Thursday, September 27, 2007

Coconut Cupcakes

So I have totally jumped on the baking with buttermilk train and by saying I have jumped on any kind of baking train is shocking to me. I'm not sure why but I have finally embraced baking and I find myself actually excited to do it. I'm so glad I started using buttermilk because it makes for a nice tart but subtle twist to regular ol' baked goods.

On the menu this week was coconut cupcakes with a cream cheese icing which I got from Ina Garten of the Food Network. I was pretty nervous to take these on because although Ina makes things look breezy on her show, I could tell these required a bit of an experienced baker. That being said, I'm always up for a challenge and I also had a back up plan in strawberry shortcake. Nerves aside, I whisked (a lot) and sifted all the while maintaining my deep breathing exercises and to my surprise, they worked, really well actually. These cupcakes are awesome, not overly sweet because of the buttermilk and cream cheese frosting (so delicious) and they look so cute!


1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350°. Sift the dry ingredients together into a medium mixing bowl, and set the bowl aside. Break eggs into a small bowl, and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, carefully pour in eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.
Mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk by alternating between 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup buttermilk, be sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Add half the coconut, and mix until just incorporated.
Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill each cup with batter to nearly reach the tops of the cupcake cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from the oven, and allow them to cool briefly in the tin before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes. Generously ice them with cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle with remaining coconut. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set the frosting a bit.

1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
8 TBS unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well
blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.

Makes 12 cupcakes

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