And don't let anyone tell you cake flour, or at least bleached all-purpose flour, is a must. I've been using Bob's Red Mill organic unbleached all-purpose flour in my cakes for ages with excellent results. These cupcakes could not be more soft, light, fluffy, tender ... all those things they're not supposed to be with unbleached all-purpose flour.
If you like chocolate, these would be really good with chocolate frosting. How do you like your coconut cupcakes? Know what--if you like a big coconut flavor, why not try my recipe with a whole cup of coconut? Let me know how they turn out!
Subtle Coconut Cupcakes/Fairy Cakes
(Makes 24 plus several minis)
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 packed cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 packed cup unsweetened fine macaroon coconut
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2½-inch paper bake cups in two standard muffin tins (and several mini liners in mini tin). In small bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, 1/4 cup of the milk, and the vanilla.
2 In large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for one minute to "sift." Add the softened butter and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk. Mix on low speed until combined. With mixer on medium-high speed, beat for a minute and a half. Scrape the bowl.
3 Gradually beat in the egg mixture in three batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl. Stir in coconut.
4 Using a 1/4-cup measure, fill the bake cups with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (use 1 tablespoon for each mini). Bake at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick (8 to 10 minutes for minis).
5 Immediately remove from tins and cool on wire rack for an hour or so. They must be thoroughly cool before frosting.
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsweetened fine macaroon coconut, toasted and cooled
In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Scrape the bowl. Add the salt, vanilla extract and milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. You will likely have to add the liquid ingredients before adding all the powdered sugar. With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip, pipe closely spaced frosting flowers on cupcakes. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon toasted coconut on each cupcake.