Monday, April 27, 2009

Coconut Binge: Cupcakes and Ice Cream

I was in the natural foods section of Shaw's, searching in vain for arrowroot, when I became smitten with an overpriced bag of coconut flour. In previous posts I've made known my love of coconut; the discovery that I could substitute pulverized coconut for up to one-fifth of a recipe's all-purpose flour so thrilled me that I was willing to spend $9 to try it.

I baked these for an Earth Day potluck. Their fuzzy frosting is cuter than a baby bunny, so they make great party cupcakes. I did nothing more creative than coconut-up Jennifer McCann's Fluffy White Cupcakes, a trusty, versatile recipe that I based my Champagne Cupcakes on. It's a no-fail formula for moist, airy little cakes.

Later I poked around and found that some people add a handful of shredded coconut or a touch of almond extract to their coconut cupcakes. Both of these additions sound like excellent ideas.

Because my love of coconut knows no bounds, I whipped up some Coconut Squared! ice cream. While the liquid ingredients spun around in my ice cream maker, I shredded in fresh coconut. (There will be no tutorial on gracefully opening a coconut. I used a mallet, got coconut water all over the floor, and cut my thumb. Unlike pineapples, coconuts are such a pain to get into that I wonder how humans ever discovered they were edible.) After a few hours in the freezer, the ice cream was firm enough to scoop, and the cold, sugary combination of ice cream and frosting made me feel like I was at a birthday party.

Here are the cupcakes the way I prepared them, but I encourage you to experiment with flavor extracts, shredded coconut, or coconut oil.

Coconut Cupcakes

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 scant cups soymilk, plain or vanilla
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two muffin tins with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soymilk to equal 1 1/2 cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the canola oil and extracts to the soymilk mixture and whisk. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat or whisk until smooth.

Fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Makes 24 (the original recipe says 22, but you can stretch 'em).

Coconut Frosting

(a coconuted version of the Basic Vanilla Buttercream from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
1/4 cup soy milk, plain or vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

With an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the first four ingredients and beat until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy.

Spread a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake. Put the shredded coconut in a shallow bowl and roll the tops of the cupcakes in it.

4 comments:

  1. Coconut cupcakes! They look lovely and white and coconutty :)

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  2. Oh wow! I would love to try those. I want an ice cream maker soon so I can make ice creams this summer.

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  3. Sorry you cut yourself trying to open the coconut. Those pictures sure make it look worth it though!

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  4. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाJuly 1, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Oh wow your cupcakes look incredible!!

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