Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

I've never been a big fan of cake in any form. For some reason, however, I have been drawn to cupcakes lately. So when I saw a recipe for coconut cupcakes - that actually included coconut milk in the batter - I just had to try them. I must say, I may be turning into a cake convert. I really enjoyed these. The cake itself isn't as coconutty as I would like for it to be, so I made a coconut frosting to go on top. The thing that really pulls everything together is the large flakes of toasted coconut on top. 

Coconut Cupcakes     adapted from Martha Stewart Living

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups large flake unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin an with paper liners - or as I did, use silicone muffin cups laid out on a cookie sheet. These worked fantastically well, by the way... Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and shredded coconut, set aside. Mix coconut milk and vanilla extract, set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium high in between. Lower speed to low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients. When those are incorporated, add 1/2 of the wet ingredients. Follow with the second third of dry, then second half of the wet, finishing up with the last third of the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl when necessary. Spoon batter into waiting cups. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting. While cupcakes are baking, pour large flake coconut onto baking sheet and place in oven until evenly browned - about 7 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Makes 20 cupcakes. 

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Beat butter on medium high until pale and creamy - approximately 2 minutes. Add sugar one cup at a time. When all of the sugar is incorporated, add vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add coconut milk and beat until smooth. Stir in shredded coconut. 

When cupcakes are cooled, frost evenly and top with the toasted coconut.

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