Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Trip to the Tropics with Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes!

I don’t know why, but I was just relaxing and suddenly I knew that I wanted coconut cupcakes. I mean, I really wanted coconut cupcakes. After looking around, I set out to create a batch with a new recipe of my invention… and disaster struck. For one of the few times in my life, my recipe crashed and burned so badly that my husband and I were left just poking the hockey pucks my cupcakes had fallen into. We each ate one, then gave the rest to our wild pigeons. That night I was tormented as I tried to realize what I did wrong, and the next night I tweaked that first recipe in several places. I was amazed with the results. They are divine. Creamy and moist, they have a wonderful light coconut taste and texture. Often, when people don’t like coconut they don’t like the texture of the flakes. If that sounds familiar for you or someone you know, then just leave the flakes off the top, and you will have a flake free dessert.

One important note is that these are so creamy that they don’t travel that well. If you are transporting them, use a rigid cupcake carrier or, leave them in the cupcake pan and frost them on site for the prettiest presentation.

If you find the coconut extract hard to find, try a Whole Foods if you have one nearby, and I got my coconut flour at my local Sprouts, which is a farmers market. The extract is by Frontier and the flour is made by Bob’s Red Mill.

Wet Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegan butter
1 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Dry Ingredients
½ cup coconut flour
½ cup gluten free baking mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, cream the sugar with the vegan butter once it has reached room temperature. Add in the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and extracts. Mix well, until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, and whisk together until there are no lumps (coconut flour LOVES to lump). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined, and immediately put in a cupcake tin lined with cupcake papers (white papers looks very nice for these). Bake for 23 minutes, and let cool completely before frosting.

The Frosting
4-5 cups powdered sugar
½ cup light coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
½ cup vegan butter

In a mixer, place the butter once it is room temperature. Cream until slightly fluffy, then add the coconut milk and extract. Combine, then add the powdered sugar, one ½ cup at a time, until your frosting forms firm peaks when you withdraw the beaters. Frost the cupcakes, then if you want to, add coconut flakes to the top of the cupcakes. Enjoy.

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