This recipe is a new twist on an old favorite.  Instead of traditional cream cheese frosting, evil shenanigans  topped these cupcakes with a chocolate sour cream frosting.  YUM!  I am also happy to see more and more wedding cakes and cupcakes in a chocolate flavor.  It’s all good.

Chocolate Italian Wedding Cupcakes

For the cake:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons crushed cocoa nibs

For the frosting:
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup (about 6 ounces)  semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used chips)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350 F and line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth but not fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and mix well, then add the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.  Once sifted whisk in the salt.

Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk into the butter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.   Stir in the vanilla, coconut, pecans, and cocoa nibs.

In a clean bowl whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Fold the egg whites into the batter in two additions making sure no streaks of white remain in the batter.

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Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed in the center.  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Leave the oven on.

While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting.

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Spread the coconut and pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes, until the coconut and nuts are toasted.  Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

In a microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate and butter.  Microwave for 30 seconds then stir the mixture.  If the mixture is not completely melted return to the microwave for 15 seconds bursts, stirring after each, until  smooth.  Allow to cool for five minutes.

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Add the sour cream and vanilla and whisk to combine, then add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.  Add the remaining powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick but not too stiff.  The frosting will stiffen further as it sits.  Reserve 1/3 cup of the toasted coconut and pecans for garnish.  Stir the remaining coconut and pecans into the frosting.

Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes as desired.  Sprinkle the tops with the reserved coconut and pecans.

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