Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coconut Cupcakes 2 Ways

I decided to make coconut cupcakes for my dad's B-day. Since he loves lemon, I decided to make coconut cupcakes with lemon zest in the batter and a lemon cream cheese frosting to top them off. I was also going to fill them with a lemon curd, but after tasting a frosted cupcake, the frosting was zesty enough that the curd would have been to much. Plus, I made mini ones and it would have been a lot of strong, rich flavors for one little cupcake.

An orange coconut cupcake would be really tasty too. A little freshly grated orange zest in the batter and a bright and yummy orange citrus frosting. (Hmmm...I'll have to try that this Summer.

Let's get started.

Fluffy butter and sugar. I love it.

I shredded my coconut in the food processor so there would be smaller pieces of coconut in the cupcake. Just a preference.

You can fill the muffin cups just to the top of the muffin liners to produce perfect little cupcakes or...
you can fill them above the liners for a large, puffy top. Your choice.
Here are the large, puffy tops that bake over the pan.

They will need a little assistance being removed, but they come off cleanly and easily.
These cupcakes are dense but tender.
Here's a close-up of the coconut flaked throughout. I was camera happy this day.
Here is the final product. I put the cupcakes on a pretty cake stand with a high glass top and surprised my dad at work.

The second variation I did was an almond, vanilla coconut cupcake with vanilla, almond frosting. I tinted the frosting pink for Valentines Day and added festive pink sanding sugar and other assorted V-day sprinkles on top. Really yummy and very pretty. The coconut cupcakes are delicious by themselves, especially fresh out of the oven. They would be nice plain if you wanted a sweet little something for a brunch.

I didn't get any photos of the pretty pink cupcakes before they weathered a party and my three year old. So, this will have to do.
Here is the recipe for the vanilla almond cupcakes. The changes for the lemon variation are in blue.

Coconut Cupcakes Two Ways / Vanilla Almond or Lemon

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract (Sub: zest of one lemon)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut (divided)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In 3 parts, alternately, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 3 1/2 ounces of coconut.
Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter (or slightly more for puffy cupcake tops). Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 3 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Vanilla, Almond Frosting
(Lemon variation in blue)
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (8oz) butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (2 T fresh lemon juice in place of the vanilla and almond extract)
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 1/2 - 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Food coloring for tinting, if desired

Cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add two cups of confectioners sugar, beat until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts, beat well. Add remaining confectioners sugar and mix until smooth. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut or top with sprinkles.
Cupcakes: Adapted from Ina Garten

1 comment:

shauna said...

Again, we ended up with the cupcakes. That's not a bad thing. We ate them with every meal for a week.

Thank you Summer. I will bill you for my weight watchers meals.


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