Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Put the Lime in the Coco-nut...Cupcake

Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all uppp! Coconut cupcakes! I did lots of research prior to making these. Do you include lime, or not. Do you toast the coconut, or not. Do you use coconut milk, or not. Almond extract, or not. Extra large egg is how many large eggs... How much butter for the frosting?!

I took the regular cupcakes recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, and looked at her cake recipe too. I looked at random recipes online and different techniques. I prefer making cupcakes so I can taste one before bringing them places. Folks would notice a slice of cake missing!

In the end, I used the basis for the cupcake recipe. I used toasted the coconut as that is supposed to enhance the coconut flavor. Reviews listed coconut milk to help with the coconut flavor. And since I was feeling creative I added some lime to half the recipe to try it out. I omitted the almond extract because I didn't have any. Some used coconut extract with the vanilla extract. Since I was halving the recipe (5 eggs originally) I used 3 large eggs.

First toast the coconut. Easy, just put your desired amount into the frying pan. I put it on medium heat and it took about 2-4 minutes. Stirring a bit. 

Next, combine sugar and room temperature butter until its creamy and combined.
 Add in eggs 1 at a time. The batter should be wet.
Alternate adding in the dry mixture with the wet. Fill in the cupcake tins 2/3 of the way. I had a little overflow so I made a few mini ones!

Aren't the mini ones so cute?! Keep an eye on them towards the end of the time to ensure they don't burn.
I let them cool completely before frosting them and dipping/sprinkling them into the toasted coconut.

I halved the recipe, but the recipe below is the full one. Half the recipe makes about 14 cupcakes.

These were not very coconut-y but they very moist and light cupcakes. Next time I would consider adding in an extra tsp or tsp and a half of coconut extract. I added about half of a lime's worth of juice to the frosting but I add as much as you want.

Other variations I'd like to try include omitting the coconut flakes in the cupcake and adding in orange or lemon extract with respective zest.

Coconut Cupcakes

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 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 coconut milk
  • 7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • Optional: zest of 2 limes, 2 tbsp of lime juice; add in when adding in extract

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 - 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • Optional: 1 tbsp lime juice, zest of 1 lime; add in when adding in extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In the mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after the additions. Add the vanilla extracts.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut with a rubber spatula.

Line a muffin tin with the paper lines. Fill the liners 2/3 way to the top with the batter. Bake 12-15 minutes for mini muffins and 23-26 for regular size. Keep an eye until the tops are starting to get brown and the toothpick comes out clean. Allow them to cool and then let the cool on a baking rack.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract on low speed. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth.

Frost cupcakes and top with additional coconut.

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