Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream Frosting
Recently I watched a cupcake show on food network, which sparked my interest in cupcakes. I begged my mom to take me to a little shop near us, so I could taste a gourmet cupcake for myself. I took that first bite, and I knew that cake mixes and canned frosting would never enter my mouth again. I immediately went home and found these recipes and made them for my family. They are perfectly fluffy which compliments the creaminess of the frosting perfectly.
1 can (13-14-ounces) coconut milk, reduced over medium-high heat to 1 cup and cooled to room temperature (see below for more details)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup cream of coconut (I found it in the alcoholic beverage aisle along with other drink garnishments. It does not contain any alcohol, but is used to make pina coladas.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (I added vanilla bean instead)
Coconut flakes, toasted (optional, for garnishment)
DIRECTIONS: reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan).
Reduce heat to medium/low; boil until reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
(NOTE: don't try to cut corners by not waiting for the coconut milk to cool completely. It will melt the butter, and your cupcakes will not be fluffy.)
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add vanilla extract and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended.
Divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack. frosting:
In a large bowl beat butter until smooth. Add all other ingredients (powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, cream of coconut, 1 tsp. vanilla extract) and mix until smooth. (Add more cream of coconut as needed for smoother frosting.)
Ice cupcakes and top with some toasted coconut flakes for that final touch.