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Ryan Scott’s Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Chef Ryan Scott has taken a classic and well-loved packaged treat and made it easy to make at home. A quick tip to ensure snowball success is if the cupcakes become soft or hard to handle, throw them back into the fridge to firm up for an hour or so. And don’t be shy about experimenting with flavors in the frosting, such as swapping coconut extract or raspberry jam for the vanilla extract. 

Chocolate Coconut Snowballs
Makes 24 snowballs


For the devil’s food cake:
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 ounces unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup coffee

For the marshmallow-crème frosting:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 (7-ounce) jars marshmallow creme/fluff
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For assembly:
1 (12-ounce) bag shredded coconut
3 to 4 drops red or pink food coloring, optional


1. Make the devil’s food cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and coffee.

4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in butter until combined, being careful not to over mix.

5. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake until the cakes spring back when touched, about 15 to17 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

6. Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, and butter and beat on high until smooth. Add the marshmallow creme/fluff, and beat on high until well combined and creamy.

7. Add the confectioners’ sugar in 2 batches and mix on low until all the sugar is combined. Increase the speed and beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high until fully incorporated.

8. Assemble the snowballs: On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread the coconut. Wearing gloves, apply a couple drops of food coloring to your palm. Rub your palms together to cover the entire inside of your hands with food coloring, then scoop up the coconut and rub it into your colored hands. Continue scooping and rubbing the coconut until all the coconut is completely colored.

9. On a clean work surface, turn chilled cupcakes upside down and trim any overhang. Remove the paper liners. With a paring knife, poke a hole in the each inverted cupcake, wiggling the knife around to create room for the filling.

10. In a plastic, piping bag fitted or cut with a small (about 1/4-inch) tip, add the frosting. Pipe frosting into each cupcake, be careful to fill as much as possible without splitting them.

11. Once the cupcakes are filled, pipe the frosting on the outside of each to create a dome shape. The shape doesn’t need to be perfect, but make sure each is completely covered in frosting.  

12. Using a cake spatula, place a filled and frosted cupcake onto the cookie sheet with coconut. With your hands, cover the cupcake with coconut and press it into the frosting. Once the cupcake is covered with coconut, gently form it into a dome shape. Place gently on your serving platter. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

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