Coconut Cupcakes

One of the things I love the most about Olivia getting older is her attention to detail - and her attention span.
As you well know, one of my great loves on the boob tube is The Food Network.
My dear first born is also adopting this love.

We watch many cooking shows together.  They have to "cook in their kitchen or backyard, not visit other restaurants" for it to count a "cooking show" in Liv's mind.  That's fine.  We watch The Pioneer Woman ("with the farm and the horses"), we watch 10 Dollar Dinners ("the one with the little girls and the playroom") and of course, we watch Barefoot Contessa.  Ina.

Olivia loves Ina.
She loves to watch her mix butter and sugar and make delicious treats.
She loves to watch her mix cheese and noodles and make Lobster Mac and Cheese (of which Liv is convinced she would love, however I have my doubts)
We watch her together and it's a fun thing we get to do.
I get to share this love of mine with her, and she gets to love it too.

For her birthday, I let her pick the menu.
For her cake, she wanted a coconut cake - like Ina's.  However, Mama isn't exactly a great cake froster, so I opted for the cupcake version and promised Liv that they would be just as wonderful and we could even color the coconut that goes on the top.
That sold her.

So, here, I bring you my version of the great Ina Garten's coconut cupcakes:

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk (Ina calls for buttermilk, but I used whole milk and they were still delicious)
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut - divided in half (one for the batter, one for the topping)

She does make a frosting, however, my luck with homemade frosting is marginal, at best.  So I used the good ole Pillsbury Doughboy as my helper and got two cans of the cream cheese variety.   No know knew any different.

For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer (fitted with paddle attachment, if you've got a snappy awesome guy like mine!)  Do this for at least 5 minutes.  If I've learned nothing else from Alton Brown, what you're doing is having the sugar "rip holes" in the butter, making it light and airy.
  3. While on low speed, mix in the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  6. Alternating in a few batches, add in the milk and dry ingredients until well combined.
  7. Add in the 7 ounces or so of the coconut and mix well.
  8. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 of the way. (Ina will say all the way, however I experienced some overflow, so I would say 3/4 or a titch more.  Avoid the mess and ugly cupcakes.)
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then removed to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with remaining coconut.  In my case, the pink and purple variety we dyed.


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Sarah said...

that's so cute that they have to cook at home for it to be a cooking show for her!! i hope i have a little one that likes watching the food network with me cuz lord knows the mr would rather watch anything but :)

Lady Behind The Curtain said...

YUM! This is a GREAT recipe! I LOVE INA too! I would love it if you came over to Cast Party Wednesday and shared it with us! Thanks! ~Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain~

Kathryn Pepper said...

These look delicious & pretty!! I'm featuring these tonight at the link party. Thanks for linking up!!


Amanda @ Ninth Street Notions said...

Yum! Coconut is the best. And how adorable that she loves cooking shows. Thanks for sharing at I Made It! Monday. Can't wait to see what you link up this week.

Amanda @ The Little Giggler said...

Coconut is my fav! Those look so yummy! Thanks for linking up at The Little Giggler. :)

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