Wednesday, June 1, 2011

.i'm dreaming of a white cupcake.

our cookout was color coordinated and white played a large role. weeks before memorial day, i started thinking about what i would bake for all our friends coming over. the one dessert i stayed consistent in my decision was coconut cake. coconut to me is a really pure white and i think coconut desserts always make for some of the sharpest presentations. my only debate was whether to do a cake or cupcakes.

in the end, i went for cupcakes because i find them to be really user-friendly at events where people aren't seated prim and properly around a table. hey, they're mobile. once i put my finger on what i wanted, i now had to put my hands on the perfect recipe. i'm starting to see a theme in that i have a go-to-gal, ina garten. she draws me in every time with her floury promises and sugary assurances.

for those of you itching to get your hand on the recipe yourself, here it is:

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
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 almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. 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 vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

for our cookout, i knew i wanted to make a couple dozen of these little pretties, but the recipe told me it would yield 18-20 cupcakes. i had my mind set to just pour the batter a little light in order to stretch it over all 24 liners.

after mixing and whipping and measuring and scooping, i quickly realized i would have more than enough batter to fill not only the 24 cupcake liners, but an additional 12. i've noticed this happening more often than not in most recipes i try.

not only did i have an abundance of these babies, but they were all chocked full of sweet coconut to give a little texture to each and every bite. my husband and i had to obviously try one right away. we only do this for the protection of our guests in case they're awful. (wink)

we both mmm'ed at each bite. i asked him my newest annoying question, 'on a scale of one to ten, where would you rank these?' to which he replied 'a nine.' i'd say that's pretty great. plus, i felt a bit of redemption for my taste buds after not enjoying the last thing i baked.

i also got to use my new larger frosting tip for the first time and loved, loved, loved it. even though the cupcakes were so pretty and pure in their white coconut hats, i figured i'd go ahead and put a flag in it anyway for the occasion.

if you are a coconut fan and try this recipe, you really won't regret it. ms. garten has yet to lead me astray with her mouth-watering creations.


  1. These were incredible! They rival Muddies and GiGi's here in Memphis. Only wish your hubby would have had our proctor eat one sooner rather than at the end of the day. He went from grump to jolly. My wife loved the one i brought home for her. Definitely using it for cupcakes next time.

    Thanks. JM

  2. thank you so much!! i think something yummy is the universal mood elixir ;) i'm glad you and your wife enjoyed them!


.comments are as sweet as sugar.