Toasted Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes

Sometimes life surprises you. You’re just going about your normal routine, and then adorable 7 year olds completely make your week, and your cupcakes taste infinity times better than you thought they would.

We taught an incredibly sweet group of 2nd graders this week at the beach. Just imagine smiley, super excited but well behaved little munchkins listening to everything you have to say like its just the most incredibly thing they’ve ever heard. If that in itself wasn’t enough to make my week, I may have fallen in love with a 2nd grader. This little boy followed me around, asked me lots of questions about the ocean, invited me over to play with his pet sand crab sometime, and told me that I’m beautiful. I mean seriously? When this kid grows up, he’s going to be such a heartbreaker.

To top it off, two days later we taught another class of 2nd graders, from that same school, and one of the girls came and told me that my little man went back to school and told everyone how pretty I was. Seriously?! I can only hope my future children are as sweet as you, little man.

Now let’s talk about cupcakes. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a fan of vanilla cupcakes. And by not a fan, I mean I just plain don’t like them. I’d rather not eat a cupcake at all if it’s going to be vanilla. I’ve tried a few recipes, and I’ve had them from cupcake shops, but they are never as satisfying as chocolate. Team Chocolate!

And frankly, I’m not a huge coconut person either!

So why did I make coconut vanilla cupcakes? I have no idea.

I was thinking about what I wanted to make and for some reason this popped in my head and I couldn’t get it out. I’ve never even had a coconut cupcake! But you know what? These were SO GOOD! How good? I averaged about 2-3 a day for 3 days. I’m half ashamed and half proud about that last statement.

If you’re not a vanilla person, or a coconut person, I think these would change your mind. The cake has vanilla & almond extract in it, as well as some toasted coconut mixed in. So the cake itself is not so much coconut as it is almond/vanilla, but the coconut in the batter adds a nice texture and flavor to it. I toasted the coconut instead of leaving it raw, which I think was a fabulous decision. The tangy but sweet frosting is a cream cheese frosting with vanilla & almond in it to compliment the flavor of the cupcakes, and don’t forget the layer of toasted coconut on top! Mmmmm, yes.

I never thought I would crave a vanilla cupcake…until now. I hope you guys had a week that was as lovely as mine :).

Toasted Coconut Vanilla Cupcakes

45 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Yield: About 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 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 buttermilk (To make your own, add 1 tbs of white distilled vinegar to 1 cup of milk, let sit for 5 mins, then use)
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
  • For the frosting:
  • 2 - 8oz packages of cream cheese (I like using mine cold)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Aprox 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325º F.
  2. Spread out your coconut onto a sheet pan and pop into the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until toasted. Set aside half of it for the topping, and use the other half for the batter.
  3. 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.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  5. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner slightly below the top with batter. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  6. For the Frosting
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.
  8. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Notes

Adapted from Ina Garten

Enjoy,

Madeline

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3 Comment

  1. no no no! toasted coconut and CHOCOLATE cupcakes! screw vanilla!

  2. I think I know what you mean about vanilla cupcakes I m not a fan either but will eat them lol but I do like coconut yum!!!

  3. I tried this recipe recently for a friend’s birthday party and these cupcakes were INCREDIBLE! They were a huge hit. I could have eaten the batter alone! This is definitely becoming one of the staple cupcakes I make from now on.

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