Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coconut Cupcakes + Homemade Buttercream Recipe

If you can't tell, I have a real passion for sweets. I also have a real passion for baking up delicious sweets for a great causes. Tonight, the high school is hosting an "Empty Bowls" fundraiser that benefits Hatteras Island Meals (our local meals on wheels program that provides a daily meal for shut-ins). They are holding a bake sale as part of the fundraiser, so I volunteered to make a batch of cupcakes. I didn't want to do the reasonable thing and play it safe with vanilla or chocolate, so I chose coconut!
I started with a Duncan Hines Coconut Supreme cake mix (yes, I cheated, and there is nothing wrong with that!). While the cupcakes were cooling, I toasted some coconut. If you've never toasted coconut before, have no fear; it's super easy! All you need to do is spread coconut flakes evenly on a baking sheet and bake them for 5-10 minutes in a 350* oven. Check on the coconut every few minutes and toss the flakes around so they don't burn. If you have unsweetened coconut and you want to sweeten it before toasting, put the coconut in a Ziploc bag, add a few teaspoons of powdered sugar, and shake to coat the flakes.

Next, I made homemade buttercream frosting and used a star tip with my frosting dispenser. Making homemade buttercream is so easy to do; it's been ages since I've bought a can of icing.

Homemade Buttercream

1 stick of butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk

In a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk (a little at a time until your desired consistency is achieved) and mix until smooth.

The last step was adding the toasted coconut as a garnish, which really upped the appearance of these cupcakes and took them to the next level.

What's your favorite treat to buy at bake sales?
I'm usually a sucker for carrot cake.

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