Monday, March 21, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

My father-in-law’s 76th birthday is at the end of this week. Almost every week, he spends Monday night with us because he works with Andy on Monday and Tuesday. So a birthday celebration was in order! His favorite dessert is coconut cake, so I decided to try my hand at making coconut cupcakes. I’m not a fan of coconut, but everyone else really liked this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. The batter is very airy, so don’t overfill the muffin cups or it will overflow. I made half the amount of frosting (but I used the called-for amounts of vanilla and almond extracts) the recipe calls for and had plenty. Enjoy!

Coconut Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 (14-oz.) bag sweetened shredded coconut, divided
Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended after each addition. Add in extracts.
2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in half of coconut. Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin cups.
3. Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cool completely. Spread tops of cupcakes with frosting; sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 (16-oz.) box powdered sugar

1. Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer until fluffy. Gradually add in extracts and powdered sugar, beating until spreading consistency.

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