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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.

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Almond Joy Cupcakes

By: Jamie
4.39 from 13 ratings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 20 cupcakes
Quick and easy Almond Joy Cupcakes are made with a doctored up cake mix and topped with fluffy buttercream and sweet coconut.


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
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ 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.
4.39 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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  1. Rebecca says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

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


    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.

  3. Fran says:

    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

    1. Jamie says:

      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.

  4. Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules says:

    I LOVE almond joys! These cupcakes look so great.

    1. Jamie says:

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


  5. Myrtice Stevens says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for stopping by.


  6. Chithra Rajan says:

    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!

    1. Jamie says:

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


  7. Medha @ Whisk & Shout says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

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


  8. Jenna says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

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


  9. Erin@WellPlated says:

    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?!).

    1. Jamie says:

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


    1. Jamie says:

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