Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coconut Lime Snowball Cupcakes

I am a bona fide coconut-aholic. I seriously love anything and everything that has to do with the coconut. And with the exception of the sugary shredded coconut and the uber sweet coconut cream used in Pina Coladas, coconut is amazingly healthy. The oil alone has numerous health benefits, and even though it has gotten a bad rap in the past for being a saturated fat its a GOOD fat, an essential fat, one that I consume daily. But not in cupcake form although I wish it was a cupcake a day keeps the doctor away. But it could very well be some coconut a day keeps the Dr away. But until that happens for sure lets just concentrate on these little goodies. Coconut lime snowball cupcakes. A few bites of tropical cupcakey goodness during the rainy cold dreary winter almost soon to be spring season.

 I think I might have been a south pacific islander in a former life because of the flavors and foods I love. Coconut and lime is one of my favorite combos and the two ingredients is in many island dishes as well as south east Asian such as Vietnamese and Thai, two cuisines I adore. I recently discovered an Asian superstore here and have found some awesome ingredients that aren't at a normal American grocery.

 Chaokoh is my favotrite brand of canned coconut milk and the super store carries the Chaokoh coconut cream which is awesome for Thai green curry. This is the full fat coconut milk. I don't use the light when baking.

 I love my lime squeezer. Like really. I am a kitchen gadget freak and my drawer is getting very crowded. I might have to renovate my kitchen just for all my gadgets.

 Making the lime curd. Lime zest, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar, egg yolks and butter

 My curd ended up a little lumpy before straining because I had the pan on my back burner while cooking so my kiddo didn't reach up to a hot burner on the front since she was trying to help me and some of the egg scrambled which I couldn't see until I pulled the pan off the heat to add the butter. So it is very important to be able to SEE inside the entire pot when stirring the curd to make sure none of the egg is sticking to a side you can't see and end up scrambled.

 Straining it out to make sure none of the scrambled egg made it in

 The egg yolks and butter made this look more like lemon curd since the lime is such a light green

 Stirring in the zest. I think I had a wee bit more than what the recipe called for.

 Now it looks more like lime than lemon curd

 The recipe says to chop the shredded coconut even more. I was busy trying to take a cool pic and then I realized I just dumped the coconut it, I didn't chop. Oops

I use organic evaporated cane juice instead of regular white sugar. I like the flavor better and I try to keep my ingredients organic and minimally processed as possible. This type of sugar doesn't yield the nice light fluffy mixture when whipped with butter as regular white sugar does but that never affects the texture or taste as far as I can tell.

 So my toddler wanted to help "bake" and to keep her slightly out of trouble I give her a bowl with flour and water and this time she wanted some oats. She makes a fantastic mess and can seriously stay busy for an hour this way. Also I told her if she wanted to help me she needed to put her apron on like mommy has on and she was all excited to wear it. And make a mess.

I have no idea where my kid learns to make messes from

 I am on the hunt for thicker white cupcake liners. Mine are so flimsy and the always buckle like this when I fill them with batter. Makes me mad. Well not too mad but still. Its annoying

You can see that a few of the paper liners buckled.

 All baked up. The coconut smell was so awesome and you can see the little pieces of coconut.

 I used my trusty apple corer to cut out the middle to fill with the curd

 All filled with the lime curd. The curd is awesome, tangy and not too sweet. Perfect match for the sweet coconut cupcake and frosting

 At first I was going to attempt the nice smooth big BLOB of frosting and after several failed attempts ( I swear I am going to figure it out one of these days) I decided to just smooth it out a little with a spatula because I was going to be covering them in coconut anyway

 Lovely coconut lime cupcakes

Now you know why they are called snowball cupcakes. They look like snowballs ready for a fight. Except I wouldn't throw cupcakes just snowballs

 These aren't the fanciest cupcakes I have made. But they are so tasty that simple is better

You can see the coconut in the cake. I like the texture of the shredded coconut and am totally willing to make these again with chopping it even finer to do a comparison.

I had to snap this picture before all the curd oozed out!!  These were great freshly made and just as good if not better chilled to firm up the curd and then thawed slightly to soften the frosting.


Coconut Lime Cupcakes with lime curd filling and coconut swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

From Shelly Kaldunski's "Cupcakes”

 Coconut Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter ( 1 stick) at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used coconut extract instead for extra coconut flavor)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup shredded coconut roughly chopped ( can be sweetened or unsweetened)
1  large egg plus one large egg white at room temp


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees line a standard muffin pan with paper or foil cupcake liners. In a bowl whisk your dry ingredients including the coconut.  In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add egg, egg white and extract and beat until smooth.  Add flour mixture in three additions alternating with 2 additions of coconut milk.  Beat on low and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Divide the batter into the cupcake pan filling 3/4 of the way up each liner.  Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely for at least an hour before filling and frosting.

Lime Curd

4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons lime zest
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of butter cut into 4 pieces

In a saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lime juice and salt and cook over medium high heat stirring constantly so it doesn’t boil.   When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon take it off the heat. Whisk in each piece of butter one at a time until it is melted in. Pour into a mesh strainer over a bowl and scrape the curd through leaving and solids behind. Some of the egg yolk does end up cooking so this way you don’t have pieces of scrambled egg in the curd. Stir in the lime zest and place a piece of plastic wrap over the curd to keep a film from forming and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes 2 cups enough to pipe on 12 cupcakes or spatula on 16 cupcakes

3 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
pinch salt
2 sticks of butter at room temp cut into 16 pieces
2 tsp coconut extract

Using the bowl of your stand mixer add the egg whites, sugar and salt and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water on the stove. Make sure the bottom of the mixer bowl isn’t touching the water. Whisk the mixture until it feels slippery to the touch( all the sugar has dissolved) and is 160 deg f on an instant read or candy thermometer. This takes about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl and place on mixer immediately start whisking the mixture using the whisk attachment and slowly go from low to high speed. Whisk until the bowl is cool to the touch( room temp) and the egg white mixture is fluffy and hold stiff peaks. The mixture should not look dry. It will be glossy like meringue. This takes about 6-7 minutes. Stop to scrape down the sides. With the mixer on medium add the butter in 1-2 pieces at a time until all the butter is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and get any stuck pieces of butter out of the whisk. Beat on high until the frosting comes together. If it gets soupy looking just keep whisking. Stop to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl. Optional switch to the paddle attachment for this step and beat on low to get rid of any air bubbles. Add in the extract and beat again until fully mixed in. Keep at room temp if using that day. If not keep in fridge for 3-5 days and thaw about 30 min at room temp and beat slowly for about 5 minutes before using.

This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled whatever. Just depends on the size mixer you have. If you have a commercial Hobart then you can make a TON of frosting. Also you can customize to any flavors you want. Instead of coconut you can add vanilla or any other extract you like, melted and cooled chocolate for a chocolate buttercream using milk, white or dark chocolate, add in caramel and some sea salt for a salted caramel buttercream. Really the possibilities are endless!!


  1. papers aren't buckling cause they are flimsy, they are buckling because they are stretched out before they have no where to go. I refuse to buy the cute ones at Michaels now for this reason..they all buckle & it's so irriating!

  2. All my stiffer ones don't do this though, like the dark brown ones from that gal we order off of on Ebay. And I keep all my liners together so they aren't stretched out. Or at least I thought. I agree that all the ones I have bought from Michaels do this. I need to buy stiffer greaseless ones or whatever they are called from somewhere else.

  3. We must be twins...I LOVE coconut and lime as well! Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe...cannot wait to try!

  4. ...AND, THANK YOU for your tips at the end...that I can double or triple, change flavorings, etc...I was actually about to come back and post that question BECAUSE when I make my kids birthday cakes, I use about 24 cups of frosting and have been wanting to try a new you think this is easy to pipe and decorate with as well? I've been using the standard "Wilton Buttercream" for years...I'm sure, very novice, but it's easy to work with and pretty tasty (although a bit sweet and not as smooth as I like)...

    I really like a buttercream my Mom made growing up that had a cooked mixture of flour and water (I think it was water) added that made a SMOOTH frosting...would you say this is similar to something like that?

    Guess this turned into more a question post than I originally thought :)

  5. Hi Meghan

    either Swiss meringue or Italian meringue buttercreams are my GO-TO frostings for all my cupcakes. They are totally smooth and pipe beautifully. You can make any decoration with them and since they are more butter than sugar they hold up well when chilled and then thawed. I am not a fan of crisco based frostings like the wilton one. I don't care for the taste.

    I have made a few cooked flour frostings and haven't has the best of luck but am willing to try them again. When I first tried Swiss meringue buttercream I had several flops and gave up until I mastered Italian Meringue and then figured out what I was doing wrong with the Swiss. So I want to go back and try

    These are two recipes for flour based frostings from one of my favorite blogs, Our Best Bites.

    Maybe you will have better luck than I did!

  6. what quick service! Thanks for that speedy reply!! :)

    I'm guessing that both the basic Swiss and Italian Meringue buttercream recipes are here on your site? I think they are also in a cook book I have...and you say they double/triple no problem...exact measurements??? I'm trusting you ;)

    Could you give me some tips to avoid flopping with the Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercreams?? I'd hate to waste 24 cups worth of ingredients with a new frosting :)

    Happy Sunday...I'm looking forward to your blog updates!

  7. Megan
    My tips are always included in my recipe directions. The best thing to do is to listen to the changes in the frosting texture. I know that sounds funny but you will hear when it goes from soupy to fluffy perfect frosting. Just make sure that the bowl has cooled to room temp when whipping the egg white mixture ( for both types of meringue frosting) the bowl should feel cool to the touch this usually takes about 7 minutes, and then add in the butter 1-2 tbsp at at time. You can let a few seconds go by and then add another 1-2 tbsp. I don't wait til they are totally mixed in before I add more. If it gets soupy DON'T PANIC. Just crank it to high and just whip it - whip it good. Ha ha. It will come together. I promise. And try not eating it all by finger or spoon before you get your cake frosted. Once it is all whipped together then you can add your flavorings in extract, puree or melted and cooled chocolate form and any coloring. You can then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low to help get the air bubbles out. I do this only if I am piping on cupcakes or designs on a cake. If you are just using a spatula to smooth on a cake this step isn't necessary. And 24 cups of frosting?? how big of a cake are you making?

  8. *smile* I so appreciate you retyping what you've probably already typed out a zillion times...I'm fairly new to your blog, so I've missed some things!

    I think I have made this type of buttercream before, for a filling in a cake I call "Suzy Q cake"...the sounds and "panic moments" sound familiar so I think I'll be able to do it! I remember thinking "AH! It's all sepreated and gloppy" but then, a minute or so later, it all came together...silky and shiny!

    My biggest challenge will be making it the first time with my 4 kiddos around...I think I'll do it when they're in bed so I can actually concentrate 8 )

    Yes, 24 cups...some of that is just in case my "3 year old runs her fingers along the whole side of the decorated cake and I have to re do it 20 minutes before the party" incidents...yes, it happened...but I make a FULL 2 layer half sheet pan (so, what is that? 14 inches?) cake...not splitting one layer into 2, but baking 2 full layers, and then I frost 16 cupcakes (so I can feed my little ones as they wait for the real cake usually a day or two later)...and, on top of those needs, I just LOVE frosting and put it on thick :) Plus, when only using buttercream and not fondant, the decorating always takes more than you think (of course, I learned that when frosting one of my first cakes the day of a party, and had to make and color more frosting shortly before the party began...never wanted to go through that again!)...

    Last, if I have any leftover, I can keep it as I have one cake to make in May and one in June...24 cups always gets used somehow...cakes, spoons, all works :)

  9. Going backward, I DO make and use a LOT of frosting...first, I make a 2 layer half sheet pan cake (what is that? 14 inches)...not one layer sliced in half, but 2 full cakes and 16 cupcakes! Second, I always make enough in case "my 3 year old runs her fingers through the whole side of a cake and I have to re-do it 1 hour before the party"...yes, it happened :) Third, I have a birthday in May and June, so I can use any I have leftover on the next cake...and last, I just LOVE frosting and put in on thick!! I don't usually have much leftover...I could probably get away with 20 cups, but one time I ran out of frosting...and that was the time I decided to decorate right before the party, so I had to make a mess of more frosting and learned my lesson...better too much than not enough!

    I'm going to try the frosting today...very excited! I'll let you know how it comes out!!

  10. sorry for the repeat post...didn't see my first one :(

  11. I can't remember if it was you or another blogger (gasp), but how do you store this frosting? If I want to save it and use for another date, do I just keep it in the fridge? NO freezer, right? I am thinking about saving it for about a month.

  12. Ha you are funny. All meringue frostings can keep up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. For fridge storage - thaw at room temp for 30 min to an hour before mixing for about 5 min on low to get it back to its original fluffiness and if it was frozen thaw overnight in the fridge then on the counter for the 30-60 min.

  13. Wow these coconut cupcakes look great. And I am so glad you added the print button, thank you so much. And I have officially printed off my first recipe from you and it is these coconut cupcakes.

  14. Thanks! I am trying to figure out how to have just the recipe print and not the whole blog post. Working in it!