Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ina's Coconut Cupcakes

I can't even remember the last time I made these cupcakes. I think it was when I first got Ina's cookbook. I watched her make them on the Barefoot Contessa, turned off the TV and got started on a batch. I know it's been years since I have made them. What a shame. These are the most delicious coconut cupcakes you will ever have. I usually frost them with her cream cheese frosting and top them with some toasted coconut, but today I thought a chocolate and coconut combination would be fun.

Ina's Coconut Cupcakes
3/4 lb unsalted butter at room temp (3 sticks) I know it’s a lot of butter, but it’s so worth it!
2 cups sugar
5 extra large eggs at room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teas baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup buttermilk
7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 35o.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one 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 three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan white paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter (I used an ice cream scoop to fill mine). 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. Frost and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

I used my stand by Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe. This one has never let me down. It's smooth and just chocolaty enough.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter - room temp
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk (plus a few dashes to adjust consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla.

Beat butter & cocoa until smooth, then add sugar one cup at a time, beating with each addition. Add milk & vanilla and beat about 3 minutes.

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