I debated with myself all weekend long whether or not to write a post about these cupcakes.
Not so much because they weren’t really all that good and I didn’t think I should share the recipe, but because I never got around to properly photographing them. It’s a lame reason, I now realize.
Others in the food blogging world can perhaps relate to this matter. Food bloggers understand the simultaneous excitement of and annoyance with taking an appetizing photo of food- it’s fussy business and not always an easy matter in the great, dark, Norwegian winter. The rest of you, you who spend your free time doing sensible things like reading, exercising, gardening, watching the nightly news, or perhaps simply baking and eating said baked goods without the nuisance of a camera and tripod might not relate.
And let’s be honest here, we food bloggers are nerdy. And slightly obsessed. And think about food on average 72% more often than non-food bloggers. And sometimes, especially when we’re home, alone for 4-days straight with a soon-to-be(!) one-year-old while our husband is in Rome, we prioritize making these cupcakes as delicious as possible and devouring them (all but one) over taking a pretty photo. (But really now, does a man whose spent the past 72 hours dining on wood fired pizza, gelato, and great wine by the pitcher without his wife deserve the last cupcake???)
Let’s get to the point. These cupcakes are killer good. So good you kind of want to lock yourself up in a closet with the whole pan of them and not come out until every last bit of frosting evidence has been wiped from your face. They’re just sweet enough, they’re rich, but just light enough to eat two (or maybe three) without feeling like a glutton, and are hands-down the most moist cupcake that have ever come out of my kitchen. Plus, you don’t even have to like coconut to like them! Yes, it’s true, you coconut-haters might be converted by these babies. The reason being, they’re made with two whole cans of coconut milk, which gets reduced on the stovetop, yielding a thick, deep, and clean coconut flavor- the true polar opposite of most coconut-flavored cake, candy, and cupcakes out there made from artificial coconut essence.
I know someone with a birthday coming up in a month from now. If he’s a good boy, mamma might make him a batch of these. Then again, mamma might just be honest with herself, and make herself another batch.
Although there are many steps to the recipe, these cupcakes really aren’t all that difficult to make. Consider reducing the coconut milk on the back burner the night before while you’re making dinner, it’ll save you time when you get around to making the actual cupcakes. One little tip when baking- take the cupcakes out just before you normally would. They’ll be much more moist and less muffin-like if you take them out when a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake is still a tiny bit sticky and before the tops begin to brown. The reason being, they’ll continue to bake a little bit after you take them out of the oven while resting on the countertop.
Kokos og- Vaniljemuffins
*Adapted from this epicurious.com recipe
Makes one dozen cupcakes
For the Cupcakes and Frosting:
Two- 13-14 oz. (400 ml) cans full-fat coconut milk
For the Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup (175 g) cake flour (don’t have cake flour? Try this substitution with all purpose)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup (150 ml) reduced coconut milk (see above)
For the Frosting:
1 1/3 sticks (5.3 oz/150 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (185 g) powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons reduced coconut milk (see above)
Seeds scrapped from 1/2 of a split vanilla bean OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
+ (optional garnish) 1 cup toasted, flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
To make the reduced coconut milk:
Bring coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium-high heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Reduce heat to medium-low; boil until reduced to about 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (will settle slightly as it cools). Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. When adding to the recipe, you may have a little bit leftover.
To make the cupcakes:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350F/175C. Line one dozen 1/3-cup muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla extract. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Add the 2/3 cup reduced coconut milk; mix just until blended. Add remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into center comes out ALMOST clean, about 15- 18 minutes. Don’t let the tops begin to brown! Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
To make the frosting:
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, the 3 Tablespoons of reduced coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean (or the vanilla essence), and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.
Using pastry bag fitted with large star tip or simple a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. (Alternatively, top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting, using a small offset spatula, swirl frosting over top of cupcakes, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.) Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Store in the refrigerator, will keep for a few days. I love these served slightly chilled.