Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream

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I was going to be out late Saturday night so I decided to leave Morgan at the day care/kennel facility overnight. The facility was closed for drop off and pick up on Sunday since it was Easter, but they very graciously made an exception for me and allowed me to pick Morgan up on Sunday. As a thank you, I provided the staff with a batch of Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream for their holiday luncheon. These are a bit time consuming to make and you have to plan ahead as they need to sit overnight to absorb the tres leches mixture. The dulce de leche can cook on its own whilst you do other things or you can just buy the stuff at a local Hispanic grocery store. If you decide to make these, don’t be alarmed if the cupcakes sink in the middle when they cool and sort of squish up on the sides whilst they rest in the refrigerator. The cake is a sponge and contracts when chilled. The sink hole in the top is where you will pour the milk mixture and will be concealed by buttercream in the final frosting process. The squished sides? Well, that’s just artistic expression. Or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream

Modified recipe from Lorie Roach, Buckatunna, MS

Yield: 12 cupcakes

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup coconut milk

Dulce de Leche Buttercream:

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup lightly toasted flaked coconut

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed; add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating until completly incorporated. Add the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into cake batter.

Fill standard paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack that has been placed over a baking sheet to cool. THE CUPCAKES WILL SHRINK AND COLLAPSE IN THE CENTER WHILST COOLING. THIS IS NORMAL.

Stir together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and the coconut milk. While cupcakes are still warm, poke several holes in the top of each of the cupcakes with a 1/4-inch wooden skewer and carefully spoon the milk mixture into the center of each cupcake. Refrigerate overnight before icing.

For the Buttercream:

Remove the paper label from the can of sweetened condensed milk, place in a sauce pan and cover with water. Heat to a simmer over medium high heat and then reduce to low, cover and let simmer for 4 hours. Add more water as necessary to keep the can covered. Remove from heat and let cool completely. DO NOT OPEN until the can has completely cooled.

Beat the butter on high speed in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled dulce de leche and vanilla. Beat until the dulce de leche and butter is completely incorporated.

Frost each cupcake with a generous amount of dulce de leche buttercream. Refrigerate any remaining buttercream for another use. Sprinkle each cupcake with toasted coconut.

4 thoughts

    • The buttercream is really pretty easy (aside from having to wait for the can of sweetened condensed milk to caramelize). This recipe makes a ton. More than is needed for 12 cupcakes.

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