Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lemon-Coconut Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting and Raspberry Filling

The Cupcake is a fascinating being.  Essentially, it's a slice of what would have been a large cake.  Though, instead of baking the cake as a whole and cutting a slice, these 'slices' are baked separately, forming their own little cakes.  They're cute, they're individual, and people just can't seem to get enough of them.  Perhaps it's the intimacy of unwrapping the cupcake before tasting, or the rebellious satisfaction of eating cake with your hands and tossing a fork and plate to the wind.  The cupcake trend that started long ago you would think would have died out by now, but there still seems to be a new cupcake shop popping up everywhere you turn.  And now, there's even a supposed Cupcake ATM?  Good grief.  

But I digress.  I still love the darn things, and this recipe is one to be reckoned with.  It's a conglomerate of a few different recipes and brainstorming ideas that my cousins and I thought up while contemplating what Ultimate Cupcake we could create for a recent party with our aunts.  Vanilla or Chocolate?  Vanilla we decided.  Or wait...what about Lemon?  Or coconut?  Heck, let's combine them.  And we wanted a filling...Raspberry?  A done deal match with Lemon.  Vanilla frosting was the perfect backdrop, and with a toasted coconut dusting to finish?  Outta the pahk. 

Moist, tender, a perfect marriage of flavors...  Regardless if you're on the cupcake trend train or not, I recommend introducing these cupcakes into your life.  You will make friends, and have very happy taste buds.  And you didn't even have to go to the ATM.

Lemon-Coconut Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting and Raspberry Filling
Adapted from Martha Stewart


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, 1 cup coconut, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

To finish, either inject a scant teaspoon of the raspberry jam into the center of each cupcake with an injecting tool, or cut out a small of the top of each cupcake with a paring knife and spoon a scant tablespoon of the jam into the made divot. Frost each cupcake as desired, and sprinkle each cupcake with toasted coconut to finish.

Vanilla Frosting
Good 'ol Domino's Confectioner's Sugar side-of-the-box recipe.

3 3/4 cups  (1 lb. box) confectioners sugar
1/2 cup - butter (1 stick), softened
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl with electric mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.

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