06 August 2006

Coconut Glee!

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.


janellio said...

I bet the cupcake would be more fluffy and cloud like with a boiled icing. mmmm boiled icing.

aria said...

i love coconut cupcakes and cream cheese frosting, yummy. those pice are great. that poor kitty looks totally strung out on cupcaks by the last one hee hee

Abbie said...

Lucky cat!

Cherry said...

I love your pictures. THAT looks like a happy kitty.

Anonymous said...

I am going to print your pics and put them in a big frame over my bed so that perhaps I can dream I am
that Kitty!! Yummmmmmmy coconut!!!

doodles said...

cupcakes look devine...........so how was the book???

Erielle said...

Janellio~ I have never tried a boiled icing before. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look it up!

Thanks Aria! Someday I hope to be strung out in coconut as well.

Abbie~ I know, right?

Cherry~ Happy kitty is all cleaned up now and nostalgic for his coconut diving days.

Anonymous~ I was thinking I might do the same thing! Let me know if you seriously want to print them out because I will send you prints with higher resolution. I had to reduce the size on those to format them.

Doodles~ The book, Love in the Time of Cholera, was so beautiful. I was actually reading it for the second time so I didn't have to feel too guilty about dabbling in coconut!

splatgirl said...

Those pictures are awesome, as is that cupcake recipe.
Hurray for idle distraction...

Sounds like there's a carrot cake in your future. If it makes you feel any better, I just spent $12 on butter.

sisainlaw said...

You crack me up. I love the photos and the description of the cupcake sounds great! We'll have to try them. This blog is great!

Anonymous said...

I had these today at a wedding shower. Wow...probably one of the best cupcakes I have ever had. Really, really, really good!

Erielle said...

Thanks, Splatgirl. Wow, did you spend $12 on 3 pounds of butter or did you buy 1 pound of very expensive butter?

Jenna, I like to eat them alot so you will probably try them soon.

Anonymous~ I had a cupcake the other day that wasn't a coconut cupcake with cream cheese icing and it wasn't very good and I was sad.

Avatar said...

I cannot begin to tell you just how happy those pictures made me.

Shannon said...

Oooh! I made Ina's cupcakes a few months back when I saw her make them on the Food Network. They were incredibly yummy. Very almondy, if I remember correctly. Mmmmm....