And we’re back! Port and Fin seems to have had a bit of an unplanned, unscheduled break from posting. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about our readers! Life just seems to have a way of flying by, with one day turning into four, and four days turning into a week.
Seriously though… where does the time go? How is it already May? I feel like I’m still stuck in March somewhere.
Last week, I went on a semi-business trip with a group of ladies from work. We spend the week in Palm Springs – yes, it was rough – and enjoyed some work chatter over lots of guacamole and beers while hanging around the pool. It was a rather lovely mini-vacation (even if it was work related) and I have to say, I adore that dry, California heat. Temperatures in the mid-30’s (90s F)? Bring it on! There’s something so freeing about being able to wear a sundress from 6 in the morning to 10 at night, without needing a jacket.
Needless to say, when I came home to my standard 15°C hometown, I was freezing. How quickly we acclimatize.
Once home, on top of being cold, I was hit with one of the worst head colds I’ve ever had. Not to sound melodramatic or anything, but it was the worst. Usually I can function with a cold, but this time it knocked me on my butt and I was glued to my couch and forced to eat crackers and ginger ale for about 4 days straight.
So, alas, I haven’t been cooking much.
They’re loaded with toasted coconut which give these cupcakes that lovely nutty flavour. Plus, there’s some added coconut milk in the batter, which helps keep these extra moist and flavourful.
Instead of being light and fluffy cupcakes, these are hearty and dense and bursting with flavour. In fact, I recommend baking these a day before you plan on serving them, as the longer they sit, the more coconut-y they end up tasting.
The classic cream cheese frosting is amped up with – you guessed it – more coconut.
I’m not sure what it is about coconut, but it brings out a lot of sensory memories for me. Don’t you love how food can bring back such memories? The smell, the texture, that chewy, slightly nutty flavour…
It makes me think of summer break in elementary school, lounging in the backyard with barefeet and toes between the grass, hair wet from running through the sprinkler, fingers pruned from swimming in the pool. It reminds me of sun and blue skies and that sweet, tropical smell of sunscreen.
Maybe that’s why I can’t get enough coconut.
|Toasted Coconut Cupcakes|| |
- 1½ cups coconut flakes
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 250 g cream cheese, room temp
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ to 1 cup icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place coconut flakes on a baking sheet and roast for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until coconut is fragrant and golden. Keep a close eye on it as it can easily burn! Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners, or grease with butter and dust with flour; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 additions, alternating with the coconut milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat just until smooth. Gently fold in 1 cup of the coconut flakes.
- Fill muffin tins with batter and bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on the rack.
- Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, make frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add in the icing sugar, adding as much as you like, until desired consistency. Stir in remaining coconut flakes. Transfer frosting to a piping bag and frost cupcakes.
- Top with a sprinkle of coconut, if desired.