Coconut Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

coconutcupcakes

My mom made these Ina Garten coconut cupcakes a lot when I was younger, and they became one of my favorite recipes as I got older. It’s been a while since I’ve had these, but I started craving them the other day and made a batch tonight.

This recipe is from Ina Garten, who has a show on the Food Network. They’re heavy, hearty, rich cupcakes, so I made a half batch. Check out the above link for the recipe for a full batch. This recipe makes 14 cupcakes. You’ll need:

1.5 sticks (3/4 cup) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1.5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting, you’ll need:
6 oz cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat your oven to 325 F degrees. Then cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer or KitchenAid mixer in a large bowl, and add in the three eggs and the vanilla.

Next, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, just until moist. Mix the buttermilk into the batter, then fold in 1.5 cups of coconut with a spoon. Line muffin tins with paper liners, then fill each cup 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake for 25 minutes, then let them cool for 15 minutes before frosting.

For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Then add in the powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle the remaining coconut on top, and enjoy!

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Basil Chicken in a Coconut Curry Sauce

It’s been a long week and it’s only Tuesday. This semester is famously hard in my program, and with 5 classes, 2 jobs and freelance writing, I sometimes feel like my head is going to blow up into a thousand pieces. The gross post-Spring Break Boston snow today definitely didn’t help my mood, and by the time I came home, I really needed a pick me up.

I’ve been looking at a recipe for basil chicken in a coconut curry sauce for the past two weeks, but I haven’t had time to cook much (you’ll notice that the food blog has been painfully blank lately!), so I decided that tonight would be the night.

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Here it is – basil chicken in a coconut curry sauce with rice. I modified the recipe that I had seen before so that it would fit what I had in my refrigerator, so it ended up being almost nothing like the original recipe. But no worries – it was awesome! Now I’m in a much better mood.

You’ll need:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 T curry powder

salt and pepper

1/8 t chili powder (optional)

1/2 onion, cut into small rings and then halfed

1 handful (about 1/2 cup) diced yellow pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

olive oil for cooking

1/2 14-ounce can of light coconut milk

1/2 T cornstarch

1/2 T dried basil

1 t grated fresh ginger or dried ginger (I used dried)

3/4 c dry rice (when cooked that means 1 1/2 c rice)

First, cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and put the pieces in a medium size bowl. Add the curry powder (and chili powder if you like spicy things – I don’t!), plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the bowl and toss until the chicken is coated, then refrigerate for at least an hour.

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While you wait, go take a break! I did an Insanity workout.

When you return to the kitchen, start cooking the rice. I cooked my brown rice in chicken broth because that makes it more flavorful. If you want, you can cook the rice with 1/2 water and 1/2 coconut milk (coconut rice!). Chop your vegetables, and saute the onion, orange peppers, garlic and basil in a frying pan. Once the onions are golden brown, add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through.

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Your rice should be almost done at this point. While you wait for the chicken to cook, combine the coconut milk and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk until there are no lumps. Cornstarch is a natural thickener, so the mixture will turn into a sauce when added to the pan.

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Once the chicken is done, add the coconut milk mixture to the skillet slowly. You might have too much liquid (I did), so don’t add all of it if it looks like too much. Stir over medium high heat until the sauce has thickened (about 4 minutes). Then add a sprinkle of ginger, salt and pepper, and stir until combined.

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Serve over the rice and enjoy!

Love,

Jenni

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