I hope ya’ll aren’t tired of cupcakes yet, cause I’ve been on a roll. Plus, I figured with the week our country has had – we could probably all use a cupcake – right? I’ve been a fan of Ina’s coconut cupcakes for quite some time – but I always feel ridiculous using 3 sticks of butter in the batter for the cupcakes. Not to mention it makes like 46 cupcakes, when she says it’s supposed to make 18.
So I scaled it down a bit, and made a few changes. I took a page from my favorite coconut cake recipe and added a bit of cream of coconut to the cake batter. It adds moisture, sweetness, and big coconut flavor – which are all big pluses in my book, as far as cupcakes are concerned! I also added a bit of coconut extract for an even more pronounced coconut flavor. Topped with a coconut cream cheese frosting, and a dusting of toasted coconut – it’s Heaven in a cupcake liner.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup cream of coconut
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (for garnish)
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces butter (1 stick)
3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1/8 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.
In a small dry skillet, toast the shredded coconut over medium-high heat until starting to brown on the edges. Off heat, and remove from pan to a plate to cool.
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 coconut extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and the cream of coconut – whisk to combine. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.
Fill each liner 2/3 of the way. 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 extracts. Carefully add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes as desired and sprinkle with the toasted coconut to garnish.
Source: adapted from The Barefoot Contessa by Ina Garten