Mar 282010

These cupcakes? A coconut lover’s heaven! There is ground coconut and coconut milk in the cake. There is coconut extract in the butter cream and topped with toasted coconut. Go on and drool, they are DELISH!

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s cupcake cookbook. I got the book from the library because I wasn’t sure I’d like it despite all the good reviews. Because you see…I kind of hate Martha. (Yes, we’re on a first name basis) I used to watch her show, Martha Stewart Living, all the time growing up when it was on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Basically I always thought she seemed like a snotty person who did everything the hard way. My thoughts on her being snotty were confirmed when I heard all her staff quit before taping of a new season started. I have no idea if that was just rumor, but I’ll continue to take it as the truth. But this cookbook? It’s like cupcake smut. Beautiful pictures with every recipe. This is the first recipe I’ve made but they all seem like lovely recipes. I will be buying a copy.

As you can see from the first picture I didn’t go with just copying Martha’s recipe. I wanted something Easter and/or Spring themed. I saw these cupcakes on Flickr and decided to do that.

Martha calls for you to pulse the coconut in a processor until it’s finely ground. Well I don’t have a processor, just a blender. I’m sure Martha would look at my “ground” coconut and then slap my face for not following her directions.

Sorry Martha.

With all the butter and coconut milk in this recipe I should have figured that perhaps my very pretty cupcake liners that were NOT marked as grease resistant wouldn’t be so pretty after I had cooked my cupcakes. I’m kind of disappointed because they were really pretty:

But after they looked like this:

You can’t see the chick on the bottom at all. Oh well. They tasted really good and I guess that’s all that matters. Right?

While the cupcakes were cooling I went about toasting my coconut. I have never toasted coconut before. One recipe online says 300°F for 30-40 minutes. Another recipe said 325°F and cook until the coconut is as brown as you want it. Well that really helps. I went with 300 degrees. Checked once and the coconut wasn’t brown at all. Checked again and it was very very toasted. There seems to be a very fine line between toasted and burned when it comes to coconut, just an FYI. It also took no where near as long as 30 minutes to toast.

I put the coconut and the mini Cadbury eggs in small bowls so I could do a little assembly line. Take my advice and use a much larger bowl for the coconut then you think you need because you get a lot of spillage.

Just as Martha suggests in the recipe I used a small offset spatula to put my frosting on. I did not however use the seven-minute frosting she suggests. And I’m going to give Martha some credit here and say I probably should have listened to her. Butter cream isn’t a real sticky frosting making it hard to get the coconut to stay on top. I couldn’t just sprinkle some on. This was my method:

I rolled the cupcake around in the bowl using a small amount of force to get the coconut to embed into and stick onto the butter cream.

Another snag I ran into was how to get the mini Cadbury eggs to stick on. I ended up putting a tiny dab of frosting on each and pressing it into the coconut. So far none have fallen off. Although I don’t have much faith of them staying on during my husband’s 20 minute drive to work. They really are pretty though, little birds’ nests of coconut heaven!

Cupcake Recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large whole eggs plus 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons purse vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse shredded coconut in a food processor until finely ground, and whisk into flour mixture.

2. With and electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in whole eggs, whites and vanilla, scrapping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of coconut milk, and beating until combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling eat three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; turn out cupcakes onto wire racks and let cool completely. cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature , or freeze up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

4. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread a generous dome of frosting onto each cupcake, and, if desired, garnish with flaked coconut (press gently to adhere). Cupcakes are best eaten the day they’re frosted; store at room temperature until ready to serve.

Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Butter cream recipe

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • around 32ozs of powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons cream or milk (or coconut milk)

Cream butter in small bowl. Beat in sugar and coconut extract. Add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. If too thick add more milk, if too thin add more sugar.

Mar 222010

I want to start by saying I’m really not happy with how these came out – look wise. They tasted delish as always (I’ve made these recipes before many times) but I didn’t have the decorating tip I wanted and I couldn’t find it locally so had to improvise.

Once again I did something I don’t normally do. I grated the carrots by hand. I normally buy the matchstick carrots at the grocery store because it saves me time. But I went to the city market this weekend with my parents, who were visiting, and I was able to purchase just a few large carrots and decided I might as well do it the hard way right way.

My mom bought me some new multicolored nesting mixing bowls, aren’t they pretty?

I think the best thing ever made was powdered buttermilk. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of buttermilk. I have only seen regular buttermilk come in 32oz containers. I have no idea what I would have done with the rest if I couldn’t mix up exactly the amount I needed. FYI don’t do it in a bowl or cup and think you can mix if sufficiently with a whisk or spoon. Because you can’t. Put it in something you can close tightly with a lid and shake the heck out of it. Also this is found in my grocery store’s organic/natural section, so if it’s not in your regular baking aisle look there.

The reason I normally do matchstick carrots is because once you beat the batter with your mixer they break down really small anyway. I won’t say the doing it the hard way right way was better. I really don’t know if it was.

I made carrot cake cupcakes this weekend because it was what my dad requested. He  likes raisins in his carrot cake, my mom and I don’t. So although the recipe doesn’t call for raisins I added some to half of the cupcakes and just mixed them in with a wooden skewer.

I’ve never made this carrot cake recipe into cupcakes before. But I did remember that it didn’t rise a whole lot. I filled the cups probably 3/4 of the way full and none of them came even close to overflowing. I also I can’t tell you how long I cooked them as I forgot to set a timer. The house filled with the wonderful smell of carrot cake and I jumped up to go look how they were doing, hoping they weren’t overcooked.

By the time I got back from the store from getting more white chocolate for the frosting my son had woken up from his nap. In a very bad mood. He had a runny nose and I think he just didn’t feel too great. And while my husband is the best dad in the whole wide world a screaming, crying kid did make things a little stressful while I was making the frosting. Thus, no pictures of that process. But I do have one of the finished product:

Again, not happy with how the frosting looks. I need to suck it up and pay for shipping for ONE decorating tip I guess. There are NO cake decorating stores in my town. I can’t believe it.

Cake Recipe

  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 9  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 2/3  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 2  large egg whites
  • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4  cup  low-fat buttermilk
  • 2  cups  finely shredded carrot

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line cupcake tins with paper lines.

Place 9 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and fluffy. Beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in carrot. Spoon batter into cupcake tins. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° until a wooden pick inserted in center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in cupcake tin 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely.


Frosting Recipe

  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1. Place the white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until it is smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.

2. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the melted white chocolate and blend on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and 2 1⁄2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, and blend on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Add more sugar as needed to make the frosting spreadable. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 1 minute more.

3. Use to frost the top and sides of the cake of your choice.