I recently got a request for some coconut cupcakes, without the shredded coconut texture, seeing as many people dislike it. I really love the flavor and crunch of toasted coconut, especially when it's a little burned. I found this recipe while flipping through my Bon Appétit. It uses condensed coconut milk in both the cake and the frosting. This gets us that delicious coconut flavor, without the dreaded texture. They are extremely moist and buttery, with a crunchy top, as all cupcakes should be. I made my usual buttercream, but decreased the butter a little because the condensed coconut milk is pretty thick. In my last post, I mentioned getting some new savarin molds. I used them today and I really love the look. I think I will try it with a spongier cake next time, so I'll get more even results.
For the reduced coconut milk:
2 13-to 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk* (preferably organic)
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.
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
Preheat to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper liners (I used mini's). Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in seeds from vanilla bean and remaining egg. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add 1 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
Note: I used mini cupcakes for this recipe, so the baking time is about half (20-24 min) what it would if this recipe were made in a standard muffin pan
For the frosting:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup reduced coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Toasted coconut for garnish
Beat butter and sugar together gradually, on a low speed. Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a piping bag.