I’ve been teasing you with pictures of these cupcakes all week and finally here’s the recipe! I fell in love with the Tiger Tail cupcake from Trophy Cupcakes when I visited Seattle last year and these were inspired by them. They turned out really good. The coconut cupcakes were moist and light. They were extremely flavorful but still wonderfully subtle from the addition of coconut milk, sweetened shredded coconut and vanilla bean seeds. The buttercream was so delicious. The fresh raspberry puree gave it such a beautiful pink color. I really love the coconut and raspberry combination and I hope that you will too!
White Coconut Cupcakes (makes about 20 cupcakes)
Recipe from Joanne Chang’s Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café (a must-have if you love to bake!)
2¼ cups (270 g) cake flour
1¼ cups (250 g) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 egg whites
1 cup (240 g) coconut milk
1 cup (120 g) sweetened shredded coconut
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
Sift the cake flour into the stand mixer bowl. Attach bowl to mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. On low speed, add the sugar, baking powder, and salt and beat for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and continue to beat on low speed until the mixture is crumbly; about 1 minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, coconut milk, and shredded coconut. Use the back of a small knife to scrape out the vanilla bean seeds and add them into the coconut milk mixture. Whisk until the vanilla seeds are well dispersed.
Add half of the coconut milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium-high speed until combined; about 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the rest of the coconut milk mixture. Beat on medium speed for another 20-30 seconds until mixture is well combined. The batter should be light and fluffy.
Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full. (I like using an ice cream scoop for this. It makes it a lot faster and easier to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. They’re done when a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire rack and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pans and let them cool completely on the wire rack before topping them with the buttercream.
Cupcakes can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let them get to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes) before serving them.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (makes about 4 cups)
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces fresh raspberries, pureed and strained to make about 1/3 cup
Combine egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixture and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reaches 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. On high speed, beat the mixture until it holds stiff glossy peaks and has cooled down; about 6 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium-low speed, add several tablespoons of butter at a time and beat well after each addition. (Beat on medium-high speed for several minutes if the frosting isn’t smooth enough after adding all the butter.) On low speed, add in the vanilla and raspberry puree and beat until smooth; about 2 minutes.