Friday, May 18, 2012

coconut-lime cupcakes {recipe}

We got together with friends for a Cinco de Mayo party this year because it's a great excuse to hang out with friends and eat Mexican food! We even had a pinata (yes, that is a penguin--long story!). My friend Kerri hosted and cooked up a storm--pork enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, bean burritos, homemade refried beans, Cafe Rio-style rice--whew! It was amazing! I am going to miss that girl. Another friend brought homemade salsa and guacamole (soooo good) and I contributed these Coconut-Lime Cupcakes. I altered the recipe from The Culinary Chronicles because I couldn't find one of the ingredients (and I wanted to add coconut) and they were out-of-this-world if I do say so myself. I'll be making these again for the next summer get-together!


Coconut-Lime Cupcakes Recipe
(adapted from The Culinary Chronicles)

Cake ingredients:
2 ¼ c. cake flour* (see below if you don't have cake flour on-hand)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 ¼ c. coconut milk
4 large egg whites, at room temp
1½ c. sugar
1½ Tbsp. fresh lime zest
½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. coconut extract

Lime Whipped Cream ingredients:
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lime zest
1 tsp. coconut extract

Fresh lime zest
Fresh lime slices

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in another bowl. Put the sugar and lime zest in a mixer bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and with the paddle attachment beat at medium speed with a stand mixer until ingredients are light and fluffy. Beat in the extract and lime juice, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Mix in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, mixing until the batter is well mixed, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Continue beating the mixture for another few minutes to ensure that the batter is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans for a few minutes, and then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the whipped cream. Using a standing mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment, whip the chilled heavy cream, sugar, and coconut extract on high until it just holds stiff peaks. Add in the zest and whip until combined.

Fill a piping bag with a fitted tip. Pipe on the whipped cream on top of cooled cupcakes. Garnish with additional lime zest and lime slices. Heavenly!

*It is important to use a cake flour to achieve the right consistency in this recipe. But if you don't have any (and don't want to buy any), you can make your own and substitute it! Here's how:

Substitute 3/4 cup sifted bleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch for one cup sifted cake flour. For this recipe you need 2 1/4 cups--you do the math (sorry, I'm lazy!).

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