May 18, 2011

Vanilla-Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese & Coconut Icing

I am a compulsive grocery list maker.  I sit down every week and go through my cookbooks, magazines, saved recipes, etc. to make our meal plan for the week and I make my list from there.  I don't go to the grocery store without my list and pen in hand - I find great joy in crossing things off the list.  If I get to the store and don't know exactly what I need, I'm a mess.  When that happens, I come out with 3 bottles of vanilla extract, some goat cheese, and carrots.  It's not pretty.  What does this have to do with cupcakes, do you say?  Well, I really wanted coconut cupcakes and I didn't have any coconut (gasp).  Lucky for me, it was time to grocery shop anyway.  I did my ritual, loaded Jack up, and off I went.  I got to the grocery store and couldn't find my list.  I knew I had it in the car, so back out to the parking lot I went but I couldn't find it in the car.  I retraced my footsteps back inside and didn't see it.  I wanted to cry.  I know that sounds dramatic, but I really don't like going to the store more than once in a week. What's a girl to do?  Well, you try to remember everything on the list.  As I shopped, I thought about what was on my menu for the coming week and what I needed.  I didn't cry, I didn't have a meltdown, I just smiled and shopped.

Cut to getting back in the car to go home.  I look between the seat and the console for some reason and what do I see?  The LIST.  Oh my Lord.  I quickly scanned the list and do you know what I forgot?  The darn coconut!!!  Jack was already almost asleep in his car seat so there was no way I was going to get him back out just for some coconut.  In the end, I had to go out again a few days later and picked up some coconut then so that I could make these cupcakes.  :)

I promise, these were worth the extra stop.  Moist vanilla-almond cake with cream cheese icing, topped with coconut?  Yes.  Definitely worth it.  They aren't exactly straight-up coconut cupcakes - I think these are even better.  All the flavors just meld together perfectly.  The almond and coconut pair so well and really shine in these little beauties.  I'm not much of a cupcake repeater, but I can see having these again in the very near future.

Vanilla-Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese & Coconut Icing

For the cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
scant 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and light in color. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and almond extracts until mixture is smooth.
4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
5. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.   Bake for 18-20, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
6. Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt on low speed. Add the powdered sugar and mix only just smooth.
2.  Frost cupcakes at desired and top with coconut, pressing down gently.

cake adapted from Baking Bites, frosting adapted from Ina Garten


alyce said...

Lovely photo. 

Julieannewade said...

I found you of Food Gawker (my guilty pleasure!! which I am actually looking at right now while my husband talks to me about something I'm obviously not interested in. Ha) The reason I am leaving this comment is this...I do the EXACT same "ritual" of making my grocery list for the week!!!  My husband asks me almost every week, "why do you make this such a big deal??" Because it is a big deal!! I don't want to go back for something I forgot!!  I have also left my list at home and have got to the store before I realized it.  Oh the horror!!!  My 15 month old and I go to the store every find someone who feels the importance of the "list"!!  (oh..and the cupcakes look So good!)  :-)  Type your comment here.

goodthymes said...

At least I know I'm not alone!!!  ;)  I'm happy to hear that someone else (I'm sure many people) are crazy about their lists, too! Taking little ones grocery shopping is fun but can be a chore so if I don't have to go back, then I'm not going to! :)   

mike said...

some one is copying ur photos 

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