06 August 2006
I have at least 100 pages left in my book before our Book Club meeting today. Do you think I am feverishly speed-reading my book and recklessly attempting to cultivate a stimulating discussion question? No. Instead am sticking a plastic cat figurine into a coconut cupcake and taking pictures of it. Good stuff.
If you seek a fluffy, cloud-like cupcake that will make people say, “This is the best cupcake I have ever eaten!” or “I don’t even like cupcakes but these are delicious!” then make Ina Garten's coconut cupcakes. If you seek a cupcake that will make you wish you were less than one inch tall so that you could dive in and out of the billowy frosting, then I say again, make these cupcakes.
The cream cheese icing, unexpected on a cupcake, is quite delicious, although it unfortunately overwhelms the coconut flavor. So if you crave a strong coconut presence in your cupcakes, I would bookmark Ina’s recipe for another day and instead look up the coconut layer cake recipe at America’s Test Kitchen. I’m sure you can stick figurines into that cake, too.
By the way, this recipe makes 30 CUPCAKES. Ina says it makes 20, but I counted 30 (not counting the batter that I ate, which probably amounts to one cupcake), and I still have enough leftover icing to frost a carrot cake. If you don’t want to spend $7.50 on butter, divide the recipe in half and you will still have 15 cupcakes.
Ina Garten's Coconut Cupcakes:
For the Cupcakes:
¾ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 oz. sweetened, shredding coconut
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperatre
¾ pound butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1 ½ confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of 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 three parts, alternately add the ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Lin a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 20 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.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.