Monday, April 5, 2010
Easter was a great day to be outside in the northeast but I spent it indoors (although with stunning views of the city from the 24th floor of a high rise - thanks Chad and Ken!) roasting a lamb...well, not a whole lamb but a boneless leg of lamb. We had decided to make a little Easter dinner and for some reason I got it in my head that I had to make coconut cupcakes. I'm not really a fan of coconut so I'm not sure why I HAD TO make them, but they just seemed...Eastery. Even if you're not into coconut you'll dig these. I'll share the rest of our dinner later this week but for now...dessert first.
(Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 (14-ounce) bag sweetened, shredded coconut
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚ 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, about 5 minutes.
2. 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.
3. 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 7 ounces (1/2 the bag) of coconut.
4. Line two muffin pans 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.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Makes 24 cupcakes.