Last week when I was picking out cookies to bake, my husband had suggested that I use gingerbread Kahlua in the brownies I was making. I thought that sounded good, but then that would have been for my Christmas baking. He suggested that I could make Kahlua Nanaimo Bars, and that he would find some recipes. One of the recipes he sent me was this one, for Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes. Since this was the very first recipe that I pinned when I joined Pinterest, I figured that it was finally time to make them.
These are quite similar to Nanaimo Bars, although they don’t contain graham crackers. These are just a chocolate cupcake base, with nuts and coconut added to the batter. The original recipe called for almonds, but I always use pecans in Nanaimo Bars so that’s what I used here. The filling in a Nanaimo Bar uses Bird’s Custard Powder, and that is used here in the icing. I love custard powder and am happy for any opportunity to use it.
I wasn’t sure how many cupcakes this would make, but I was able to make 24 regular-sized cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes. I had a little batter left over and probably could have made another 6-9 mini cupcakes but I figured I had plenty. I only had enough icing for the 24 cupcakes and some of the minis, but I like lots of frosting. While these don’t taste exactly like Nanaimo Bars, the flavors are really close. I love the frosting especially; the custard powder really adds something! So it took me a couple of years to finally make these, but they were worth the wait!
Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups coconut
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup whipping cream
¼ cup vanilla custard powder (Bird’s)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. You’ll need at least 24 cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. in a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium for three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. With the mixer running on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining milk, and then the final 1/3 of the flour. Stir in the pecans and coconut.
Fill the cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the icing: In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, whipping cream, custard powder, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix on medium until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add additional whipping cream. Add more powdered sugar if the icing is too thin.
Spread or pipe the icing on the cooled cupcakes. If desired, sprinkle with coconut and chocolate curls/decoration.
Recipe from BS’ In the Kitchen