Mar 142011

I finally baked again! Hooray! I had a blast and I really can’t wait to make more. I think I forgot how much fun I have making cupcakes. Between my broken ankle and being pregnant I hadn’t felt up to baking. Oh! The baby! This is him:

His name is Atticus. My pregnancy wasn’t that fun. I’m not a happy pregnant person. I starting having bad hip pain around 17 weeks and also developed pregnancy carpal tunnel. And with my broken ankle that still doesn’t feel great standing in the the kitchen baking was the last thing I wanted to do. Now I WANT to bake but time management isn’t on my side. However I got an email from a few weeks ago about 6 cute cupcakes. I couldn’t just push delete on that one!

One of the cupcakes was a rainbow cupcake. I’ve made a rainbow cake before and thought cupcakes would be super cute. And I decided it would be a good project to do with my older son as he likes to help in the kitchen. I nursed and diapered the baby and plopped him in his high chair and Jamison and I were ready to go!

When baking with Jamison I try to make things easier for him. Like if  recipe calls for 1/2 cup  milk I put that 1/2 cup in a 1 cup measuring cup. That way spilling is kept to a minimum! I also will crack eggs into something and let him pour the egg in but I don’ t have to worry about picking out egg shells. He is only four.

Cooking with Jamison is fun. He takes what I say very literal. When we were combining the flour mixture with the butter mixture I told him to dump in a little at a time. He dumped in maybe a tablespoon, ha!

Unless you don’t care about food coloring stains I would suggest you add the food coloring yourself to the bowls of batter. I used 6 Tupperware/Rubbermaid containers and 6 spoons.

The MOST time consuming part of this whole recipe is putting the layers of colored batter in the cupcake tins. It took a long time. And with a four year old helping probably it took longer than it would have if I’d just done it myself but still. Now the recipe says to make sure the batter touches the sides of your cupcake liners. I wasn’t that careful.

When they were cooked you could see specks of different colors in the top of the cupcakes. Are they perfect? No. But when cooking with your kids nothing is going to come out perfect. What matters is you had fun. And we did.

Despite the specks of different colors on top, they were still rainbow cupcakes.

The recipe calls for these to be coconut cupcakes with coconut butter cream. I thought that was too much coconut so I only put coconut in the frosting. The cake part was a very yummy (rainbow colored) yellow cake. And it was super easy to make. If you’re looking for a multipurpose yellow cake totally use this recipe minus the coconut. Much tastier than a box mix I’m sure. I frosted these with a 1A wilton tip. I got this almost a year ago courtesy of Maria over at BORED Mommy. I had mentioned once I didn’t have the tip I wanted for a different cupcake and she asked what it was and so very nicely sent it to me from Canada! I’ve been dying to use it and finally got the chance. I love how it looks!

After I frosted them my son had a hard time waiting for after dinner to have one. Taking pictures of the finished product was kind of like torture!



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract – I did not use this, doubled the vanilla
  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk (not cream of coconut) – I used regular milk
  • Yellow, green, red and blue liquid food color


  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • Multicolored candy sprinkles, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.

2. In small bowl, mix flour and baking powder; set aside. In medium bowl, beat ½ cup butter and the granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon coconut extract. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, ½ at a time, and coconut milk, ½ at a time, beating just until blended.

3. Measure about ¾ cup batter into each of 5 small bowls. For yellow, stir about 6 drops yellow food color into batter in first bowl. Tint second bowl green, with 6 drops green food color; third bowl red, with about 8 drops red food color; fourth bowl blue, with about 10 drops blue food color; and fifth bowl purple, with about 8 drops red food color and 3 drops blue food color.

4. Spoon scant tablespoon of yellow batter into each cup; smooth to edge of baking cup with back of spoon. Repeat with green, red, blue and purple batters (fill cups to ¾ full).

5. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack to cool.

6. In large bowl, beat 1 ½ cups butter, the powdered sugar and salt with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 tablespoons of the milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla and ¼ teaspoon coconut extract. Add remaining milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Beat until fluffy.

7. Pipe or frost about ¼ cup frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with multicolored sprinkles.


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.