Coconut stars in these cupcakes

Coconut is one of my favorite ingredients and flavors, especially in baked goods. I love coconut so much I would eat it for a snack after school when I was younger. I would just eat coconut and chocolate chips. This would then anger my mom who needed those ingredients in order to bake.

The coconut flavor is strong in these cupcakes, but not overpowering. To give them even more of a coconut flavor substitute some of the milk with coconut milk.

What I really love about this recipe is the frosting. I modified the recipe from the original as I found it was too sweet for my taste. I cut the sugar down by about two cups and find it makes enough for the cupcakes without being too cloyingly sweet.

COCONUT CUPCAKES

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup and two tablespoons

of milk

1 Tablespoon oil

1/2 stick unsalted butter room

temperature

1 tsp coconut extract or vanilla

1.5 large eggs

1/4 cup shredded coconut sweetened

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Place butter and sugar into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs, oil and coconut extract and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Turn the mixer to low and alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in coconut and mix until just combined. Scoop batter into the pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Cool on wire rack before frosting.

FROSTING

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups softened butter

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

4-6 Tablespoons coconut milk

Beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, beat on medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened. Add the sugar about a cup at a time. And the salt and the coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time, beating on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add The 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract Turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

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Cupcake recipe source: www.livforcake.com

Frosting recipe modified from: www.bakedbyanintrovert.com

Jordan Spence is a reporter for the Alpena News. She likes to experiment with baking and cooking, and her husband Nelson Knill is the test audience.