Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh-So-Coconutty Cupcakes

If you don't like coconut, you will hate these cupcakes. Which is great for the rest of us, because they are good. There is coconut milk, coconut extract and coconut in the cupcakes themselves. Then more coconut extract in the frosting and of course coconut for a garnish.

The edges are slightly chewy/crispy, the center moist and cakey, just like you want a good cupcake to be. I'm not a huge fan of buttercream frosting, but I like this version... of course I adapted it a bit, but that's okay. I got the recipe for these out of my Passion for Baking book (which is where the blueberry oatmeal recipe came from as well.) For the most part I like the book and her recipes, but I do have a few quibbles here and there. In this recipe, it was the frosting. She calls for 3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar and 3 to 6 tablespoons of milk or water, as well as some other stuff. But in her instructions she wants you to dump all of the ingredients into the mixer or food processor and mix away.

I ended up doing 3 cups of powdered sugar, then 2 tablespoons of rum (rum and coconut just go together) along with the rest of the ingredients and mixing away. I needed more liquid than the two tablespoons, but I thought the rum flavor was pronounced enough, so I added a tablespoon of half & half and got the consistency and flavor I wanted. Her instructions were a bit confusing, but I suppose it was easy enough to figure out. My other quibble is she always says "fold in flour" even when she intends you to use the food processor to mix the flour into the batter... I don't know about you, but I think it's impossible to fold flour with a food processor.

Oh, and why pink? Because the frosting in the book was a bright, brilliant white -- mine was off-white, bordering on yellow. I had food coloring and figured with Valentine's Day right around the corner I could get away with pink. And of course, I like pink. :)

Her recipe as she wrote it, but my notes on the frosting will be in parenthesis.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp pure coconut extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chilled coconut milk (in the fridge for 2-3 days)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar (start with 3 cups -- you probably won't need 4.)
Milk or water, as required -- 3 to 6 tbsp (or 2 tbsp good rum, and 1-2 tbsp milk or cream)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pure coconut extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
food coloring if desired

Finishing Touch:
coconut for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. (okay, actually the book wants you to you use muffin papers in the pan, then spray the muffin papers, but I think that dries the cupcakes out so I don't use them. I put papers on my cupcakes after they had cooled for 5 minutes or so.)

In a food processor, finely pulverize sugar 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter and process to blend butter and sugar well. Add eggs and extracts and process to blend. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse to blend a bit. Add chilled coconut milk. Blend well. Fold coconut in briefly.

Using an ice-cream scoop, deposit batter into prepared pan, filling almost full. Place on upper rack of oven, immediately reduce oven temp to 350 and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cupcakes are golden and spring back when gently pressed with fingertips. Cool well.

Meanwhile, whip Coconut Frosting ingredients in food processor or a mixer until light and fluffy, adding food coloring, if desired. Smear frosting on cupcakes. Sprinkle coconut on top.


bodacious japanese sportnut said...

Coconut Critics be darned, i'm definitely looking forward to THIS treat...

Mira said...

VERY pretty pink! :D

Anonymous said...

yums, for a cupcake ;)

coconut cupcake! said...

thanks for the yummy cupcake =)

given her love for coconut, lauren was really excited when she heard you made coconut cupcakes...i don't think she was disappointed...

Mira said...

not only did russell walk ALLLL the way over for a cupcake, he contemplated coming back for seconds. instead he just gave me orders to pick him up a second.

that's how good your cupcake was!
(i didn't try it cuz of your coconut-haters warning)