I am so incredibly thankful to have a roof over my head and the Orange Bee kitchen today, words can not describe it. Most of you probably heard about the tornadoes that blasted through north Texas yesterday leaving a trail of devastation in their wake. One of those tornadoes came through my community about one mile from my home. One elementary school and somewhere around 78 homes were affected, some completely wiped off of the map. The miracle is that not one person was killed. My community is pulling together to provide assistance along with Red Cross volunteers and numerous firefighters, police, and EMT personnel. I’ve posted a series of photos taken by a local photographer on the Orange Bee Facebook page if you care to see some incredible shots of devastation and sadness. I don’t blame you if you choose not to look, but if you do, say a little prayer for those affected, they need it. And thank you in advance for those prayers.
On to a lighter subject. Remember I wanted to make a little something sweet but then the water heater flooded my laundry room? In spite of that mess and yesterdays tornado I managed to bake a batch of Coconut Cupcakes. I chose coconut cupcakes as I had a container of coconut milk in the frig that I wanted to use. I’m weird like that! If I have something on hand I’ll find a way to use it. I like the challenge. This challenge turned out to be pretty easy to conquer and yielded perfectly delicious little cakes.
Using the coconut milk, not the Coco Loco sugary concoction we use for Pina Coladas, gives just the right amount of flavor and sweetness. They are slightly sweet with a hint of almond and coconut. I don’t even feel guilty when I eat one. These cupcakes will be ideal on your Easter dessert table. I personally, couldn’t wait for Easter.
Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place unsweetened coconut on a baking tray, bake for 7-10 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from oven, set aside to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In 3 parts, alternately add the flour mixture and the coconut milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients . Mix until just combined. Fold in shredded coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 24-26 minutes, until the tops are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
1 stick butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese – I use Neufchatel, room temperature
1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Cream the cream cheese and butter together, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of your bowl, unit light and fluffy.
Slowly add the powdered sugar, tasting as you go, (this is my favorite part – tasting) until you reach the desired degree of sweetness. Fold in the coconut.
Spread onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle a little extra coconut on top.