Along with a couple dozen cupcakes for the birthday party, I wanted to give the birthday girl her own personal box of goodies - you've gotta indulge youself on your birthday, right? Not to detract from the yummy chocolate cupcakes (made with my favorite chocolate cake recipe), but I wanted to spend a little time fawning over the coconut cupcakes. I am not a huge coconut fan, but there is something about these cupcakes that I cannot resist. I've made these cupcakes countless times over the years, and without fail I am rewarded with pefectly moist and flavorful cupcakes each time.
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
makes 12-15 cupcakes
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 oz shredded sweetened coconut
toasted shredded coconut to top the cupcakes
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
6 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 lb powdered 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. 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 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, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.