Almond Joy Cupcakes

You need this cake in your life, and you need it right now! Bright and early in the week, I promise that you won’t regret it!

Here is my story for the week, my sweet baking friends—I got in this wildly unmotivated mood the past handful of days. I was feeling all sorts of exhaustion, from working to baking to wedding planning, when I finally had a second to sit down, I didn’t want to get up for maybe a month or two. It felt crazy, and even more out of this world saying it out loud!

Okay. Out loud aka typing

We all have those moments, right? When you decide for a few minutes that you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, that maybe you should be going down a different path, that maybe eating a bowl of cookie dough isn’t the right answer but you’re okay with being wrong…right?!

Say yes! Anyone!

Well that was little Miss Katie these past days. I have started planning my training schedule for some upcoming races, and then I realized that there is 2 million wedding things to get done, and then it was like oh my gosh we are moving in a few months, but shoot, I need to focus on the wedding…and clearly I’m veering off course. So, as you can see, my mind has been everywhere, my urge for baking was more like another task—what?! You live for sugar, Katie—and I couldn’t seem to focus on one thing at a time.

In comes my future husband, aka the man with all of the answers, aka the reason for this amazing recipe, aka why I am a bit calmer than I was 2 days ago!

He tells my stubborn self to take a break, forget about everything for a while and come back to it—so we go to Target, because DUH, and then after we try on wedding bands…instantly more relaxed.

And I am back, refreshed and ready to get elbow deep in some dark chocolate, almonds and coconut—it’s just as incredible as it sounds.

So here we have it, the cake that seemed to save my life this weekend all because of the man who surely gives me life! Insanely rich chocolate cake that is stuffed with even more bittersweet chocolate chunks, almonds and coconut…plus coconut buttercream, it’s everything you will need to make this week magnificent, and more!

Whether you are feeling like Slumpy Katie from Sunday or World Conquering Katie from Tuesday, this cake will give you the power to do all of the things—which may be a laundry list or just a little self love!

cake ingredients

Butter—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Sugar—2 oz, or ¼ C

Brown Sugar—1 oz, or 2 ½ TBL


Milk—1.5 oz, or 3 TBL

Vanilla—½ tsp

Corn Syrup—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

Flour—2 oz, or ¼ C + 1 TBL

Cocoa Powder—0.75 oz, or 2 ½ TBL

Baking Powder—½ tsp

Baking Soda—¼ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Shredded Coconut—0.5 oz, or ¼ C

Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped—2 oz, or ½ C



Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Combine the milk, egg, vanilla and corn syrup in another cup.

Once the butter is smooth, alternate between the wet and dry, slowly adding it into the mixer.

Make sure to always scrape down the sides of your bowl!

Once all of the ingredients are in the bowl, fold in the coconut and chopped chocolate.

Fill your cupcake tin with liners and put enough cake batter in each to fill them up about ½ way.

Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the top springs back slightly when touched.

Allow to cool completely before frosting!

*Note—this is a small batch of cupcakes, only makes 6, so this way I won’t eat them all myself! It is very simple to double or triple the batch for any type of party, gathering, etc.*


buttercream ingredients

Butter—6.5 oz, or 13 TBL

Confectioner’s Sugar—12 oz, or 3 C

Milk—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Almond Extract—2 tsp

Shredded Coconut—0.5 oz, or ¼ C



In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.

Sift the confectioner’s sugar and slowly add it to the creamed butter.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then stream in the milk and almond extract.

Whip on high until smooth.

Add in the coconut.

I used a medium-sized star tip to pipe onto these cupcakes, but you may use either a spatula or a flat tip—whatever you think looks the best! Sprinkle on more coconut and chopped chocolate for garnish.


Bon Appétit!

Irish Coconut Cake

What do you get when you add Baileys Irish Cream, chocolate and toasted coconut together?


I never thought that I could love a cake so much. Love may not even be a strong enough word to express the feelings I have towards this cake—it’s every sort of mood booster that one could need, even with this doesn’t-make-sense-of-a-week coming up.

My sweets loving friends, have you ever heard that “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” saying? Well, let me just tell you, March has been coming in like a lion on vacation or something, this entire next week will be in the 70’s. Yes. Basically beach weather and I am still deeply in my winter tan mode—you know, when you’ll burn at even the mention of warm sun. Do I believe that St. Patrick’s Day is in less than two weeks? Nope! That Easter is at the end of the month? Not even possible.

So here I am, trying to decide whether or not to keep our fleece sheets on the bed, whether iced coffee is the route to go these days, and what light spring jacket I should be wearing at the beginning of March! Seeing as those decisions are way to difficult for this season-confused girl, I put it all on pause, put on my cropped jeans and decided to make a season-confused cake!

I know you all knew something with Baileys Irish Cream was coming—I mean it is March and I love any excuse to put Baileys in anything! And then I was like, well, if I have the option to show my pasty, clear legs to the world this week in shorts, I better toast some coconut for this cake to add some more craziness to the month!

And here you have it—my very confused Irish Coconut Cake that has vanished in the yummiest of ways after only 3 days!

We start with a very simple, very moist, deliciously simple Baileys vanilla cake. I have recently discovered coconut butter (yes, please!), so I subbed some of the butter for that, which is optional of course. So, if you only take a few bites of this ridiculously good cake batter before baking, you will have a beautiful 8” cake all ready to be smothered in buttercream!

Between the layers, I used coconut milk in place of a simple syrup, also optional, to bring even more moistness to the cake as well as coconut flavor. Then bring on the Baileys Chocolate Buttercream and the snowstorm of toasted coconut and you have yourself THE cake of the month!

Luckily, I have friends and a fiancé who just as cake obsessed as I am and devoured 90% of the cake—I mean I am sweatin’ for the wedding…


So, while we are all just slightly confused by the lack of snow in this beautiful month of March, why not make a cake that is just as unique in flavors, but, luckily enough, is absolutely delicious—and basically heaven!

cake ingredients

Flour—10 oz, or 2 C

Baking Powder—½ tsp

Baking Soda—½ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Butter, room temperature—5 oz, or 10 TBL

Coconut Butter*—1 oz, or 2 TBL

Sugar—10 oz, or 1 ¼ C



Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2 oz, or ¼ C



Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter, coconut butter and sugar until light and smooth.

*You do not have to use coconut butter, this is 100% optional. You may just replace with regular, unsalted butter*

Slowly add in your eggs and yolks, one at a time, and making sure to scrape after each addition.

When all of your eggs have been added, alternate adding the dry sifted ingredients and your wet ingredients, making sure to end with the Baileys/milk.

Mix until just combined.

Prepare an 8” cake pan by spraying with nonstick spray and then either lightly coating with flour or with parchment.

This recipe makes exactly 1-8” cake.

Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes—it is done when the cake springs back when you touch it.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.


buttercream ingredients

Butter, room temperature—4 oz, or 1 stick

Confectioner’s Sugar—7.5 oz, or 1 ½ C

Cocoa Powder—1.25 oz, or ½ C

Baileys Irish Cream—2.5 oz, or 1/3 C

Milk—1 oz, or 2 TBL


Coconut Milk—for brushing on the bottom layer

Toasted Coconut—1-2 C, optional for decorating



In the bowl of your mixer, cream your butter until smooth—about 5 minutes.

In another bowl, sift together your confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in your sifted ingredients to the butter.

Once all added, scrape the sides of the bowl.

Slowly stream in the Baileys Irish Cream, and then the milk, making sure to scrape the sides as needed.

Once all of your ingredients have been added, turn your mixer up to a medium speed and whip for about 10 seconds, just to make it nice and smooth, very easy to work with!


to decorate

Once your cake has cooled completely and you have removed it from the pan, trim the top of your cake, making it flat.

Now, cut your cake into to even layers.

With the first layer on your cake stand, or even a plate, brush on a nice, thin layer of the coconut milk—this will seal in any crumbs and keep this layer from drying out too much.

Coconut milk is completely optional as well. If you would prefer a simple syrup, Baileys, other alcohol, that is up to you!

Put on a good-sized dollop of your whipped buttercream and spread evenly over the bottom later.

Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Place the second half of your cake on top.

Put the rest of your buttercream on top of the cake, spread evenly on the top and sides of your cake.

It helps to spread evenly on the top of your cake first, allowing some of the buttercream to fall over the sides, and then you can just use that to smooth out the sides of the cake with!

Now you may either leave like this, or make it extra amazing by covering the rest of your cake with the toasted coconut—all over the top and the sides.

To toast the coconut- preheat your oven to 300˚F, spread the coconut on a sheet pan and toast for about 8 minutes. Every couple of minutes, check on the coconut, re-spreading it around so that it browns evenly! You will know it is finished by the wonderful smell!

Cut whatever sized slice you would like and enjoy!


Bon Appétit!