Friday, January 15, 2010

Triple Coconut Cupcakes

Wow, time flies, doesn't it? I can't believe it's already the 15th! Time for the January Martha Stewart Cupcake Club entry. This month, it's Martha's coconut cupcakes.

Before I made Tom Douglas' Triple Coconut Cream Pie, remember how I was grumbling about not liking coconut? I suppose I had been temporarily reformed by good 'ol Tom, because that pie was absolutely incredible and became one of my favorite desserts almost immediately- upon first bite. But still, I was skeptical about anything else coconut flavored, as I warily embarked on this month's cupcake adventures.

I mean, the cream pie was Tom Douglas' recipe. That says it all. I bet he could make just about anything taste like the most fantastic thing ever. But Martha? I mean, I love Martha... but she's no badass like Tom. Could this coconut cupcake recipe turn a coconut hater into a fan?

(1) The Coconut Cupcakes

Combine the dry ingredients, including the coconut shreds. Last time when I was looking for coconut shreds (for Tom's pie), I was completely disgusted by the waxy looking bags of coconut shreds at my local grocery store. No way was I going to put that into anything fit for consumption!

So as usual, I got some really fragrant organic shreds from Whole Foods. They're ground superfine and are completely dry (no waxy mess!). They're located in the bulk food aisle, which is good, because you can get only as much as you need! This step says to pulse your shreds in the food processor, but I didn't have to, because the ones I got from Whole Foods were more like fine grains of cornmeal. Perfect!

Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating between two additions of coconut milk, beating until combined after each addition.

I was surprised at how smooth and airy the batter turned out to be. I noticed it almost immediately. It almost felt like the texture of a fluffy egg white cake.

Ok, so I tasted one without frosting when it had cooled. I noticed two things:

(1) The cake itself was soooo light and fluffy! It had the perfect crumb! It was also incredibly moist and not super overpoweringly sweet, which I loved. It was subtle and wonderful. It was, hands down, a really superb cake- minus the coconut, which leads me to my next point.

(2) I really didn't mind the flavor of the cake. The coconut was subtle enough so that it didn't bother me. What bothered me was the coconut shreds. Even though the ones I used were super fine already, I felt like it was still a bit gritty. I could tell it was there. And it was ruining the fluffiness of the cake! It turned it into a fluffy, but gritty cake. It would've been so much better without the shreds.

Ok, onto the frosting...

(2) The Frosting

The recipe called for Seven Minute Frosting, but I set out to make my own.

I did a cream cheese frosting, but instead of heavy cream, I used coconut milk! I added just enough powdered sugar to give it a subtle sweet taste, so it really allowed the creaminess of the coconut to shine through.

It came out to have a really nice texture. It was thick, smooth, and suuuper creamy! *gasp* Dare I say: I think I might like this coconut flavored version better than regular cream cheese frosting! (Bryn, you would love this!)

(3) Putting it all together

I frosted the cupcakes with a jumbo circular tip. Cute! But I thought it was missing something... maybe a garnish?

So I dipped them into some left over shredded coconut!

The moment of truth:
How did they stack up? Was it able to reform this coconut hater?

Actually, the cream cheese frosting saved the cupcake! I was all distraught earlier about the grittiness, but once I tired it with the creamy frosting- I was absolutely in heavenly! I didn't even notice the grittiness of the cake anymore. Needless to say, I loved it the best without the coconut shavings on top, because I just can't stand the texture. But in all truthfulness, the shreds gave it more of a flavor boost- if you're into the coconut flavor. Without the shreds, the frosting had a subtle hint of coconut and sweetness- which I LOVED!

I ended up eating THREE of them. Yup. One after another. lol. They were DELISH! At brunch the next day, I told my friend Kevin about them and sent some home with him. He wrinkled his nose and said something about hating coconut. I only smiled and told him to just try it. He ended up loving them too! Although, he did mention that he disliked the grittiness of the shreds on the frosting. But he didn't seem to notice the ones in the cupcake itself. Maybe I was just imaging it. hehe. He said that he ended up eating all of it, and not even bothering to scrap off the shreds because it was just that good.

Alright, Martha, I'd have to admit- you did a good job on this recipe! I am officially reformed!

Click HERE for the recipes.


  1. Your cupcakes look great. I loved the taste of these - I didn't really notice the shreds. Probably because I was distracted by the yumminess of the icing.

    I also didn't put any shredded coconut on mine...because although I like the taste of coconut, I don't like shredded coconut!

  2. I adore coconut. My oldest doesn't mind the flavor, but hates the texture so I usually grind it up well if he's going to eat whatever it is the has coconut in it.

    Anyway, glad the recipe turned out well. I will eventually make that coconut cream pie!!!

    Fantastic photos as usual.


  3. You crack me up! These look super yummy, couldn't hurt that I love coconut- these are on my to make list!

  4. Once again your cupcakes are beautiful. Mine failed. It was either the altitude or 'the waxy' bag of coconut available at my local market. The coconut did not process well, it was coarse and damp. Love your frosting idea. I was looking forward to a winner because I love coconut.

  5. The coconut cream cheese frosting sounds amazing! I instead did a coconut syrup with the extra coconut milk I had.

    I think my friends were the same way, some didn't enjoy the topping since it had coconut in it, but they tried it because it was made by me and loved the cupcake!

  6. Beautiful! Gorgeous photos, too I always love reading your blog!

  7. Beautiful photos! Can't wait to try the recipe! quick question thought: Egg White Cake? What's that? I know egg whites can make things really fluffy, but is it possible to make a (vanilla) cake with just egg whites?

  8. Beautiful cupcakes and beautiful journaling. Great job!

  9. Gorgeous cupcakes! This was a winner in my book!

  10. Congratulations on being a reformed coconut lover. I am off to find the recipe you mentioned for the triple coconut pie.

  11. Hey Judy, great job. Love yr pics, Im glad you liked them in the end. I think its coz they are so light u can keep eating them. Smiles for u.

  12. LOL on eating three of them. I made myself stick to one as I thought they were the best cupcakes EVER. Love the prettiness of your display and those wrappers are so lovely!

  13. Your pictures turned out fabulous! I did a cream cheese frosting too. It was a good combo with these cupcakes!

  14. Judy, I must say that you are a cupcake Queen! These coconut cupcakes are so positively different, and exquisite.

  15. Gorgeous cupcakes - and I'm glad that even a cupcake hater could eat three. Cream cheese frosting is always the right choice, in my opinion.

  16. I will say, each & every month I wait in anticipation to get to your name on the MSC list! It's the whole "thinking outside the box" bit that I like to relate with. Always a treat to visit your blog and a very nice touch with the frosting for these cakies. Now, i'm off to look over Toms coconut pie....((i can feel it in my hips already :S ))

  17. BTW - I'm loving the number of shoutouts I get on your blog! These look great! I totally made the buttermilk cupcakes on Friday with cream cheese frosting on half and lemon frosting on the other half. Nick ate ALL the leftover cream cheese frosting. I'm going to have to try your revamped frosting - since cream cheese frosting is pretty much my go-to topping. And I NEED to get the jumbo tips for frosting the cupcakes! Ugh. They look so pretty! Nice job!

  18. E.Cho- the egg white cake that i was talking about is a cake that has a flour batter like any other cake, but you also whip up a ton of egg whites to stiff peaks, and then fold it into the batter. when you have a cake like this, it becomes super light and airy. there are many recipes out there for vanilla cakes that contain whipped egg whites. I recently made this one and will be featuring it soon on my blog:

  19. Judy - exquisite cupcakes (yet again). Love those liners... they contrast so nicely against the white tops! Nice lighting too... I need to get some lamps! I pray for sunshine sometimes through my window when I'm shooting! Always look forward to your wonderful frosting variations - and your "add ons" - so creative. Just beautiful!

  20. I've never been so cracy about coconut myself, but maybe I should try them out anyway.

  21. Hi Judy! I tried these and they were awesome! I did substitute about 1/3 of the butter for coconut oil and it makes them amazing! These are definately our favorite cupcake recipe now.

  22. i love your blog! every thing looks amazing but one question..where do you write done your ingredients and measurements?


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