We didn’t have any big plans for New Year’s (I know, we’re old and boring), so I decided to bake a little. Ever since Cupcake Wars on Food Network, I’ve craved some coconut lime cupcakes. OK, so I didn’t actually *see* the show…somehow I missed it…but I saw the flurry of tweets about it. Anyway.
I found a recipe on Food Network, and of course, I had to tweak it. The result is different enough that I think I’ll just rewrite it here:
Coconut Lime Cupcakes
Adapted from Food Network recipe by Jamie Nondorf, Ultimate Recipe Showdown
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest (Microplane those dudes!!!)
- 2 T. key lime juice (bottled is OK)
- 3T. Coco Lopez cream of coconut
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Lime Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 1/2-ish cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons key lime juice (bottled, again, is OK…use to taste)
- 1/4 cup Coco Lopez cream of coconut
- Finely grated lime zest, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it’s light and fluffy, a couple minutes on high. Add the sugar and continue until they’re well combined. Turn down to medium speed and add the eggs, vanilla, zest, juice, and cream of coconut; blend until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. (If the kosher salt doesn’t go through your sifter, just make sure all the other stuff has gone through and dump it into the bowl.) Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk into the mixer, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. I’m making the actual coconut optional, since many folks find the stringy shards offensive but like the flavor. But if you like it (and I do), fold it gently into the mixture at this point.
Tip: If you don’t normally keep buttermilk on hand and don’t feel like buying it just for 1/2 cup in this recipe, do what I did….make your own! Measure some regular milk (2% or whole is fine) just shy of 1/2 cup, and add a tablespoon or so of lime or lemon juice. Stir it up and let it sit out at room temp for 15-30 minutes. (Hope you read this part ahead of time!) 😉 It will curdle and turn into an instant, fabulously usable buttermilk.
Line your cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners, and scoop about 1/4 cup into each one, or until they’re almost to the top, as they don’t puff up a whole lot. Bake at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting. I changed this pretty significantly from the original to be more tart and, well, fattening with the addition of more Lopez. Trust me, you’ll forgive me.
Wash your mixer bowl and paddle attachment (sigh), unless you’re a foodie goddess or something and have an extra set. Cream the butter until fluffy, and sift in the powdered sugar about a cup at a time. As you get close to the final 1/2 cup or so, check for the consistency you want…depending on your preferences, the humidity, how you’re holding your toes, etc. the amount of sugar will vary. When it looks right, add the vanilla, lime juice and cream of coconut. I like things really tart, so I opted for the higher amount of lime juice. Adjust as you wish.
When the cupcakes are done, cool them in the pan for a few minutes, then completely cool on a wire rack. Then (and only then) you can spread on the buttercream. You might notice in my very poor quality photo that I didn’t wait, and the warm cake melted the frosting a bit. I didn’t really care at that point.
Sprinkle on some zest, and you’re ready for some really awesome ‘cakes!
My next cupcake adventure will probably be salted caramel. I’m seeing a lot of great recipes for these. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be losing weight for the new year. Whatever.