I went with the theme of my almond cupcakes—one flavor delivered in different ways—and created a coconut version. These are coconut clouds of cupcake goodness. The coconut flavor is distinct in each texture. Don’t skimp on the toasted coconut! You need it for a bit of crunch.
For the cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter cut in pieces, room temperature
For the filling
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup coconut milk (not the light/ less fat kind)
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup super fine sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon coconut rum (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
Reserve 1/2 cup filling for frosting
For the frosting
3 sticks butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar (add until you get desired sweetness and consistency)
1/ 2 cup of coconut filling
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
Generous pinch of table salt
1 cup toasted coconut
Yields 24 cupcakes. Adapted from a Bobby Flay throwdown recipe.
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Thoroughly whisk milk, egg whites, and extracts in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. With the paddle attachment in bowl of a Kitchen-Aid, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. On low speed add the butter one piece at a time until moist crumbs are formed.
4. Add 3/4 of the milk mixture and beat on mediums speed about a minute until the mixture is fluffy. On low speed at the rest of the milk mixture, scrape bowl, and beat at medium speed until it is thoroughly mixed. Divide batter evenly in 24 liners. Bake 17-24 minutes until a toothpick barely comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in tin then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
5. Cut a cone shape out of each cupcake. Clean the knife off periodically to ensure clean incision into each cupcake. Scoop a generous amount of filling into each hole and smooth tops if necessary.
6. Pipe frosting (frosting recipe yields enough for a big swirl) and top with toasted coconut. Keep cupcakes chilled until an hour before serving.
For the filling:
1. Bring the milk and coconut milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture slowly and return to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and whisk vigorously until thickened.
3. Scrape into a bowl, stir in the extracts and rum. Cover and chill until cold.
4. When its time to fill the cupcakes whisk the filling again until smooth.
For the frosting:
1. With the whisk attachment beat the powdered sugar into the butter until very light and fluffy. Add the extracts, rum, and salt.
2. Add the reserved filling and whisk until smooth.