Named for my great-grandmother “Honey,” these old-fashioned coconut cupcakes are tender and super coconut-y.
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time:25 Minutes
Cook Time:20 Minutes
Total Time:45 Minutes
For the Cupcakes
1 cupcanned unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 lemon
2½ cupsall-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks)unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cupsweetened shredded coconut
For the Frosting
½ cup (1 stick)unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ozcream cheese, at room temperature
4 cupsconfectioners’ sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cupcanned unsweetened coconut milk
Pinch of salt
1½ cupssweetened shredded coconut, for topping
For the Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Lightly spray the top of the pans with a nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking Spray with Flour, just in
case the cupcake tops stick to the pan (don’t worry if the spray gets in the liners).
In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and lemon juice.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Turn the speed down to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the coconut milk–lemon juice mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining coconut milk–lemon juice mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture, then scrape down the bowl and beat again until the batter is just combined. Quickly mix in the shredded coconut; do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until the cupcakes are set, lightly golden, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (note that one pan may finish baking before the other). Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy and well combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar,
and then beat in the vanilla, coconut milk, and salt.
When the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a butter knife or small offset spatula to swirl the frosting lavishly over the top. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut, pressing it gently so it adheres, and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The cupcakes can be made and frosted up to 1 day ahead of time. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Note: The frosting ingredients in this recipe have been updated from the first printing of the book, so you'll notice a few minor tweaks. (This is the updated version.)
Note: Adding cornstarch to the flour mimics cake flour, which makes a lighter and more delicate cake.