Coconut Cream Cupcakes

September 10, 2010

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Another birthday for Miguel.  It feels like yesterday when I met him.  Actually, it wasn’t yesterday,  it was 32 years ago.  Thirty two coconut or carrot cakes later, he still requests one or the other each year.  This year he didn’t give any hints.  So, I made an executive decision and I went with the coconut.

Made a new cake recipe and my old standby frosting.  Thumbs up all the way around.  May have to stick with Rose’s coconut cake recipe as the critics highly approved!!

Heavenly Coconut Cake
adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes
yield:   cupcakes

3 large egg whites at room temperature
2/3 cup (5.3 oz.) canned cream of coconut
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 cup minus 1 Tbls. superfine sugar
1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbls. unsalted butter
1/2 cup toasted, sweetened coconut flakes

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 Tbls. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds only
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

• line cupcake trays with liners.   preheat oven to 350*.
• toast the coconut on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.  set aside.
• in a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites, 3 tablespoons of the cream of coconut, the vanilla, and the coconut extract just until combined.
• in the bowl of a food processor, process the sugar and the coconut until the coconut is powder.
• in the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle, mix the coconut mixture, flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed, about 30 minutes.  add the butter and the remaining cream of coconut.  mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.  raise the speed to medium and beat about 2 minutes.
• gradually add the egg white mixture in two parts, beating for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients.  scrape the batter down on the sides of the bowl.
• fill each cupcake liner about two thirds full.
• bake for 15-22 minutes.  insert a toothpick in the center of one of the cupcakes.  if it comes out clean, they are done.
• let cool completely before frosting.

• in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until well incorporated. add the vanilla bean seeds, scraped from the pod.  add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  I like my frosting a little bit thicker.  Add your powdered sugar until you get the consistency that you desire.
• fill a pastry bag with the frosting and pipe cupcakes. sprinkle with toasted coconut.

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