Imagine yourself biting into a beautiful little cupcake; smelling the orange cupcake and the toasted coconut on top of the vanilla buttercream frosting. Now imagine your pleasant surprise at finding Ambrosia Salad inside the cupcake. All of those amazing flavors beautifully blended together in one little package called Tropical Ambrosia Cupcakes. Love it!
Ambrosia Salad Filling
I love ambrosia salad…I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The combination of pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, pecans, and those adorable little marshmallows is genius. Add to that the crunch of pecans. So good! The idea popped into my head to fill an orange flavored cupcake with this same ambrosia salad, top it with some vanilla buttercream frosting, and of course, some toasted coconut.
It just wasn’t complete without that toasted coconut.
So start these cupcakes by making my Classic Ambrosia Salad (I’ve also duplicated the recipe in my Tropical Ambrosia Cupcakes recipe) then set the salad aside in your refrigerator as you make the cupcakes.
Bonus: you’ll have leftover salad!
The Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix is wonderful. It bakes up a pretty orange color, smells scrumptious, and it’s wonderfully moist.
Make the cupcakes as directed on the box. If you don’t already have a cupcake corer, it’s a great gadget to have. It’s the purple thing in the picture below.
What do I do with the Cupcake Cores?
Don’t throw them away, freeze the cores for later. Use a sealed freezer-safe container with wax paper between the layers and use them later in something like a Trifle.
Cupcakes get cored a lot in my home, so I end up with multiple flavored cores. Trifles are a great place to mix and match leftover cores, but I’m getting off topic now. I’ll have to post some Trifle recipes soon.
Filling and Frosting
Fill the cored cupcakes with Ambrosia Salad using 2 teaspoons until each one is level.
In other words, don’t over-fill them, but you can tamp them down a bit to add more. The idea is to hide the filling with the frosting.
Adding a little extra vanilla extract in the buttercream helps keep the frosting in the party with the other strong flavors.
Whip up your batch of frosting and I highly recommend you pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes, as opposed to spreading it on with a spreader.
Wilton’s 1M frosting tip is one of my favorites.
If you’ve ever toasted coconut before, you know that you cannot turn away from it once it starts to brown.
It can go from lightly brown to completely charred in 2 blinks.
My little toaster oven works great, or the oven broiler can be used. Stir the coconut if you have time, it’ll brown more evenly.
Tropical Ambrosia Cupcakes
For the cake:
- 1 Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
For the Ambrosia Salad:
- 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
- 15 oz. can fruit cocktail, drained
- 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/2 cup Marachino cherries, drained and chopped
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup sour cream (8 oz. container)
- 2 cups Cool Whip
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. whipping cream
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut, shredded
- Bake the cupcakes as directed on the box. Set aside to cool completely.
- Make the Ambrosia Salad by thoroughly draining all canned fruits. Mix all ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate.
- Core and Fill Cupcakes: once the cupcakes are cool, core the centers out. There are gadgets you can buy to core cupcakes, best gadget I own to date. (Freeze the cores for future use, such as Trifles.). Fill each cupcake to the top only, do not heap. Return Ambrosia Salad to the frig - the remaining Ambrosia Salad can now be enjoyed as a salad on it's own.
- Frosting: using a mixer, blend the butter and vanilla. Add half the powdered sugar and half the whipping cream. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on high for 2-4 minutes. Be sure to scrape the bowl often. Pipe onto the cupcakes completely concealing the filling.
- Toast the Coconut: place on a foil lined pan under the broiler or in a toaster oven. Watch carefully, it cooks fast once it starts to turn brown. Remove from heat and stir as the edges may start to brown faster than the middle. Return to heat until a nice golden brown and remove. Sprinkle on top of cupcakes.
If they aren’t all gobbled up right away, keep any leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator.
Also, take them out prior to eating so the buttercream can warm up a bit…maybe 20 minutes or so.
Another idea is to take the cupcakes out of the refrigerator before starting dinner, something quick like Easy BBQ Chicken Sliders, so the Tropical Ambrosia Cupcakes will be ready when you’re done with dinner. Enjoy!
Great sizes to pin to your Pinterest board.
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