Friday, May 7, 2010

Under Skilled Supervision: Coconut Cupcakes

Yes, I am FULLY aware that this recipe is nowhere near nutritious--but I promise to return with a healthier recipe or two in a month or so. As with everything in life, moderation is key. And without splurges, we all become cranky misers.

It was my daughter's 1st birthday and I had been thinking about having these cupcakes. Both my mother in law & I (separately) thought to use this recipe. It's one of the most requested & commented upon recipes from Ina Garten. Here is a link to her original recipe & user comments.

I have a confession though....besides frosting, adding toppings, and fooling with the liners, I hardly did anything but watch my pregnant sister in law make these. I wanted to make sure she felt truly included (ha!). I have excellent supervision skills, though, and feel that in itself is enough to warrant a post. Also, I spent an entire day looking for those cute little liners & ended up in the ghetto....I have to use the picture somewhere! For the record, I have, indeed made them in the past.

A few changes we made from the original recipe were to 1) toast the sweetened coconut that went on top 2) use unsweetened, but FROZEN fresh coconut inside the cupcakes, and 3) use yogurt-covered blueberries for the top (to make them look like eggs since birds were our theme)


3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
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 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 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 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

In case anyone is wondering, they were DELICIOUS!!!!! The cream cheese frosting & almond flavoring makes them the best coconut cupcakes I've ever had. The birthday girl couldn't stop cramming them into her mouth either.

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