Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Snowflake cupcakes

My Grandma and I when we were 63 and 1
Yes, I know its a little too early for snow (even though I've already used one of my snow days), but these are some of my most popular cupcakes.  And when my Grandma is celebrating her 92nd birthday and wants cupcakes, I better make her favorite!

Back a few years ago, when I was just starting to get into making cupcakes, I got the opportunity to take a Holiday Cupcake Class at Sur La Table.   It was a great experience and I learned a lot about cupcakes and got inspired with all different tools (like my beater blade that I LOVE so much I have two!).  One of the recipes to come out of this experience was my snowflake cupcakes, which are a coconut cupcake with a coconut cream cheese frosting.  I made these cupcakes first for my Mom's 60th birthday party.   Everyone loved them so much that I was sharing the recipe right and left!  My Grandma made a big point about requesting them for her 90th birthday party, and again they were a huge hit.  So when she asked me to make cupcakes for our family birthday dinner and told me to make "whatever I wanted to" i knew she would want the coconut ones.  

Grandma and her cupcakes at her 90th birthday party

The cupcakes were a simple coconut cupcake that were some of the most moist cupcakes I've ever had.  I really think they were perfectly cooked.   I was slightly disappointed with the cupcake flavor however.  I wish they had been more coconutty (yes, that's a word).   But I'm not sure if that was because my cream of coconut was old (but it was WELL within its expiration date... like years) or because I didn't mix it up well enough before adding it?  I'm not sure.  However, the icing had a much stronger coconut flavor so when you put them together they tasted great.

The icing was a cream cheese coconut frosting that was absolutely delicious... and I'm really not a coconut fan.  I think it'd be great with a chocolate cupcake to make a Mounds like flavor (adding to my "to do" list).   One thing that I do differently than the recipe is that I mix the coconut into the frosting.  I do understand to give it the "snowflake" effect sprinkling it on top makes way more sense.  But I was just making them to eat so didn't think that was necessary.  Also it made it easy to pipe on the frosting.  I did have to make sure that I used a star tip (like 1M) since the first time I piped a frosting on cupcakes for my Grandma she asked my Mom why I put worms on the cupcakes.  Ha!  I decorated them with pink sugar crystals to match the Breast Cancer cupcake liners I had bought (also since she loves pink....see picture evidence), but to make them look like actual snowflakes you could use clear sprinkling sugar.

Overall, they were a relatively easy cupcake to make and everyone seemed to love them!   Definitely keeping them in my repertoire.
Finished Product

Snowflake Cupcakes
Makes 30

  • 2 ¾ cups  flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup canned sweetened cream of coconut
  1. Position racks in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.  Line 30 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. 
  2. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. 
  3. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. 
  4.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. 
  5. Beat in half of dry ingredients, then buttermilk, and then remaining dry ingredients. 
  6. Mix in cream of coconut. 
  7. Fill each muffin cup ⅔ full with batter. 
  8. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. 
  9.  Let cool 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to racks and cool completely.
    6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup canned sweetened cream of coconut  (You will use 1 can between the cupcakes and icing)
  • 1-7 oz package sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light. 
  2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and mix until fluffy. 
  3. Beat in cream of coconut and coconut flakes
  4. Decorate as desired :)
Recipes adapted from a class at Sur La Table
Me and Grandma on her 90th birthday

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