Celebrating the Classics: Coconut

27 March 2013 Cassandra Lea

Our Classic line has gone to the spa for a makeover and emerged looking better than ever—and we couldn't be more excited! As we admire the bright new packaging and relish the delicious, bigger nut and fruit inclusions, and even richer chocolate flavor, we celebrate the flavors that keep us coming back for more.

This month we spotlight coconut—that mouthwatering, tropical treat that is dynamite with our 70% dark chocolate (and adds full-bodied sweetness to everything from cookies and cakes to stir-frys and salads). It has a sunny flavor and crisp white color particularly suited for springtime desserts. So here we share a classic coconut cupcake recipe with you, perfect for the Easter holiday or any happy occasion in the months ahead.

We adapted this recipe from Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, beloved maven of home cooking and entertaining. Her rich almond and vanilla-scented cake makes a perfect base for the flavorful coconut. We swapped out the traditional sweetened coconut for an organic, unsweetened variety, the same kind you'll find in our Classic Coconut bar. Coconut is naturally quite sweet, you won't miss the extra sugar, nor will you miss the preservatives contained in those bags of the sweetened, shredded stuff. You can find unsweetened shredded coconut in the bulk bins at PCC, Whole Foods, and other natural foods stores; these same stores will also carry coconut chips, which we use to decorate the cupcakes, in the grocery aisle.  Bake, share and enjoy!

 

Coconut Cupcakes
adapted from Ina Garten

3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
6 oz unsweetened, shredded coconut

 

For the frosting:

1 lb cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
11/2 lbs confectioners' sugar
Sifted coconut flakes, toasted

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir in the coconut.

Line muffin pan(s) with 20 paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth. (Note: unless you frost very generously, this will make more than you need.  You can freeze the extra for future use.)

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle decoratively with coconut flakes.

Makes 20

Addthis Print: