Almond Joy Cupcakes

Quick and easy Almond Joy Cupcakes are made with a doctored up cake mix and topped with fluffy buttercream and sweet coconut.

I like to think that I am always on top of my game. You know – punctual, organized, prepared. But that is so not the case – at all. While I try my best, life happens. Ya know, like having your ventilation hood installed 8 inches lower than it’s supposed be, resulting in tearing out drywall and having yet another crew in our house for the rest of the week. Fun times. Life though, it happens.

A few weeks ago, my mom reminded me that she’d be stopping by with her boyfriend and that it was his birthday. Between work, construction chaos, decorating and a toddler, I totally lost track of the days. With them arriving in just a few hours, I did a quick pantry scan and threw together a batch of Almond Joy Cupcakes.

John is wholeheartedly a coconut addict, so I thought these would be the perfect way to celebrate his special day. Using a doctored up cake mix allowed me to skip a last minute trip to the grocery store for cocoa powder. This was most definitely a little bonus because I had a sweet baby fast asleep for her midday nap.

My favorite doctored up cake mix is super super simple and requires just a handful of ingredients. The beauty of this recipe is that you can tweak it just a tad and give it a whole new life. From Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes to Heath Bar Cupcakes, this recipe has been one of my favorites for years. And these Almond Joy Cupcakes might just be my new favorite adaptation, because hello: almonds and coconut and chocolate and buttercream? That’s my jam.

How can you possibly go wrong with half a mini Almond Joy tucked into a chocolate cupcake, anyway? Topped with vanilla buttercream and shredded coconut? You can’t, you just can’t.

Almond Joy Cupcakes

Yield: 20 cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


For the Cupcakes
1 (15.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix (see note below)
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water
10 snack size Almond Joy candy bars, cut in half

For the Buttercream
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used Challenge Butter)
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used clear vanilla)
2-4 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Garnish
shredded coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and water. Beat for about one minute on medium speed until well combined.

3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.

Push half a snack size Almond Joy into the center and use a spoon to cover the candy bar.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 5 minutes or so before removing them to a cooking rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare the buttercream frosting

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes. This process will lighten the color of the butter and ensure you buttercream in extra smooth and fluffy.

6. Turn speed down to low and gradually add in the confectioners' sugar. Continue mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated. Add in 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Turn mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for an additional 5-6 minutes. If needed, add in a little more cream 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the consistency you desire. Pipe the buttercream onto cupcakes and topped with shredded coconut.


- If you do not use boxed mixes, you can substitute your favorite from scratch recipe, or check out the organic and all-natural cake mixes available.
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow Almond Joy Cupcakes to sit at room temperature for one hour before serving.

29 Responses to “Almond Joy Cupcakes”

  1. truly, Addia — April 9, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    yum, i fancy a cupcake now :)


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:33 am

      I hope you have a cupcake or two soon! Thanks for visiting.


  2. Erin@WellPlated — April 10, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Another coconut lover, I’m so happy that these are what you chose to whip up! They look time intensive (but who needs to know the cook’s secret?!).


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:38 am

      No need to share the short-cut! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  3. Jenna — April 10, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I don’t think you can go wrong with these cupcakes either! Almond joy is one of my favorite candy bars!


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:38 am

      I hope you get the chance to try these! Thanks for stopping by.


  4. Medha @ Whisk & Shout — April 10, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    These are lovely! I love almond joy anything and your photos and decorating are stunning :)


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thank you so much! I am so glad you stopped by.


  5. Chithra Rajan — April 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    This looks like something I could do! Thank you so much for posting this awesome recipe – I love cupcakes as well as Almond Joys; I’m sure this will be delicious!


    • Jamie — April 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

      I hope you get the chance to try them. Thanks for stopping by.


  6. Myrtice Stevens — April 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    This cupcakes is supper adorable. Love the coconut on top. It makes the cake way more pretty.


    • Jamie — April 16, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks for stopping by.


  7. Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules — April 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I LOVE almond joys! These cupcakes look so great.


    • Jamie — April 28, 2015 at 11:01 am

      I hope you get the chance to try them. Thanks for visiting.


  8. Fran — July 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    hello the cup cake look fab and i will be making them shortly…….but i have a question…..why do most recipes use packet mix’s……… why not a homemade sponge in which i will be making………otherwise the combination of flavors just sound fab……..Fran


    • Jamie — July 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      You can use whatever recipe works best for you! That’s the beauty of baking, you can adapt the flavors to meet your taste! Enjoy.

  9. SALLY @ CUPCAKE STOCK — August 7, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    These sound so delicious I am going to make a batch this afternoon. My guests tomorrow will love them.

    Thanks for your excellent blog and sharing these recipes.


  10. Rebecca — November 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Hi! I’m about to dive and try this :) One question, though. Do the Almond Joy bars need to be frozen first? 


    • Jamie — January 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Hi, Rebecca! You do not need to freeze the Almond Joys. I hope you enjoyed them!

  11. Devid Ayer — March 13, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I just love this recipe, JAMIE. Thanks for share.


    • Jamie — March 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Hi, Devid! I’m so glad you like it!

  12. Naomi Wizzel — November 3, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    The almond joy cupcakes are looking so delicious. Definitely, I’ll try it.


    • Jamie — November 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Let me know how you like them, Naomi!

  13. Laura — April 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Can you use this same recipe as a 3 layer cake?


    • Jamie — April 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Hi, Laura! I suppose it would depend on the size of your cake pans. I don’t think it would work for three 9 inch cake pans. I hope this helps!

  14. Laura — April 6, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    And also, how long is the buttercream good for once it’s made?


    • Jamie — April 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      I usually only keep buttercream for a few days. I know people who freeze it, so freezing may work for you. I hope you like them, Laura!

  15. Emily Brown — September 11, 2017 at 7:36 am

    So delicious! Definitely, I’ll try it.


    • Jamie — September 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Emily!

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