Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

It probably won’t come as a shock, but I used to be a big fan of the Food Network. I’d watch Ina and Giada and Bobby and Tyler all day long, salivating over their dishes, and wishing I could be just like them. As someone who is completely enamored with food, it seemed pretty obvious that that’s how I would spend my idle time — especially in college, when I would rather have done anything than homework. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve grown out of it somewhat, opting for ridiculous reality TV, network shows, and HGTV. When I was going through the home-buying process, kitchen reno’s and backyard re-dos were so much more my jive, so for a long time that’s all I would watch. Lately, however, I’m gravitating back. I no longer have a home that I own with a mile-long list of projects to take care of. Wish as I might that I still did, it’s not coming back, so I have had to find other things to occupy my time. It’s left an easy space for the Food Network personalities to slip back in, an old comfort, a standby of sorts, and I have really welcomed that. The other day after work, I went on a DVR recording binge, and then a few days later, watched hours of Ina making cookies, cupcakes, a million recipes with cheese, even dog biscuits. It was in one of those episodes that she made a basic cream cheese frosting recipe, which I later that week found myself replicating in my own kitchen.

Coconut Cupcakes - Sweetly Serendipity

My brother’s birthday was at the end of July, though he and my parents were traveling until the day-of, so we didn’t plan much by way of a party. As soon as my parents got home, we scrambled to put something together for a celebration. Where I usually hem and haw about what recipe to make, spending far too much time researching and comparing, my mom simply suggested making Ina’s Coconut Cupcakes, and I was sold. I’m pretty picky about my cupcakes, but as I have recently professed, I really love Ina and her recipes, so these seemed like a good bet.

Coconut Cupcakes - Sweetly Serendipity

I don’t dislike coconut at all, but in some applications I like it much better than others. This is one of those recipes where it just works. The cupcake base is dense and flavorful — made more so by the addition of wheat flour. The coconut gives it a nice texture as well. I generally don’t like almond extract, but I actually found it quite pleasing in this recipe — the cupcakes definitely wouldn’t be the same without it. The frosting is the perfect balance of flavors, with a really creamy texture, just how cream cheese frosting should be. The combination is absolutely delightful, and awfully “light” for a recipe that has *gasp* SIX sticks of butter in it. It’s true. They’re worth it.

Coconut Cupcakes - Sweetly Serendipity

A big Happy Birthday to my brother Jordan, who turned a quarter century old this year. I don’t know how that happened, but he’s a great kid and I’m pretty lucky to have him in my life. Love you bro!

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

    Coconut Cupcake Ingredients
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer speed down to low, and add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each. Add both extracts, and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry, 2 additions of buttermilk). Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Fill each liner completely with batter, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in their pans for about 15 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of your mixer still fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, and extracts together. Add the confectioners' sugar, and continue mixing until completely incorporated and frosting is smooth. Frost the cupcakes generously, and sprinkle with remaining coconut.
http://www.sweetlyserendipity.com/dessert/cakes-and-cupcakes/coconut-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

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