cupcake. It Is a cupcake designed specifically for the coconut addict. Our coconut cupcakes are filled with a fresh coconut curd and topped with a flurry of shredded sweet coconut. The overall effect is a nod to the classic pink Hostess Sno Ball treat without being an exact replica (Sno Ball cakes are made with chocolate cake). The cupcakes are a delight for adults and kids alike.

You can easily dye the shredded coconut for the tops of these cupcakes. Just place the shredded coconut in a resealable plastic bag, add a few drops of liquid food coloring, and shake the bag until all of the coconut is evenly colored.–Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

LC Channeling Your Inner Martha Note

Yes, these cupcakes—with their cake stand pedestal and vintage fawn figurines—resemble something that you’d find while flipping through an old issue of Martha Stewart Living. Don’t hold it against us.

Coconut Snowball Cupcakes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Makes 24 cupcakes


  • For the coconut cupcakes
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • For the coconut pastry cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the coconut frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut pastry cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut


  • Make the cupcakes
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) . Line two 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners.
  • 2. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl. Set aside.
  • 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
  • 4. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Then gently fold the shredded coconut into the batter.
  • 5. Fill each of the cupcake liners about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the tins to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and place them on the rack to cool completely.
  • Make the coconut pastry cream
  • 6. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
  • 7. In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the half-and-half to a simmer. Add the unsweetened coconut, cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and discard the coconut.
  • 8. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, flour, and salt and beat until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the coconut pastry cream until chilled through, about 1 hour.
  • Make the coconut frosting
  • 9. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • 10. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low, add the butter, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • 11. Add the vanilla extract and 1/2 cup freshly made coconut pastry cream and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix again until the frosting is the proper consistency.
  • Assemble the cupcakes
  • 12. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip with the remaining coconut pastry cream. Puncture the center of a cupcake with the tip and squeeze approximately 1 teaspoon coconut pastry cream into the cupcake. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
  • 13. Frost the top of each cupcake with the coconut frosting and sprinkle with shredded coconut.
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