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Dozen Flours

Sincere Acts of Sweetness

August 17, 2008

Mini Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Getting ready for my road trip included several activities such as getting my car’s windows tinted, downloading lots of podcasts (thank you TBTL! Best podcast ever! RAWR!), and investing in a good map. However, what it didn’t include was getting my brows waxed. I’m not the most girly girl in the world, but separating my unibrow is just one of those things that just has to be done.
I was made aware of it on that first night in Boise, as I stared into the mirror to brush my teeth. I realized my mistake but knew I’d have to wait until I got home to do anything about them. Sure I could find a salon on the way to separate the twins but there’s only one girl I trust to do the job and that’s Deona. She the absolute BEST aesthetician I've ever had touch my Burt-like brows (to those of you in the Seattle area, she's located at the Alderwood Nordstrom.) And not only is she great at her job, but she's just a ray of sunshine. Always smiling and upbeat, you just can't help but feel good when you're around her.

A few days before I returned to Seattle I called Deona to make an appointment. It was then I remembered that she had just gotten married a few weeks prior and that I had promised to bring her a special treat to mark the occasion. At our last appointment she had gushed to me about how much she loved anything with coconut. I knew just the thing! Mini coconut cupcakes!

When I arrived to my appointment, Deona was bustling about so I sat patiently in her chair. When she came over to me, I pulled out a shoebox and handed it to her. Her eyes got really big, and an adorable smile swept across her face. Then, while both clapping and jumping up-and-down she said exclaimed, “Ohhh! Did you bake something for me?” She brought it over to a table and opened it immediately. Within moments she was not only eating one of the little cakes, she was sharing it with her coworker. Oh how I wished I had brought a camera! I sat there beaming and feeling extremely satisfied. I just love moments like that!

This recipe is a bit different in that the cake is made with no granulated sugar, only copious amounts of powdered sugar. This results in a cake that is both very light on texture and crumb.

Mini Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: This recipe made 4 dozen small cupcakes plus 18 big cupcakes. It made a lot! I had more than enough frosting to frost them all too.
Adapted from a recipe from Shirley McNevich
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
4 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup milk, skim or full fat, at room temperature
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 teaspoons milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl and set aside. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix butter and powdered sugar together slowly so that the powdered sugar doesn't poof out of the bowl. Then beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 4 egg yolks and beat until well combined being sure to scrape the bowl often. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk – start with the flour (about a third of it), then add half the milk. Then add a third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finish with the flour, being sure to scrape the bowl often. Then beat on medium for a full minute. Add the vanilla and coconut extract and mix well. Then and coconut and beat until well combined. Set batter aside.

In a separate bowl whisk the 4 egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a spoon--mix quickly and thoroughly.

Pour batter 2/3 full into mini-muffin tins lined with small cupcake liners (Michael's and Joanne's sells patterned and white ones) and bake at 350F degrees for 7-11 minutes – be sure to use a toothpick for doneness (I recommend starting with 7 minutes and then increase time by one minute until they are cooked. It’s easy to overcook them so be sure to watch them carefully). Cool cupcakes completely and then frost.

In a mixer with a blade attachment, add butter and cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the extracts and milk and mix for 1 minute on medium. Slowly add powdered sugar, being sure to scrape the bowl often. Refrigerate frosting for 10 minutes or until it firms slightly, then frost cooled cupcakes.

You can frost the cupcakes normally with a knife or spatula but I found that when I did, I ended up with a flat cupcake. Since I wanted one with more of a domed look, I put the frosting into a big zip-lock bag and cut a small opening in the bottom corner. I gently and slowly squeezed out a spiral ribbon of frosting, starting from the outside edge and finishing in the center of the cake. On some of the cakes I did this twice (mostly because I had so much extract frosting) but you might be able to do it with one sweep. To get the coconut on the outside of the cupcake, put the coconut into a small bowl and gentle rolled the cupcake along its edge. This helps to push the frosting up to the center while still getting coconut to stick to the sides and top. Store in a covered and in a cool or cold place before serving.

Would I Make This Again? Yes! I loved how cute the little ones turned out. I liked the big ones too but the smaller cakes were the perfect size. They tasted great and not too coconuty. They reminded me of coconut wedding cake. Yum! 4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. Those cupcakes look so cute. They must taste delicious!

  2. Cute little cupcakes.They look yummy!

  3. Your cupcakes look so pretty. I've never made coconut cupcakes (cake) before. Think it's about time I gave 'em a try!

    That was pretty hilarious about the unibrow! One of the twins havs thick eyebrows and he'll holler for me to fix hin up!

    Glad to have ya back and posting!

  4. Hi~
    Sorry about the typos...this is why I have to be careful and hit the preview button ....especially when I'm not wearing my glasses....no, I'm not a complete dummy!
    ~Ingrid :-)

  5. sooo cute, like all that you do. but i love the deona story, too. ahh, unibrows and cupcakes, doesnt get better than that on an insomniac morning when im about to hit send on a letter of resignation. i miss you jules!

  6. I made these over the weekend and they are wonderful. I like the mini cupcakes because you can pop the whole thing in your mouth.

    Next time, I think I'll make half the recipe unless we're expecting company or having a party. I got 48 mini cupcakes and about 20 regular sized ones. That's alot of cupcakes.

  7. hi do u think u can use the cake in a box then use the frosting recipie?

    1. Sure. Although I'd urge you to at least try to make the cake from scratch. You'll find that it tastes SO much better.


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