Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

And my fascination with coconut continues. . .

I wasn't really happy with that last batch of coconut cupcakes I made a few weeks ago, so I found this recipe from Ina Garten and I couldn't resist making them for an event last night.  OMG!  They were SO amazing (especially right when they came out of the oven - no frosting required for that goodness, baby)! I made two dozen, but my family devoured almost half of those before I left the house. 

Ina Garten is one of my favorites because her recipes almost always turn out perfectly when I attempt to make them.  The cake was moist and held together really well inside the cupcake liners.  I've been trying to find a good yellow cake from scratch, but this might be my go-to cake now since the kids liked it so much.  The only changes I made to her original recipe were to replace buttermilk with unsweetened coconut milk (So Delicious brand) and I used buttercream frosting rather than her cream cheese frosting.  I prefer buttermilk because my hubby can eat it.  His milk allergy makes cream cheese a little difficult, but butter is tolerable thank goodness. . .

Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Ina Garten's recipe)


Ingredients:
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at 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 kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Directions:
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, about 5 minutes. 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 coconut milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of 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.
 
Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Betty Crocker's 'The Big Red Cookbook')
 
Ingredients:
6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
3 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 tbls. coconut milk (or any kind of milk)
 
Directions:
Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl with spoon or electric mixer on low speed.  Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk.
 
Gradually beat in just enough remaining coconut milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.  If the frosting becomes too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.  If frosting is still too thick, add a bit more milk.  
 
This is double the recipe written in the cookbook because I like to use a lot of frosting on my cupcakes.  If it's too much for you, then just cut the recipe in half.  

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