Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recipe of the Week - Snowballs (coconut cupcakes)

Week 27

Lake Tahoe is preparing for a major winter storm that should arrive sometime tonight.  In honor of the expected snowfall  (10+ feet predicted by Thursday of next week), this week's recipe is for Snowballs...a.k.a  coconut cupcakes. 

This is Ina Garten's recipe (the Barefoot Contessa) and her cream cheese frosting recipe is very close to mine.  If you prefer working with a mix, the Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcake Mix is available at specialty kitchen stores or can be ordered online. 

Snowballs  (Coconut Cupcakes)

3 sticks unsalted butter - room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs - room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, 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 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in half the coconut.

Fill each liner 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.


16 oz. cream cheese - room temperature
3 sticks unsalted butter - room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 pounds (6 cups) confectioners' sugar - sifted

Cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.  Sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes with the remaining coconut.

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