November 1, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

We celebrated a very dear friend's 40th birthday this past weekend.  We hosted a quaint and intimate dinner at our home.  My sister-in-law, Jane (her pseudonym), cooked up an amazing Korean beef and potato dish.  Everyone inhaled it.  We had other traditional Korean fare, as well, which was ordered from a caterer.

Instead of buying a cake, I decided to make coconut cupcakes.  Another friend of ours made these for CJ's 2nd birthday party, and they were amazing! 

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe from Ina Garten)

  • 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 (don't make the mistake I have and get low-fat; it'll change the texture of the cupcake)
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
For the frosting:
(I used a different recipe to get a thicker frosting which is better for decorating)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (I always cut the sugar in half, so I only used 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


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.

I decided to add the pink flowers to add a decorative touch and make the cupcakes prettier!  They're easy to make with a Wilton Large Star Decorating Tip 1-M.  I'm hoping to post up a step-by-step how-to in the coming weeks.  But this week will be devoted to another big project I'm working on (stay tuned for that).

And what's a party without some good wine?  As a complement to the cupcakes, I purchased what else, but Cupcake wines.  These are a recent new fave (and they're only $8.99/bottle).  I particularly enjoy the Cabernet Sauvignon.

We had such a fabulous time!  And we loved celebrating the life of a sister and friend we dearly treasure! S, you are an amazing blessing to us all!


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