Last week I had a hankerin' for some coconut cupcakes. I had made three cakes for the church festival, one cake for the lake, and one for a funeral lunch, and hadn't had any to myself. So on Sunday, I made some coconut cupcakes and they turned out so pretty I had to share. These would be a perfect dessert for a Baptism party, First Holy Communion or Confirmation party, or a baby or bridal shower. And since I'll be hosting a bridal shower in the fall, I'll keep this recipe tucked away for that special event. A lot of people order big cakes for such parties, but I like to have a whole dessert table so that guests can have a little taste of this and that. These will be a perfect centerpiece for a dessert table.
The cake batter has coconut in it, as well as sprinkled on top of the icing. The cake is dense (like a pound cake) -- not falling apart light like most cupcakes, and the cupcakes mounded perfectly as they baked. I sometimes have difficulty using scratch cake batter for cupcakes because they often just kind of run everywhere and then the result is a flat cupcake with a wide crunchy top. I don't mind that crunchy tops for muffins, but crunchy tops don't mix with creamy frosting.
Sour Cream Coconut Cupcake Batter
2-1/2 cups plus 2 T. unsifted bleached all-purposed flour
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
12 T. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup thick, cultured sour cream
1 cup tightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place paper cupcake liners inside the cups of two muffin trays.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Cream the butter in the large bowl of a electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spoon.
With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture with the sour cream (flour-sour cream-flour-sour cream-flour), beginning and ending with the flour mixture. The batter will be smooth and fairly thick. On low speed blend in the coconut.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, mounding it slightly in the center (I use an ice cream scoop to make it easier -- filling the cups about 2/3 full.)
Bake the cupcakes for 10 to 15 minutes, or until risen and completely set. When baked, a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake will come out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the pans on racks for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes to cooling racks. Cool completely.
After cupcakes are completely cool, frost generously and sprinkle the frosting with the coconut. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 - 3 T. milk
6 cups unsifted confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl on med. speed for 1 minute, or until creamy and well combined. Blend in the vanilla extract and milk. On low, add the confectioners' sugar in three additions, beating until thoroughly combined before adding the next batch. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl frequently with a spoon to keep the frosting even textured.