Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
These. These coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I need a minute.
Can you believe that this is only the second cupcake recipe that I've ever posted to this blog?! Stores everywhere are dedicated solely to these cute, miniature domed cakes (also known as cupcakes, but I'm trying to put my education to some use and utilize imagery), and here I am after four months of blogging with only my second cupcake recipe.
Truth is, I much prefer cookies to any other baked good. Yes, I like cookies even more than I like cupcakes. And even more than I like the trendy and chic french macaroon (I don't love them all that much). Fortunately for you, it's not always all about me, because if it was, cookies would probably make up 98% of the food posts on this blog.
So, because I'm so selfless as to think of recipes that other people might appreciate, here is a recipe for the most amazing coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting ever. What makes this post even more altruistic is the fact that I'm not a huge fan of coconut. For something so harmless and pretty, coconut is a highly controversial ingredient. People either love it or hate it. Usually. I'm in the much less common coconut category of I-don't-love-it-but-I-don't-hate-it.
If you are in the "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE COCONUT" category, you're going to LOVE these cupcakes. These cupcakes are a coconut lover's DREAM. I can honestly say that I really, really like these cupcakes, and I don't really, really like coconut.
This coconut cupcake recipe has a classic, buttery, vanilla base with a hefty amount of shredded coconut added to the batter. And then, after they are baked, the cupcakes get a perfect cream cheese frosting and are garnished with even more shredded coconut.
About the frosting: I've seen recipes with varying amounts of powdered sugar and with double the amount of butter to cream cheese, with double the amount of cream cheese to butter, with 3/4's the amount of butter to cream cheese, and with equal parts butter and cream cheese. And after much testing and tasting and trial and error, my favorite combo turned out to be the latter. Equal parts butter and cream cheese. With just the right amount of powdered sugar and vanilla extract. This frosting tastes like vanilla ice cream. For reals.
These coconut cupcakes are made the classic way. Cream the butter and sugar, add in your wet ingredients, mix well, add in your dry ingredients, and mix until JUST incorporated. The cupcakes don't rise all that much, so don't be afraid to fill your cupcake liners a bit more than 3/4 of the way full. I use a large ice cream scoop to fill the liners, which enables a quick and mess-free process.
So, if you love coconut, or someone you love loves coconut, or someone you hate hates coconut, make these, for yourself or for them. These cupcakes don't disappoint. Perhaps I should rename them the "ultimate" coconut cupcakes. Because they're pretty "ultimate."
coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Yield: 12 cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup (3.5 oz.) shredded sweetened coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
1 1/4 cups (4 oz.) shredded sweetened coconut, for garnishing
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well till combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Alternatively add the dry ingredients and the milk to the machine, ending with the dry ingredients. Mix till just incorporated. Stir in the coconut.
Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, fill the muffin tins almost to the top (3/4). Bake cupcakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese (with a paddle or whisk attachment). Once smooth, add in the confectioner's sugar, a bit at a time. Add in the extract/s. To frost cupcakes with triangular/dome shape like the ones depicted, drop a generous dollop of frosting onto the cupcake. Hold a small, straight spatula vertically and move it around the cupcake to smooth the frosting and create a dome shape.
Place the shredded coconut into a shallow dish/bowl and roll the frosted cupcakes in the coconut to garnish.
On a completely unrelated note, the age-old question, still unanswered: