Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I actually went an entire week without trying one new recipe. With the boys out of school, we’ve been busy doing yardwork and getting our garden finished, so I haven’t had much time to be creative in the kitchen. I do have a few recipes picked out for the upcoming week though, and I can’t wait to try them out.

One of the other reasons I haven’t branched out much lately is that I have been eating tons of salad. Our neighborhood is doing a “Biggest Loser” competition and I decided to join in. We have till September, and my goal is to lose 15 pounds. I’m hoping that with all of the encouragement, support, and competition, that I will be successful this time. I’m not a believer in strict diets that eliminate an entire food group, so I’ll just be eating smaller portions, cutting back on sugar, exercising more often, and eating lots of salad. I was lucky this last week because our neighbors gave us lots of lettuce from their garden and it was wonderful!

I will be trying a few healthy recipes, and if they turn out fabulous, I will share them. But don’t worry, I won’t post anything too strange. I’ll still be fixing regular meals for my family, they aren’t on a diet. There’s no way I could go an entire summer with no treats, so if you have a sweet tooth, don’t despair! (Plus I have a bunch of good ones saved up on my computer.)

Here is one of those great recipes that I’ve been saving. I made these Coconut Cupcakes back in May, and they were some of the best cupcakes we’ve ever had. I got the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. When I saw that they had buttermilk, I thought they would be fabulous, and I was right. I did make a few slight changes though.recipe-coconut-cupcakes

First of all, she said to fill the liners to the top. I did, and the batter spread out over the tops so much that some of the cupcakes were stuck together. They still tasted great, but weren’t as pretty. I think it would be better to fill them less full, and I made that change in the recipe below.
Update: I’ve made these cupcakes again filling the liners just over half full, and as you can see in the new photo, they worked much better.

Secondly, she made double the cream cheese frosting, using a whopping 16 ounces of cream cheese. You would only need that much if you were piping the frosting on. I cut it in half and still had lots left over. I love cream cheese frosting, but double the amount would be too much even for me. It makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it!

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter, soft
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
7 oz coconut (plus more for sprinkling on top)
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner about 1/2- 2/3 full. Bake at 325°for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are light brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Spread with frosting and top with coconut. I toasted some of my coconut and we liked it even better that way.
-Makes about 28 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8oz soft cream cheese
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 cups powdered sugar (approximately)
Beat cream cheese and butter till fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients and add powdered sugar till it is the consistency you like. If you are piping it on, you will need to make it thick.

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