Coconut Cupcakes (makes 12)

Firstly, thank you for your response on social media for these cupcakes! My they went down well!

I love coconut. It smells like holidays! One whiff of the stuff and I am transported to a tropical paradise. I am also obsessed with coconut ice cream. If I see it anywhere on a menu I must have it! So Coconut Cupcakes were an absolute no brainer for me, I just had to practice making these, and I think I have finally honed it!

Now, I have used coconut cream in this recipe, but if you can get a block of creamed coconut, I would also throw in 30g into the cake mix, and also the same amount in the icing. Add the same weight of everything else, it just adds a little something special to your cake.

(for the cupcakes)

125g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 large free range eggs
125g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
5 tablespoons coconut cream
30g creamed coconut (optional)

(for the buttercream)

150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g icing sugar
3 tablespoons coconut cream
30g creamed coconut (optional)

To start, preheat your oven to 180C, 160C Fan or Gas Mark 5 and either line a baking tray with 12 baking cups, or a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.

Using an electric mixer (I prefer the freestanding type, but handheld works exactly the same) cream together the butter and sugar until it goes fluffy, light and is paler in colour. If you have purchased some creamed coconut add this now.

Once you have creamed your butter and sugar together, add your eggs, one at a time, followed by the flour and baking powder and mix together for 1 minute, or until everything is combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, add your coconut cream, and give the mixture one last blast to incorporate everything.

Fill your cases two-thirds full with your mixture, and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly pressed. Leave your little heavenly bites to cool for five minutes in a tin, before transferring onto a wire cooling rack.

While your cakes are cooling, you can start making the icing. Beat your butter with an electric mixer for a good 4-5 minutes, until it turns pale. Now add your icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, until all incorporated. If you are also using creamed coconut you can add this now. Once this mixture is all combined, add your coconut cream and beat for another 3-4 minutes. If the buttercream is to stiff, add more coconut cream. If it is too runny, add a spoonful more icing sugar.

Once your cupcakes are cool, you can decorate them however you wish. Desiccated coconut sprinkled onto these looks awesome, but I do love to make a chocolate shard covered in sprinkles, and chocolate (white, milk and dark) works amazingly well with these cupcakes).

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