I think by now you should know that I’m slightly obsessed with Ina Garten (AKA the Barefoot Contessa). Her recipes are literally foolproof and one of my favourites (and my boys will attest to this) are her apricot rugelach. Although they are a pain in the butt to make, they come out perfectly every single time and are a big hit with my family.
Recently, while at home nursing a super de duper bad head and chest cold, I powered through three seasons of her FoodNetwork show, Cook like a Pro. Yes, three seasons plus a slew of Netflix Christmas movies that were too stupid to even mention but got me through a week of coughing and blowing.
I searched for a super moist cupcake recipe on her website and found a perfect one to go with all the coconut I recently bought to make my healthy power ball recipes. These cupcakes are dense and delicious plus very easy to throw together ANDDDDDDDD they go hand in hand with these outta control tree toppers I found at HomeSense Canada. Could they be any cuter?
As for these cupcakes, which in my opinion are pure heaven and look like something they would greet you with at the pearly gates, they are a sure fire crowd pleaser. There is not one single thing I would change in the ingredients and that’s not usually how I roll. I like to tweak recipes a bit but didn’t need to because THESE ARE PERFECT. The cupcakes themselves bake up nicely without a high dome – most likely because of the oven temperature being a bit lower than usual. AND the frosting? Well, it’s absolutely to DIE FOR. A little zing from the cream cheese with the sweetness of the powdered sugar. I could schmear that stuff on just about everything and be very content.
Now, I happen to be crazy about coconut. I know some of you are not fans but let me tell you this….you can definitely make this recipe without it. The cupcakes will be just as moist and delicious and you can add in lemon or orange zest for a twist to both the batter and the frosting.
Suffice to say, these are very festive looking for this time of the year. BUT, I wouldn’t hesitate to make this recipe for any season. Thank you Ina, you haven’t failed me yet.
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 extra large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup buttermilk, shaken
- 3½ ounces half of a 7 ounce bag sweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 3½ oz. of coconut.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.
- 8 oz block of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ¾ pound confectioner's sugar sifted
- 3½ ounces sweetened shredded coconut the other half of the 7 oz. bag
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.