February 4, 2011

winter treats #4: key-lime coconut cupcakes

well valentine's day is quickly approaching and all that i can think about are flowers, chocolate, pink and red, hearts, and little men in diapers shooting people with rubber arrows.
i love valentine's day.
but one of the things i love most about valentine's day are the sweets! they make me go crazy. and even though i'm off sweets for a while (i've recently lost 10 pounds, take that corn syrup and sugar!), valentine's day is an exception.

so i have a recipe for you today that will make you fall in love.
Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes.
the combination is sweet and tangy, and blends perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.
i found the recipe from the food network, adapted it to my liking, and LOVED it.
they were a hit.
put them in valentine's day themed cupcake liners, dip the top in coconut, and you're ready to have your valentine fall in love with you.

Key-Lime Coconut Cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup) room temp.
1 c. sugar
2 eggs at room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp. lime zest
2 Tbsp. lime juice
3-4 drops green food coloring (if desired)
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/3 c. loosely packed coconut flakes (plus more for coating for your frosted cupcakes)

preheat oven to 325 degrees. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract, key lime zest and juice, food coloring and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 5 parts total, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold the coconut into the cupcake batter.
Line a muffin pan with liners and fill each liner almost to the top with batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(this is my go-to frosting. i memorized it so i don't even need to think twice about it while making it. it's simple, fool-proof, and delicious!)
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese at room temp.
1 stick butter at room temp.(1/2 cup. or you can use 4 tbsp. butter and 4 tbsp. shortening. either or!)
combine all ingredients until mixed well and there are no lumps. if frosting is too thick, add  1 tsp. milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.

i know that coconut is iffy. you either love it or you hate it. but you can always leave out the coconut.

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