It has been a long time coming, but finally, here it is…my new favorite cupcake recipe! Yes, this has surpassed carrot cake, and even my red velvet cupcake recipe as my favorite. The simplicity of the coconut cream flavor is incredible. If you enjoy coconut, you simply MUST make these! I promise, they are worth the effort! The reduced coconut milk packs a delicious coconut punch, without being too overwhelming. It also makes them insanely moist. I wanted to share this recipe over a month ago, but I tried a few substitutions for the reduced coconut milk, trying to find a way to simplify it. I finally concluded that they didn’t make the cut, and I was done messing with a good thing. The reduced coconut milk is the key to this recipe. Don’t substitute for it!
NOTE: You will need to plan a bit ahead for these! The amazing coconut flavor comes from a reduced coconut milk, which needs to be made one day ahead, and refrigerated overnight. Plan ahead. : )
Coconut Cream Cupcakes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup reduced coconut milk (NOT Reduced Fat. See below), room temperature (TOTAL, begin with 2 14oz cans of coconut milk)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup reduced coconut milk (see above), room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut, (optional, for garnish)
- For reduced coconut milk: Bring 2 cans (14 ounces each) coconut milk to boil in large deep saucepan over medium heat (coconut milk will boil up high in pan). Boil until reduced to 1 2/3 cups, stirring occasionally, 30-45 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill (coconut milk will settle slightly and thicken as it cools). DO THIS AHEAD, allowing to chill overnight: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled, allowing to come to room temperature when ready for use.
- For cupcakes: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line eighteen muffin tins 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 vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating and scraping sides well after each addition. Add half of flour mixture; mix on low speed just until blended. Do not overblend. Add 1 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, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes in pans to rack; cool 10 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
- For Frosting: Cream butter on high for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, reduced coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Beat gradually at first, until combined. Beat on high for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with coconut if desired, for garnish. (They will have plenty of coconut flavor without the garnish!)
- Do not refrigerate. As with all my cupcake recipes, the flavors are best at room temperature!