Coconut Cupcakes

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Hey, guess what?

We hit 1,000 views! (We think it’s kind of a big deal..) Thank you, everyone, for your support! We love you!

To celebrate this blogging milestone, we made coconut cupcakes. We topped some with the traditional shredded coconut, and others with rainbow sugar, because rainbow sugar (or sprinkles) = a party.


We used Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) coconut cupcakes recipe. Georgia’s been dying to try them. I’m glad she suggested it, because they were sooo delicious.

As per usual, we made a couple adaptations, just because we’re too lazy excited to make sure we have all the ingredients on-hand before cooking. We didn’t have any almond extract, because someone put the empty bottle back in the pantry–in the box. Deceiving, right? Or maybe it just evaporated. Yeah, we’ll say it evaporated. Don’t want to point any fingers at the family now, do we?

We also used powdered buttermilk culture in place of liquid buttermilk. This is probably one of my favorite ingredients. No, just kidding, that’s really weird. But it’s seriously awesome for baking because it doesn’t spoil as fast as liquid buttermilk, which can turn into butter or something gross if you forget it’s in your fridge.

For food styling’s sake, we baked half the batch in colored silicon baking cups, and arranged them in rainbow order. We learned ROYGBIV in middle school science together. I consider it one of the most important things we’ve learned in school. It’s so useful for arranging cupcakes, drawing rainbows, and organizing your closet. (What, who said that?! Who organizes the clothes their closet by color..?)

We only made half a batch and ended up with plenty of cupcakes. We even had enough leftover batter to make some mini cupcakes. Really, what’s cuter than mini cupcakes?

If you like coconut and cupcakes, then make these. Right now. They would probably be even more delicious with toasted coconut on top. Yummmm.

Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 4 tablespoons/1 envelope powdered buttermilk and 1 cup water)
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bow, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. With an electric mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well and scraping the bowl after each addition to incorporate. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (and powdered buttermilk, if using). In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk (or water, if using powdered), beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined–don’t overmix! Fold in 7 ounces of the coconut, reserving the rest for the frosting.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or silicon baking cups and fill with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a baking rack and cool completely. If you’re eager to eat cupcakes, freeze them for a little while.
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. With an electric mixer on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut or rainbow sugar.
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