One of my favorite parts of cooking and baking (besides eating it, obviously) is when someone makes a request for even more cooking or baking. Or...makes a specific request for me to create something. I'm talking about when someone describes in detail something they would like...and then asks.....can you make me something like that?
I created these by request for a good friend. There's really nothing more to say than that :) Thanks, Mona, for inspiring me!
Coconut Cupcakes (yields approx 16 cupcakes)
1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted (DO NOT substitute all purpose flour. Cake flour is magical)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp vinegar
-Combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
-Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer for one minute. Add coconut extract and oil and beat for one more minute.
-On low speed, add half of the dry mixture. Combine coconut milk and vinegar. Add half of this to the batter and beat until just combined. Repeat with the remaining half of the dry mixture, and then end with the milk mixture, beating just until smooth. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden and spring back lightly when touched. DO NOT overbake.
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (such as crisco)
1/2 cup butter
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup very finely chopped pineapple*
3 tbsp pineapple juice
1/2 cup toasted coconut*
16 small chunks of pineapple
-Cream together shortening and butter until very light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar a half cup at a time, adding pineapple juice and finely chopped pineapple after about two cups of sugar. Add additional pineapple juice if required to get to desired spreading or piping consistency. I used a Wilton 1M tip. Pipe on desired amount of icing and garnish with coconut and pineapple.
*I used canned pineapple tidbits so that I could easily just use the juice from draining them, but using fresh pineapple and juice would also be delicious.
**For garnish, toast 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut by heating over medium high heat in a skillet for 3 to 4 minutes. Watch it very carefully as it will start to toast quickly once it gets going!