Here they are, finally! The Vanilla coconut cupakes I promised you! Moving house sent me into something of a frenzy of using up everything in my cupboard and so an errant can of coconut milk, coconut flakes and some leftover eggs (plus other stuff!) became Vanilla and Coconut Cupcakes!

Apologies about this terrible picture. The lighting at my office really is awful.

All you need to make these on top of the usual cupcake ingredients is a can of coconut milk and some coconut flakes (mine were from the natural food company on mansfield road – amazing shop – but you can also get them from other health food shops like Holland and Barratt and probably in big supermarkets too. As with anything, I’m sure this recipe would taste better with fresh coconut flakes but that is way too labour intensive for me!).

Here’s the recipe! I got it from epicurious and its in american… if you’re not sure what a ‘cup’ is, don’t worry, just use a mug in place of a cup – as long as you keep the proportions the same by using the same mug for everything, it will work out!

  • 2.5 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup reduced coconut milk – I heated it up in the saucepan on a low boil for about 15 minutes. I don’t know how much it reduced but it worked out well!

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Prepare muffin/cupcake pan with cupcake cases. FYI – mine were from Hobbycraft (but not expensive, I think about £1.50) and were very good indeed – as you can see in the picture below, they didn’t become translucent and greasy like many cheap cupcake cases do.

Mix flour, baking powder together in a bowl and then cream butter and sugar in another bowl (as always the butter needs to be incredibly soft – soften it up in the microwave but don’t let it go for too long – you don’t want it to be runny. Add the eggs one at a time with a couple of tablespoons of flour, then mix it all up! I added the coconut milk at the end and then filled each cupcake case 3/4 of the way full with the batter. They took about 16 minutes to bake – make sure to turn the cupcake tin around during baking so that the ones closest to the back of the oven don’t get too browned.

When they’re cool, its time to think about the delicious delicious frosting!

For the frosting

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2.5 cups icing sugar
  • .5 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • flaked sweetened coconut flakes, toasted

First, toast the coconut – keeping an EAGLE eye on it – under the grill on a baking tray. I think I used maybe 200g? but don’t worry if you’re adding the coconut to the cupcakes and find you haven’t toasted enough (as I did) – you can easily toast some more. Then the frosting – again the butter needs to be super soft. Add the icing sugar and mix and then slowly add the coconut milk and vanilla extract. I used my electric whisk to mix it as frosting can take some mixing, and it wound up a beautiful off white thick delicious concoction!

Because I could not be bothered with piping (and I’m getting a new cupcake piping set for my birthday in June!) I slathered the frosting on with a knife and then made it into an irregular dome shape before rolling the cupcake frosting in the cooled toasted coconut (not warm still as it will make the frosting start to melt). It just sticks like magic!