Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Birds Nest Coconut Cupcakes

I can't tell you how long I've been wanting to make this recipe! Perfect for Easter, these adorable coconut cupcakes have caught my eye over and over again on numerous websites and blogs, although it wasn't until this past Easter that I finally got to make them! It seemed that every year that I had my mind set on making them, something would come up sidetracking Project Birds Nest Cupcakes. So this year when I was asked to contribute to our pot luck Easter lunner (lunch/dinner) I jumped at the chance to try these little puppies out!

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that in the past I haven't had the greatest luck with Martha Stewart's recipes. Sure I've tasted some fantastic ones made by others, and even a couple that I've made myself, but it seems that the majority of the time her recipes are...yup I'm gonna say it...they are recipes from hell! Time after time I have followed her instructions to a tee, only to be faced with crumbling cookie dough that won't stick (my biggest gripe with her recipes!!), incorrect cooking times, and bland flavour. I'm sorry Martha, I love you, but it's true. Despite my recipe trouble in the past, I decided to give her recipes another go. I used Martha's (ummm yeah we're on a first name basis) recipe for Coconut Cupcakes, and despite incorrect cooking time (yet again), the cupcakes turned out fantastic! In addition to adjusting the cooking time, I also substituted unsweetened coconut for the called for sweetened coconut. My experience in baking has taught me that almost any time a recipe calls for "sweetened" coconut, just go right on ahead and switch it up for unsweetened. Sure it's personal preference, but I really can't imagine these cupcakes being any sweeter as they had juuust the right amount of sweetness (especially once you add the frosting) and really, who needs the extra sugar anyway?

These cupcakes are as delicious as they are cute. Light and fluffy with a big hit coconut flavour from the cakes themselves and the topping. Although I was too full to go for seconds on Easter, I'm kicking myself now for not eating more! Is it too early to start counting down the days till next Easter?

1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
your favourite vanilla or cream cheese frosting
about 1 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut for topping (try and get as large flakes as possible)
1 package Mini Eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup coconut. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk with the vanilla extract. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs and whites, one at a time, beating after each addition.

4. Reduce speed to low. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the coconut milk mixture, and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

5. Bake cupcakes 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks. Top with icing and coconut. Place Mini Eggs in the centre of each cupcake.

Listening To: OK - Beastie Boys


ellecupcake said...

I know what you mean! Coconut is quite possibly my favorite flavor. I've seen these everywhere and never tried them. Yours turned out so cute!

Kris said...

Love coconut. This sounds lovely.