For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and sweet potato until smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.
For the coconut whipped cream: Chill the bowl and whisk of a stand mixer in the freezer for about 10 minutes. If they are not very cold, the cream will not whip properly. Skim the solidified coconut cream from the chilled can of coconut milk and transfer the solids to the bowl of the stand mixer. Do not include any of the coconut water, even if you have to leave behind a little margin of coconut cream (even a little bit of coconut water can harm your results).
Add the powdered sugar and whip for a few minutes until the mixture begins to stiffen and turn into whipped cream. Chill the whipped cream in a covered container in the refrigerator. It should firm up even more as it sits in the refrigerator for the next few hours or overnight.
To serve: Top each cupcake with whipped cream. Garnish each cupcake with chocolate shavings or a dash of ground cinnamon.
The colder your kitchen and equipment are, the better your whipped cream will hold up. Work quickly to keep everything cool. For best results, the coconut whipped cream should chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Chloe Coscarelli