**Melanie will post the winner of the giveaway tomorrow. Sorry for the delay! She lives in the area of Tennessee where the tornado hit, and while she and her family are okay, her internet and phone have been down. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the disaster.**
Calling all coconut lovers! These cupcakes are a little taste of heaven. I’m thinking they may be perfect for Mother’s Day. They are pretty easy, but they taste gourmet. And doesn’t spring make you crave anything that makes you warm? How can you eat a coconut cupcake without daydreaming of sun, sand, and ocean waves? Ahhh…. hope you enjoy!
Heavenly Coconut Cupcakes
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup reduced coconut milk, room temperature (see note below*)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (can use seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean for a more ‘gourmet’ cupcake)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (for garnish – I use raw, but lightly toasted would be awesome, too)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. Add coconut milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, 1/3 cup reduced coconut milk*, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut.
*For reduced coconut milk (I don’t think this step is necessary unless you want to pipe the frosting. If you use the coconut milk right out of the can, the frosting separates slightly, which is not noticeable when you spread it and sprinkle with coconut. But if you want to pipe the frosting, I would reduce the coconut milk first.)
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to mediumlow; boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly as it cools). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.