Sweet Testing: Coconut Snowball Cupcakes

Back in April, after much debate, I decided to make these beautiful coconut cupcakes for Easter dessert. Unfortunately, I was not thrilled with how they turned out. Oh, no! My first Baked disappointment! But don't fear Baked lovers, the story has a happy ending. So, where was I? Oh, yes, initially, things did not look good. I thought, oh, well, it had to happen eventually. I can't possibly LOVE every recipe in this cookbook. They weren't horrible cupcakes. I didn't spit them out or anything, but they just weren't that exciting. Usually anything from Baked excites me! Despite my displeasure, I packed up a few leftovers for home, anyway, and gave some away. The next day, after a long day at the office, I cut off a small bite from one of the cupcakes and, low and behold, ended up eating the whole thing! These cupcakes definitely improved with age or maybe I was just too full from Easter dinner to properly enjoy them the first time around. Also, someone told me that it was the best cupcake they ever had, which is the traditional Baked compliment, so they didn't let me down on that front!

To order the Baked cookbook, click here.

More From Baked: Whoopie Pies, Sugar Cookies, Sweet and Salty Cake, Lemon Drop Cake

I'm still working on my photography skills, so I saved my pic for after the jump! You can find the complete recipe there as well.


Coconut Snowball Cupcakes
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking


For the cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup ice water
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

For the coconut pastry cream
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the coconut frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut pastry cream
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) . Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.

2. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.

4. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not over-beat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Fold the shredded coconut into the batter.

5. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on the rack to cool completely.

Make the coconut pastry cream
1. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.

2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the half-and-half to a simmer. Add the unsweetened coconut, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to let the coconut steep. Strain and discard the coconut.

3. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, flour, and salt until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the coconut pastry cream for about 1 hour, or until chilled.

Make the coconut frosting
1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

3. Add the vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of the freshly made coconut pastry cream and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix again until it is the proper consistency.

Assembly the cupcakes
1. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip with the remaining coconut pastry cream. Puncture the center of a cupcake with the tip and squeeze approximately 1 teaspoon of coconut pastry cream into the cupcake. Repeat for all cupcakes.

2. Frost the top of each cupcake with the coconut frosting and sprinkle with shredded coconut.


My Taste Heaven said...

They are fantastic and cute. Wish I could try them!!! yummmm!

Megan {Feasting on Art} said...

Yum! I would make the cupcakes simply because they have little deer on them.

dessert girl said...

I know what you mean! I love the deer!

Y said...

Oh, I was going to make these from the book too, but now I'm undecided if I should proceed. Cupcakes that taste better with age? :)

dessert girl said...

Yeah, I'd recommend making something else in the cookbook. These were good, but there are sooo many other recipes in Baked that are awesome! On the other hand, I would love to see how yours turned out, if you made them!

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