A couple months ago I saw this gorgeous flaked coconut at Key Foods and have been dreaming about the appropriate application. There is something so luscious about thick, wide cuts of coconut; heavenly! While I was dreaming of coconut dishes, one of my assistant principals mentioned his love of coconut after eating a tres leche cupcakes. Now I'm not a one to brown nose, but I'm not above a little cupcake bribery. A little cupcake here and there makes small infractions or special requests so much more manageable. I highly recommend baking cupcakes to get what you want here and there.
It took awhile to find the right coconut recipe, I wanted one with a lot of coconut, specifically some sort of coconut cream. And let me tell you, the coconut cream in the middle is the star of the show. It's amazing!! Cream of coconut, coconut milk, and coconut milk make the pastry cream super flavorful, sweet, and delicious. Imagine the creamiest, freshest pudding and that's what you have in the middle of cupcakes. Plus cute little specks of vanilla bean.
The cupcake is soft and tender and a perfect vehicle to contain the delectable coconut cream inside. As usual the Swiss meringue buttercream is smooth and creamy without being too sweet. The cream of coconut folds in well so the frosting has a hint of coconut. Toasted coconut on top adds beauty, crunch, and even more fresh coconut flavor. Obviously you could use any shredded coconut, but I adore the big flakes here.
These cupcakes were brought to a floor luncheon. I have great co-workers and it was fantastic to share a meal together. The floor was quite impressed with the cupcakes as was my assistant principal. I think you need to whip up a batch of cupcakes and bring them into work to impress your boss. Hey, maybe you'll get to leave work a little early one day! Who knows, it worked for me!
One Year Ago - Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Coconut Cupcakes Adapted from - Baking in the Attic Yield - 24 cupcakes
Coconut Pastry Cream 3/4 cup whole milk 3/4 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk 1/2 vanilla bean 4 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch pinch of salt 1 teaspoon coconut extract 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup cold heavy cream 1/4 cup cream of coconut
- Add the milk, coconut milk, and the vanilla bean with the seeds scraped out to a medium saucepan. Heat and stir until the mixture begins to simmer.
- Meanwhile in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the heated milk into the eggs little by little to temper the eggs.
- Once all the milk is incorporated into the eggs, add the whole mixture back to the saucepan and heat & whisk until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency.
- Push the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the coconut and vanilla extracts.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and place in the fridge to cool completely, about 2 hours.
- To complete the cream, add 3/4 cup custard to the heavy cream and cream of coconut. Beat in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Add the cream to a pastry bag with an injection tip.
Vanilla Cupcakes 2 1/4 cup cake flour 1 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup whole milk 6 egg whites 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cupcake tins with liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, powder, and salt to the bowl a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low to combine the dry ingredients.
- Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds. Set aside.
- Add the butter one tablespoon at a time to the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
- Pour in most of the milk/egg mixture and beat on medium-high speed until the batter is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- On the lowest speed add in the rest of the milk/egg mixture and mix until just combined.
- Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Inject each cupcake with the pastry cream.
Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream 4 egg whites 1 cup sugar pinch of salt 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/4 cup cream of coconut 1 teaspoon coconut extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract toasted coconut for garnish
- Set up a double boiler by adding a small amount of water to a small saucepan.
- Place the bowl of a stand mixer on the small saucepan and add the egg whites, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Heat and whisk until the mixture is no longer gritty.
- Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and the bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.
- Beat in the butter at medium-high speed one tablespoon at a time until everything is incorporated. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the cream of coconut, coconut extract, and vanilla extract.
- Add to a pastry bag and pipe onto each cupcake.
- Toast the coconut in a dry skillet until golden brown. Let cool completely and then sprinkle on the cupcake.