So I found the recipe on Pinterest months ago and it kind of popped back in my head when I signed up to bring a dessert for our Mom's night out. You can find the original recipe at Sweet Peas Kitchen.
I did totally cheat and used a box cake mix. I ran out of time on Thursday. I don't think it made that much of a difference.
Since I was going to put them in 8 oz jars I decided to make a whipped ganache to put between the layers of cupcakes. I cut each cupcake horizontally in half.
Make and cool 24 chocolate cupcakes.
Make, cool and whip ganache.
Toast 1 cup of shredded coconut in the oven.
Make the caramel frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Be careful it does bubble up.
Cool to lukewarm, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the caramel frosting mixture is lukewarm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary.
Place a cupcake half in the bottom of the jar. Place a dollop of the whipped ganach. Place another cupcake half and dollop of ganache. Top with another cupcake half. Pipe on the caramel frosting.
Sprinkle on the toasted coconut.
Melt 1/4 cup of milk chocolate chips and drizzle on top of the coconut.
I did leave the coconut off of 3 jars.
And this what all the ladies enjoyed before dinner...