First, make a batch of regular chocolate cupcakes. Make sure they cool completely! Overnight is good.
Take a carton of white frosting. Save a small amount plain white to help attach the eyes. Divide the rest into four bowls (if you're making all four colors). Use food coloring to dye it blue (Cookie Monster), green (Oscar the Grouch), red (Elmo) and yellow (Big Bird).
Take a package of sweetened flaked coconut. Divide it into four Ziploc bags. Dab some of the food coloring into each bag, zip up each bag, and smush it around until the dye colors the coconut.
Frost cupcakes lightly with colors. Sprinkle with the colored coconut to match the frosting. We did this by putting a couple cupcakes on a paper plate, sprinkling the coconut, and sliding the excess back into the bag to use again, because lots will fall off. Gently use your hand to press down the coconut so it sticks in the frosting.
To make eyes: Buy white chocolate candy discs, available in cake decorating stores, Michael's, and some grocery stores. Use a little bit of that white frosting you saved and stick chocolate chips on as the pupils. They stick best if you cut off the swirly tips of the choco chips. The eyes stick best if you cut tiny slits in the cupcakes and then rest the eyes in there.
For COOKIE MONSTER: Cut a slit for a mouth. Take a small Chips Ahoy, cut it in half, and insert as if he is eating it.
For OSCAR. Cut a slant on the top of the eyes to make them look angry. Use chocolate licorice (chocolate brown Twizzlers) for eyebrows, and red Fruit Roll-Ups for tongues.
For ELMO. Use either an orange peanut M&M or one of those orange Mello Creme candy pumpkins (turned upside down) as the nose.
For BIG BIRD: Use candy corn as a beak. He is the hardest since he has feathers and coconut looks more like fur. We also tried putting "makeup" (food color) on his eyelids since the real Muppet has that, but it was kind of messy. Pile up the coconut between his eyes for that feathery patch he has.