Ally

"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. " ~Erma Bombeck

I'll admit I've never been one to go all crazy over cupcakes. When all that hoopla was going on over Magnolia Bakery and "designer cupcake flavors" were the rage, I just didn't get it. Sure, from time to time I bake cupcakes for a party or for Mr. S.'s kidlets but cupcakes as MY dessert of choice? Nah, I tend to like savory. I'm pretty sure it's all that gacky frosting that's plopped on top that turns me off. So when I heard about these not-too-sweet cupcakes, I had to give this recipe a try. (Add to the fact, that I was craving something tropical after seeing my buddy Maxx's Turks and Caicos vaca pics on FB...can you say super jealous?) End result--the Coconut and Pineapple Cupcakes didn't exactly assuage my desires for an overseas getaway (c'mon now, let's be realistic! I still want to go) but they were quite good and not over-the-top sugary tasting. In fact, they kind of reminded me of a piña colada. Yum!

Coconut and Pineapple Cupcakes (from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)
makes 12

Ingredients

Cupcakes

1 cup all-purposes flour

a scant 3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 egg

9 canned pineapple rings, chopped into small pieces (*use less though or you'll have a soggy mess, I used 6 rings)

desiccated coconut, to decorate


Coconut Frosting

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tbsp coconut milk


Instructions

-Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cups. Preheat oven to 325F.

-Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

-Mix the coconut milk and vanilla in a separate bowl, then beat into the flour mixture on medium speed until well combined. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side o the bowl with a rubber spatula).

-Divide the chopped pineapple between the paper cases. Spoon the cupcake batter on top until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven or 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

-For the coconut frosting: Beat the confectioners’ sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the coconut milk. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is very white, light and fluffy, 5-10 minutes.

-When the cupcakes are cool, spoon the coconut frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.
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