Coconut Cupcakes

July 14, 2011

Does anyone else get stage-fright when it's their turn in line at a coffee shop? As soon as I'm up, I can't remember the name or size of the drink I wanted, even though I had it all rehearsed as I was waiting. There is always a pregnant pause when I'm asked for my order, and I always end up saying something stupid by using ambiguous adjectives like 'medium', and 'cappuccino'. What makes it even worse is knowing that I used to work in a coffee shop. I'm guessing it's empathy pains, or karma.

My default drink is a coconut latte. It's easy enough to blurt out, and once we're passed the size fiasco, I'm quite content in inhaling it. It's so good in fact, that every time I have one, I crave coconut cupcakes (for me, everything eventually comes back to food.) And yes, despite the fact that everyone I know is insane for not liking coconut, I still made these without the guilt of knowing that I'd more than likely have to eat them all myself...this lasted through the first bite. Unless I wanted to undo years of pilates and numerous embarrassing yoga poses, they had to be shared. Even the haters ended up loving these! They're moist, sweet (but not cloyingly so), and they're cupcakes. Who can look at a cupcake and not want to eat it? If you run into someone who absolutely cannot stand coconut, they should be able to pick out the flakes without too much difficulty - as you point and laugh at them.

Coconut Cupcakes (adapted from Ina Garten) Print

cupcake ingredients
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 pound ( that's 3 sticks), of unsalted, room temperature Butter
2 cups of sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 cup of buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

frosting ingredients
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound ( that's 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. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners (this recipe makes about 18-19 cupcakes.) Set the pans aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
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 3-5 minutes.)
Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (be sure the scape down the sides of the bowl as needed.) Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
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 about half of the coconut (just about 7 oz.)
Fill each liner to just slightly below the top.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.[Note: mine were done in about 23 minutes, so keep an eye on them.]
Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Remove to a baking rack and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and both extracts.
Slowly, at about 1/2 cup at a time, add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Once all the sugar has been added, crank up the speed a bit and beat until well combined.
If you want, you may add the rest of the coconut directly into the frosting, or just sprinkle it on top. It's a win-win either way.
Frost the cupcakes as desired!

Makes 18-19 cupcakes


  1. I would be happy to help you eat these. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

  2. Please just send me all your coconut goodies rather than waste them on people who are going to pick it out! Those cupcakes look scrumptious, but I've never even heard of a coconut latte. I must find/make one!

  3. Mmmm, coconut lattes! Oh and the cupcake doesn't look too unpleasant either. ;-)

  4. Mmmhhh, those look delicious! A great flavor.



  5. I am TOTALLY the same in coffee shops! My default however is a skinny vanilla latte, i dont think they do coconut lattes here otherwise im pretty sure that that would be my default also!! Coconut=best thing ever, so versatile, i just posted a gorgeous lemon coconut cake this morning but my coconut bug has not been satisfied yet so I am definitely saving these! :) how do you think it would be if you changed all/some of the buttermilk for coconut milk..?

  6. Those look delicious!!

    I get coffee shop stage fright but it's only restricted to Starbucks where they have stupid names for things. . .

    "Umm... I'll have a large, I mean tall. No, no, is it grande? Yeah, grande Americano. I mean double. Oh! and make it decaf?"

  7. @The Procrastobaker,
    Hi! Using coconut milk instead of buttermilk is a great idea. You may want to add some lemon juice (maybe from half a lemon), just to give it that little acidic kick normally provided via buttermilk.

    I'd love to know how they turn out if you decide to try! :)

  8. I've always loved your recipes, but I think you're about to make a new fan -- my husband. He adores coconut and I know he'd love these cupcakes. I've circled around this recipe a few times but never made it. (And I've still got my eye on the coconut lime cupcakes of a few weeks ago.)

  9. coconut cupcakes are one of my favorite things, as is anything coconut. so i'm 100% with you. i would totally have helped you eat those.

    and my husband always gets stage fright when he's at coffee shops. or movie theaters. or restaurants. i tease him because that's my wifely duty.

  10. Thanks for the twitter follow. It gave me the chance to find your wonderful blog. I am going to enjoy sifting through all these back recipes.

  11. I keep coming back to this post and drooling. Oh man.
    I need to make these...Perhaps with some coffee in them as coconut latte cupcakes? I love coconut lattes as well even though coffee does bad things to me. :P

  12. i adore coconut! however, aftering failing my last ina garten recipe, i don't know if im ready for another one just yet :(

  13. @Connie, There have been more than a few Martha Stewart recipes that have flopped for me, and every time it happens, I swear that I'll never try another one from her again. Yet I always find myself drawn back to where the mistakes could have been made. I don't always redo a recipe that fails, but by simply trying another one, I feel though that failure has not defeated my love of baking. :D

    I hope you give Ina another try.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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