Coconut-Vanilla Cupcakes

I totally missed it. Right there, in the midst of a crazy workweek: August 15th. My 2-year anniversary of this blog. Things have definitely changed since year one. For starters, my posts have slowed down; you may have noticed….or maybe you didn’t. At any rate, I clocked in at 100 posts for year one, but only 75 for year two. It’s okay with me though. Part of it is that I don’t have as much time for cooking now-jobs and life and all that jazz. The other part is that I realized that it takes all the fun away if I’m stressed about making food…for the blog. I should never be making food for the blog. I should be making food for me and for you and if it’s good enough, then I can share it. And so that’s what I’ve been doing, and what I’ll continue to do into year three.

When I started this blog, it was a way to fill too much free time. To take my mind off of unpleasant things that I couldn’t seem to shake on my own back then. Thank goodness times have changed. Those things from which I was seeking escape are no longer at the forefront of my restless brain; they’re there, for sure, but those stormy seas have calmed and receded become more a part of my history and less a part of my present. So now, this blog is a way for me to stretch and to be creative. To break away from work and blindly fiddle with my camera ( I know nothing about cameras. Nothing.) and share my life through food with those who care. Because I truly believe that experiencing food is the easiest way to know a person or a people or a life. So if you’ve ever made even one of these recipes, or even just regularly read my sometimes muddled words, maybe now you know me. At least a little bit.

Thank you all for visiting me here so frequently. I still get a thrill from checking my site view stats and seeing all your little blips on there. I check everyday. Still. I’m down with a little virtual pat on the back 🙂 So thank you for coming and please keep visiting. Without you, this is just me…talking to myself. As usual. And now cupcakes for you….and for me.

Coconut-Vanilla Cupcakes

From Bon Appetit. Makes 18.

The only change I made to these was to add 1 t of coconut extract to the frosting to oomph it up a bit. Well, that and I skipped toasting the coconut for garnish. Too lazy.

Reduced coconut milk:
2, 13-to 14-oz cans unsweetened coconut milk

Cupcakes:
2 c all purpose flour
2 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 c sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 c reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature

Frosting:
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
1 t coconut extract
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
1 1/2 c sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (if you’re fancy)

Make the reduced coconut milk:

  • In a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, bring coconut milk to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally (~25 to 30 minutes)
  • Remove from heat and cool completely (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

When the coconut milk is cooled, make the cupcakes:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Line eighteen muffin cups with paper liners
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), beat the butter in large bowl until smooth
  • Add the sugar and beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes
  • Add 2 eggs, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl
  • Add in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg, beat until just mixed
  • Add half of flour mixture, mixing on low speed just until blended
  • Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk, mixing until just until blended
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended
  • Divide the batter among muffin cups; bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (~20 minutes)
  • Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack and cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack

While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting:

  • Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), beat the butter in large bowl until smooth
  • Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, coconut extract, seeds from vanilla bean, and salt
  • Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl
  • Increase to mediumhigh and beat until light and fluffy.

Assemble the cupcakes:

  • Top each cupcake with 2 T frosting using an offset spatula or a pastry bag fitted with a star tip
  • Sprinkle with coconut.
  • (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight containers; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving)
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6 thoughts on “Coconut-Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Your photographs look beautiful. Even if you feel you don’t know all the technicalities of using a camera, ‘fiddling’ with a camera is probably the best way of learning how to take great photos and it’s clearly produced some lovely results. Thanks for sharing for the fantastic recipe and sharing a little bit of yourself

  2. These cupcakes look absolutely perfect…yummy and soft! I feel the same way about my beginning of “year three”. I have posted much less as well and am enjoying myself more. I no longer make something “for the blog” as you noted and that is a welcome reprieve. Balance…it’s nice.

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