Friday, September 28, 2012

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

My husband loves coconut cream pie. In January, he asked me if I could make coconut cream cupcakes. "Sure," I said ... and I got to work looking for a recipe. I found an interesting one on Pinterest which linked me back to Jamie Cooks It Up! They tasted really good, but the cupcake itself shriveled up when I took it out of the oven. I was a little embarrassed with how small the cupcake ended up being.

Fast forward to last week ...

If you've read my blog before, then you know that my friend Leesa is always asking me to make cupcakes for her. Well ... she asked again last week. She was going to go visit her parents and wanted to take cupcakes. She asked for the coconut cream cupcakes.

The funny part of this story is that Leesa and I were standing in the teachers' lounge talking about cupcakes when another one of our coworkers walked in. She didn't know what kind of cupcakes we were talking about when she said, "You need to make more of those coconut cupcakes. They're my favorite." Kris was delighted when she found out that I was making them for Leesa.

Back to the real story ...

I really didn't want these cupcakes to shrivel up again so I spent several days trying to figure out what I did wrong. Did I not bake them long enough? Was there too much liquid in the recipe? Was it because the recipe called for both oil and sour cream? I really wasn't sure what I should try tweaking.

And then I had an epiphany ...

I have tweaked other people's recipes a bit ... usually just the frosting ... but I have never gone out on a limb to try putting together my own recipe. This week, however, I was ready to test that limb.

I was so thrilled when I took the cupcakes out of the oven and they didn't shrivel. Then I tasted one ... it was light and fluffy and delicious. I am so proud of myself.

Here's what I did ...

Coconut Cream Cupcake
1 box of White cake mix
1 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 3.4 oz box instant coconut cream pudding
1 generous dash of salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup water
3 whole eggs
1 tsp coconut extract

Combine everything and mix with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Put cupcake liners into muffin tins and fill 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 19 minutes. I was able to get 36 cupcakes.

Coconut Filling
1 3.4 oz box instant coconut cream pudding
2 cups half & half

Mix the pudding and the half & half with a whisk and put in the refrigerator to thicken.

Coconut Buttercream
1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp coconut extract
2 lb bag of powdered sugar
2-4 tbsp milk

Beat the butter and shortening together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the milk and coconut extract. Beat in powdered sugar in three installments. Beat until well combined. If it seems a bit too thick, add more milk.

Toasted Coconut Topping
3 cups shredded coconut

Spread the shredded coconut out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.

Load a piping bag with the coconut filling and squirt some into the center of each cupcake. Pipe a bit of Coconut Buttercream on top of a few cupcakes at a time and then carefully roll it in the toasted coconut. I like my buttercream piled high on my cupcakes, so I tend to put a lot on top. You may need to cup your hand over the top of the cupcake to make sure the toasted coconut sticks to the buttercream.

Old Recipe
New Recipe

You can see from the pictures that the cupcake from the new recipe domed nicer and didn't shrivel or cave in the middle.

So Leesa took 15 Coconut Cream Cupcakes to her family, I took 1 to Kris (because they're her favorite), I gave one to another colleague because tomorrow is his 25th birthday, I gave 6 to my friend Ginger (she always wants 6 cupcakes when I bake ... I used to have a cupcake box with her name on it that I was instructed to fill every time I baked), and my sons took one to their respective girlfriends. 

For those of you doing the math, that only left 11 cupcakes for my family to eat. That's a good thing, because if there are cupcakes here then I'm going to eat them. If I eat them, I have to go out and run more often ... and although I do enjoy running, I'd rather not be bogged down with cupcakes ... even if they are as delicious as these Coconut Cream Cupcakes.

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