Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ina, You Genius You; Perfect Coconut Cupcakes

It's slightly crushing/partly embarrassing/kind of befuddling to me that after years of having this cookbook around, I have never baked these magnificent cupcakes. If coconut is your thing, than these are the tried and true coconut cupcake recipe for you. If you aren't, well, you're crazy because these pack in 3 sticks (I said, THREE) of butter, 5 eggs, and, AND, buttermilk; people, in other words, that means moisture. It means fluff. It means, it's-such-a-good-cupcake-concotion that you'll want to tell Betty Crocker to eat her heart out.

Not to even make note of the insanely rich cream cheese frosting that slathers the top of each. I made a Martha Stewart coconut cupcake back in 09 and those were fine-good, fine, blah..

These ones, are far better than fine.

I made these for a relative's baby shower we hosted over the weekend. They are beautifully white and sit cute on a cake platter though I found that coconut is a highly like/dislike type food and serving anything with it as the star ingredient is a bit gutsy. Thankfully there was another dessert to chow into for the coconut dissenters, so, may I suggest should you serve these at any party, either be sure your guests are coconut fans OR have a back- up dessert available.

Otherwise, all I can offer is my good lucks and best wishes when you make these because you will want to eat all the batter and if you only manage to come out of this baking experience having 5 spoonfuls of tastes, then you've done well. Very well.

Coconut Cupcakes

{Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook c. 1999}

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

14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

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 cupcakes with the frosting, and sprinkle remaining coconut on top.

1 comment:

The Speres said...

Oooo! I have that cookbook, but it's in a box buried in my mom's storage closet...thanks for posting so I can make delicious coconut cupcakes. I LOVE coconut.