So today I decided to bake some coconut cupcakes. I adapted Ina Garten's recipe (The Barefoot Contessa) because she is a baking goddess (the Urban dictionary actually defines "Contessa" as a supreme goddess!), and her recipes are delightfully decadent and tasty. She says in her book that this recipe is one of her customers' favorites. I think it's as much about the frosting as about the cake itself. It is a cream cheese frosting with more butter than most. Yummy!
Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingAdapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
(click here to print recipe)
1 1/2 sticks butter (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. coconut extract (Ina uses almond but it's too strong for my taste)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 oz. sweetened, shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl and cream till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and coconut extracts. Scrape the bowl down.
In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry. Do not overbeat. Fold in the coconut.
Line muffin tins with paper liners. Scoop batter into each well. I use an ice cream scoop so the portions are roughly equal. I got 15 cupcakes out of this.
Bake for 18-20 minutes (Ina's recipe says 25-35 but that would have been MUCH too long for my oven!) or until they are Springy when touched lightly or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack while making the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used lowfat, not that it mattered--Ha!)
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. coconut extract (see my comment above)
3/4 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted (about 2 3/4 cups)
4 oz. sweetened, shredded coconut for garnish
Cream the butter, cream cheese and extracts with electric mixer or food processor until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar until well combined and smooth. Use to frost or pipe onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle cupcakes with coconut (toasted or not, or some of both like I did.)
To toast coconut, spread out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring once.
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