Easter Cupcakes

If you know me, you know that I have a cupcake recipe using a variety of flavors. If you have an occasion, I have a cupcake for you.

Here is a delicious recipe for coconut cream cupcakes that will be a perfect dessert for your Easter dinner. It’s the perfect combination of a coconut cake, coconut mousse, and a cream cheese whipped cream frosting.

This one starts with a cake mix and pudding to make things easier. Tip: sift the cake mix before using.

COCONUT CREAM CUPCAKES

Cupcake ingredients

1 box white cake mix

1 c. shredded sweetened coconut

3 large egg whites

¾ c. coconut milk, mixed

½ c. vegetable oil

½ c. light sour cream

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 tsp. baking powder

For the filling

1 package instant vanilla pudding

¾ cup milk, any type

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

For the frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, cold

1 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream

1 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Shredded coconut for garnish

For the cupcake

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Mix coconut milk well before adding to the batter.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted cake mix with all remaining ingredients. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir from the bottom.

Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Cool completely.

For the Filling

Combine the pudding with the mixed coconut milk and coconut extract. Whisk until pudding is dissolved. Refrigerate until firm.

Prepare the whipped cream. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.

Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks start to form. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Remove pudding from the refrigerator (after it has set) and gently fold in whipping cream. Place filling in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Frosting

Chill the bowl for 5-10 minutes again. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat into the cream cheese until cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture.

Slowly drizzle in the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture. Continue to add the remaining heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Use immediately or keep refrigerated.

To assemble the cupcakes, remove the middle of the cupcake using a spoon, knife, or cupcake corer. Cut off the tip of the Ziplock bag and fill the center with the coconut mousse filling. Top with cream cheese whipped cream. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. These cupcakes must be refrigerated.

LEMON MERINGUE CUPCAKES

CUPCAKES

1 1/4 cups (163g) all purpose flour

1 cup (207g) sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (120ml) milk

1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon zest

1 large egg

1/2 cup (120ml) water

LEMON CURD

6 tbsp (90ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

½ cup (104g) sugar

6 large egg yolks

4 tbsp (56g) unsalted butter

MERINGUE FROSTING

1 cup (207g) sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tarter

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 large egg whites, room temperature

For the cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.

Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and egg to a medium sized bowl and combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Slowly add the water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.

Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

For the lemon curd

Combine all the ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon.

Pour the lemon curd into a small bowl and cover with clear wrap pressed against the top of the curd to prevent a film from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool and firm, 3-4 hours.

For the meringue frosting

To make the meringue, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla extract and egg whites in a large mixer bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan or pot of simmering water. You can also use a double boiler.

Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm to 160 degrees on a thermometer, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.

To put the cupcakes together, use a cupcake corer (or a knife) to cut a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Fill the center of the cupcake with lemon curd.

Frost the cupcakes with the meringue frosting. Finish off the cupcakes with a slice of lemon, if you like, then toast lightly with a kitchen torch.

Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.

— by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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